Debian Linux (Woody) on a Sony Vaio PCG-R600HFPD

German Version

After I stuck myself for over one week with setting up my new notebook, I would like to share my knowledge with others to help them setting up this notebook under Linux, too. Since there was so far no link on I decided to help! :-)

News on this site:

April, 30th 2004: JogDial runs fine! :-)

April, 13th 2004: Kernel-Update: From now on I am running Kernel 2.6.5 on my Notebook!

Decembre, 26th 2003: Patch for Monitor-Mode in WLAN-Adapter added

Decembre, 18th 2003: X-Free86-Section update

Sepembre, 20th 2003: ALSA-Sound-System added!

July, 19th 2003: ACPI-description and Memory-Stick-installation added

July, 18th 2003: Changed non-working-link against a working link!

June, 20th 2003: ACPI-description and installation added

June, 8th 2003: Added manual for the WLan-Adapter.

At first the technical data about this notebook (i think it is the European model of one PCG R505xxx model, but i do not know the exact name!):

processor: Intel Pentium 3 Mobile 1GHz
RAM: 256 MB
display: 12,1" TFT-display
connections: Sony (Firewire)
graphic-chip: Intel i830M
sound: Intel i830M
mouse or touchpad: touchpad with Jogdial
slots: Memory-Stick
1x PCMCIA slot
network: Intel Ethernet Pro 100
Lucent wireless lan-adapter
internal V90 modem
dockingstation (DSM-5): Matsushita DVD/CDRW Combo-Drive
1,44" floppy
serial port
parallel port

And now a short summary for the modules to use with this hardware:

Intel Ethernet 100 Pro
Wireless Lan Karte:
Lucent Wavelan
hermes, orinoco und orinoco_cs (see below)
Intel i830M
i810 with patch (see below)
Intel i830
i810_audio (see below)
brightness and Jogdial: sonypi (see below)
i.Link (Firewire):
Texas Instruments Chipset
ieee1394, ohci1394, raw1394 and if used video1394 (see below)
DVD/CDRW-Drive: ide-scsi, scsi-cdrom, ieee1394_sbp2 (see below)

Kernel 2.6.5:
After some trouble the new kernel runs allmost fine. At now i have tested XFree, CDRW-Drive, USB-Mouse, Memory-Stick, Networkinterface and WLAN. All works very well! Furthermore you do not need to download and apply the ACPI-Patch and the ALSA-Soundsystem anymore. It is now included in Kernel 2.6.x.
For a faster finding of the important changes for Kernel 2.6.x i wrote this textpasses in this color!
Details about the softwareupdates and changes for kernel 2.6.5 will come up here in the next weeks.
I still have only got one problem, the Touchpad. But i want to test Bluetooth with this laptop in the near future! :-)
The touchpad only works fine with the USB-Mouse at the same time if you connect the USB-Mouse after starting X. If you do this before, the touchpad would not work!
Update: After updating XFree with an apt-get upgrade (Debian Testing) runs the jogdial now without the mouse's behaviour. That means it only scrolls in the aplications even when you scroll through the jogdial-menu, but it does not behave as a mouseclick when you activate the menu or an item in the menu.
So if somebody has got a solution for this problems, please mail me!I would be very happy! :-)
For infos on the modules to compile you can get my kernelconfig here.

For using ACPI with this notebook you still need the right ACPI-Kernel-Patch from
It is still included in Kernel 2.6.x!
Download this patch and install it in the Kernelsourcecode-directory like "patch -p1 < ../acpi-20021212-2.4.20.diff" for example. Know after this, recompile your Kernel and modules with ACPI-modul-Support activated in Kernel-Config!
You need this patch for your DVD-CDRW-Drive, your Memorystick and i think for your wireless lan-adapter, too!
Furthermore with ACPI it is possible to check the battery-charging/discharging (module battery.o), the powerconnectionstatus (ac.o), the temperature (thermal.o) and the processor's clockspeed (processor.o).
For loading this modules, you first have to activate them in the Kernel-Config -> General Setup -> ACPI-Support and then to recompile your kernel! At least you can add the modules to the /etc/modules file, so that they get loaded every time you start the system.
You can read the data in /proc/acpi/...., for example "less /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/state" shows the charging and condition of battery one!

The Console:
For working with the console I would recommend framebuffer because this Sony notebook does not have a "stretch-function" (i think so, but if it is wrong, please send me a mail and correct me!) in BIOS and so you will have got a big black border when using 640x480.
So I uses framebuffer with 1024x768 pixels and 8 bit color (256 colors) and use with this way the full screen in text mode / console (16bit or higher color does not work because of the Intel i830M graphic-adapter (also see Supportpage of Intel).
Thus for using the framebuffer you must activate in the kernel-config under "Console Driver" the option "VESA VGA graphics support" (in Framebuffer Support). If this the case then edit your /etc/lilo.conf and change (or add it) the line vga=... in "vga=0x305" and delete all other vga-entries in this file. After doing this, finally only run lilo. And that was it. Now you should see the tux in the upper left corner and should have full screen the next time you boot your system.

Now in the new version of XFree (4.3.0) which is delivered with Debian testing (and perhaps even with Debian Woody in the current version) there is no problem anymore with the Intel i830 Chipset. That means that you do not need the i830_driver-1mb-stolen-hack.patch any longer for installing XFree on you laptop. XFree should now recognize the right driver (i830) during the configuration.
If you still have trouble with installing XFree, look at my XF86Config-4-File. People who still want to use another XFree version can download the old Patch here.

The sound:
There exists two ways for installing sound on this Notebook. One way is the kernel Sound-System and the other is the ALSA-Sound-System. For myself, I prefer the ALSA-Sound-Systems.
In Kernel 2.6.x the ALSA-Sounddrivers are also included in the kernel!
For the ALSA-Sound-System you have to download the drivers from After download install the driver with the Installation-HowTo from here. It is important that you activate the module Soundcore in your Kernel!
If you done with installation, add the modules to /etc/modules, so that they are load at boot up and your are done! Like i say, you got more information at the ALSA-Project.
For installing the Kernel-Sound you should select the "Intel ICH (i8xx), SiS 7012, NVidia nForce Audio or AMD 768/811x" module in Kernel (under Sound) to use the soundoutput of this notebook. After compiling and installing the new kernel and one reboot, the module (i810_audio) loaded succesfully and it was done. :-)
For controling the volume you can use sjog (see below) It is very easy to use and very comfortable, i think.

The Jogdial-Wheel:
For using the jogdial under X I prefer sjog. For the console there exists a program,too (spicctrl). But for using this jogdial and for setting up brightness and volume with it, there must be the "Sony Vaio Programmable I/O Control Device Support" compiled in the kernel (in section "Charakter Devices"). You can choose between module or part of the kernel. I would recommend to compile it as module.In this case you must add the folling lines to /etc/modules.conf:

alias char-major-10-250 sonypi
options sonypi minor=250

Finally you must create the device for the programs with "mknod /dev/sonypi c 10 250". That was it. Now you can use the wheel like a mouse wheel to scroll under X or set the brightness and volume.

The i.Link-Port:
Firewire is supportet with Kernel 2.4.19 and greater, i think. But you need the ACPI-Patch for your Kernel because this notebook controls the netcard, the USB-device and the Firewire device over IRQ 9 with ACPI. You can find it under .
If you have Kernel 2.6.x you do not need this Patch!
After unpacking this patch and installing in the kernel sourcedirecory you have to select the following options during kernel configuration:

in General Setup you have to activate the ACPI-Support (with all needed advanced options). If you are not sure, which one you will need, select all of them! ;-)

in ieee1394/Firewire Support activate this points:
ieee 1394 Firewire Support
raw 1394 I/O Support
ohci 1394 Support

For your CDRW/DVD-drive you still need:
in ATA/IDE/MFM.... you must install the SCSI-emulation Support (prefered as module)
in SCSI-support the SCSI CD-ROM Support
in ieee1394/Firewire Support activate the SBP-2 Support
and if needed the ohci video1394, ohci-dv I/O Support and Ethernet over 1394

After this configuration you have to compile and install the new configured kernel and perhaps to add the modules in the /etc/modules file, if it is not done by your system.
Now you can scan your i.Link bus and view it under X11 with the programm gscan. You can find more infos and a downloadable version of this program under the Linux ieee1394-Project ( ).

The DVD-/CDRW-Combo-Drive and the floppydisk in the Dockingstation:
The DVD-/CDRW-Drive in the Dockingstation is connected over Firewire. Because of this you need the firewire modules in the kernel ( see above ). Furthermore you need to add the following modules for this drive:


(you can check it with the "lsmod" command!) The floppydrive worked from this moment on perfectly without adding any other modules. ;-)

The wireless Lan-Adapter:
Now, my internal wireless Lan-Adapter from Lucent works to in this great laptop. To run this adapter you have to compile your kernel with the following modules from the network adapters section:


If you compiled your kernel with this modules you can load them via modprobe. Furthermore you need the wireless tools packet (on debian you can install it with "apt-get install ..."). If compiling and loading the modules works fine (you can check the modules with "lsmod"), you can configure your WLAN-adapter (SSID, channel, etc.) with "iwconfig". After a successful configuration with "iwconfig", you have a new network interface (eth1 for example). Configure this new interface with "ifconfig" for static IP or with dhclient for dynamic IP set or with your prefered tool and your are done.
If you want to run kismet in Monitor-mode with this WLAN-Adapter, you need to apply the Monitor-Mode-Patch to the kernel source to activate this mode.
This is also needed when using Kernel 2.6.x!
But before you apply this hack, you have to look in your kernelsource which version of the driver module your kernel works with. After applying the right hack to your kernelsource and recompiling the kernel-modules, you can use the newest kismet and airsnort versions.
In /proc/net/wireless you can see the details and other information of your wireless adapter and the wireless connections.

The memory-stick is connected over the usb-bus in this laptop. For installation you need the ACPI-Patch for your kernel and a second patch for the usb-storage-module. If you forget this second patch, your laptop will hang when trying to load the "usb-storage-module". (for patching type: "patch -p1 < ../memorystick.patch" in /usr/src/linux).
In the kernel you have to activate the SCSI-emulation-Support, the USB-uhci-Support and USB-mass-storage-Support for using the memorystick. When you have done all this above you can load the driver with "modprobe usb-storage". Then your Memorystick ist accessable under /dev/sda1 as vfat-System. (for example "mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/memstick -t vfat").

So, at this point I have not checked or tried to install the analog modem because i do not need it at this time. But when i have time on my next holiday, perhaps i will try to install it and then I will report the description here.

Links to other pages about Linux on Sony notebooks:

Last Update on April, 30th, 2004
for information, questions etc. feel free to mail me: