Sony Vaio PCG Z600RE and Linux

$Id: index.html,v 1.6 2000/12/19 09:59:15 baer Exp $

The Z600RE seems to be an European variant of the Z505SX/HE as described by Edi Weitz

It is a Pentium III 500MHz machine with 128MB RAM, 12GB Harddisk, 12.1'' XGA-Display (1024x768), Sound, USB, Memory Stick, 1 PCMCIA Type 1, i.Link, IrDA, and 10/100BaseT ethernet on board. 16x CD, USB-Floppy, and port replicator with serial, parallel, USB, VGA, and external. No PS/2

I use this machine with Linux only (Gekauft, gesehen, gelacht, gelöscht - bought, seen, laughed, deleted ;-)
Ok, most things work. Some do not. So I need a little help...

Actual state:

[News] [Blacklist] [Distribution] [Components] [External Components] [Files] [ChangeLog]


last change: Sat Feb 3 11:17:25 CET 2001

The black list

This is the actual state of components of the machine. If you have get other features running: please contact me.

Component State
Graphics: NeoMagic works
Sound: Yamaha DS-XG works
Network: Intel 82557 works
Touchpad: PS/2 works
Jog Shuttle partly
PCMCIA works
APM works
IrDA partly
USB floppy works
Modem: WinModem as usual... not working
Memory Stick not working
S400/i.Link not working
External components
USB Mouse: Logitech TrackMan Wheel works
iomega Clik! works
Handspring Visor works



I used the actual Mandrake 7.0 non-GPL version. Do not worry if you like other Dists, some of the Dist-dependend things may help you too (special SuSE tips can be found on the page of Edi Weitz).

I did the installation with the external CD-ROM. Please remember: like with most Sony Laptops, try linux ide="0x180,0x386" at bootprompt of the installing sequence. Remember to delete the append line in lilo.conf after installation. I did expert installation on one extended partition with 10 logical partitions. Because of changing the kernel with the international variant (from I use crypted partitions via ciphered loop devices.


Hey, these are only distribution probs, but maybe you will find it usefull...

Disk Drake

This is the Mandrake Version of Red Hat's Disk Druid. Because of the large Harddisk, I liked to install the system in about 5Gig and leave the rest of the 11Gig extended partition free.

But Disk Drake has an other behavior like the original Disk Druid: the extended partition has only the size of the used disk space! Create a dummy partition of the rest of disk space. Then you can create new partitions later.

I had to use GNU parted (from to resize the extended /dev/hda1.

Swapping to Gnome

Set "GNOME" into /etc/sysconfig/desktop.

Default link in /etc/X11/gdm/Sessions to your favorate Window Manager.

German keyboard

I do not know who can write german text without nodeadkeys. The Mandrake menu does not have the nodeadkeys entry anymore. You need to change the KEYTABLE entry in /etc/sysconfig/keyboard to "de-latin1-nodeadkeys". X Window behavior with my XF86Config".

Component description


This is another NeoMagic. I tried the SVGA-Server which was installed by Mandrake. No probs.

My actual XF86Config. This is a config file for german nodeadkeys with xkb and the TrackMan Marble Wheel in USB-mode. Maybe some Red Hat developer should look at this file: This is the way to configure the keyboard for german setup. No ModeLine stuff!

I use the fb for the virtual terminals. Try a kernel with fb compiled in and vga=791 at startup (16 Bit, 1024x768). I am running fb and the SVGA-X Server with 16 Bit, 1024x768. 24 Bit works too but I do not like the behavior of Netscape in this mode (not enough colors for Icons :-))


This is (again) this Yamaha DS-XG chipset. Only working with
OSS drivers. If you want to try it: use version 3.9.3j or up! 3.9.3h hangs with APM.

News: I have free Alsa sound from alsa-cvs-tree working (actual driver 0.5.10).

What do you need? Kernel compiled with sound support (see alsa-Readme). The actual driver, library, and utils of Alsa

... and removed the OSS-code of course :-))


Again this Intel Chip. It was automagically found by Mandrake. Module eepro100. You can get problems with Mandrake's sylog because it is startet after network setup. If you initialize the card with no net connected the system will stop because of an arp request of syslogd. Move the syslogd link in /etc/rc.d/rc345.d to S09syslog.


Like all the other normal laptops - this is a normal PS/2 Mouse with two (sniff) buttons.

Jog Shuttle

Frank Koormann sent me this link from Werner Heuser where you can get a tool called jogutils. Because the whole thing is documented in japanese try this: For me I could not see anything in the jogapp-window (running in 16bpp mode). But the jog functions!


Works. With the old tricks. On Mandrake (like other Red Hat dists) try: PCIC_OPTS="cs_irq=11" in /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia to prevent from irq9 accidents.


APM works right now. I saw the site from
Alex Stewart and downloaded the necessary files for apm (works with RedHat likes) and modified them for me a little bit (swapping to a virtual console before suspend): As you know, the RE600RE has a slightly modified PhoenixBios. To get a working hibernate you need phdisk.exe which is a (boom) DOS tool. But some nice guy rewrote this to lphdisk (elf-disk). Download it and follow the instructions in the README. You need an emty /dev/hda4. Think about upgrading! If the hibernate partition is too small when you plug in your second 128M you need to re-lphdisk it - and then you cannot remember the name of the tool or this site anymore!

Ok, there are two little problems at this time: When I plugged in a USB mouse before suspend it is not active anymore after suspend. I have to plug it out and in - then it works again.

The other problem may be Mandrake specific: If I did a suspend during midnight the logrotate/sequrity/updatedb stuff is running after giving the machine the wakeup.


I again followed the instructions from
Alex Stewart but with the newest kernel patches for 2.2.18 and the newest irda-utils (voodoo??). There is no irmanager anymore. At this point I have some reactions from my Nokia 6150, my Handspring Visor (tries to connect) and another Laptop (an IBM A20) when i do cat /proc/net/irda/discovery. An irdadump works as well as the irdaping. But there is neither IP nor serial thing to the Handspring or the other Laptop at this time. Gnokii's infrared support does not work yet.

USB Floppy

with 2.2.18 USB is in the kernel, so you do not need the
Backport for Kernel 2.2.18 and up.

I corrected my setup with the USB setup from Alex Stewart (hey this site is great). In his setup there is a /etc/rc.d/init.d/usb. It does the job. There is no additional script and no entries in /etc/modules.conf anymore.
Now I use the USB support for the Handspring Visor with pilot-xfer but there are problems with the pilot-applet for GNOME.


Again and again: Just another WinModem. Now I must find someone with this graphics adventure who likes it and wants to pay money for it...

Memory stick

This is a component I'd like to use: as a hardware key! Think about saving all your ssh, pgp, and gpg keys on a stick. Great - but expensive. But I have a 4MB here...

It should act like a vfat-Harddisk. But I cannot find a Bios switch for activating/deactivating it and /proc/pci says:

  Bus  0, device  13, function  0:
    FLASH memory: Unknown vendor Unknown device (rev 1).
      Vendor id=104d. Device id=808a.
      Medium devsel.  IRQ 9.  
      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xfedf7800 [0xfedf7800].
Is there someone who can get it run?


I do not have any hardware to plug it into this interface - so no try...

External components

Logitech TrackMan Marble Mouse

This is a "normal" 3 Button mouse with wheel - ok it is a Trackball, but it is just the same. To get it run there must be USB support installed. To get it run with a 2.2.14 you need a USB backpart patch from

The X setup for this additional mouse can be found in my XF86Config.

News: please remember that the mouse device has changed from /dev/usbmouse to /dev/input/mice!

Iomega Clik!

Nice little store media. To use it the special 2.2.14 ide-floppy.c from Paul Bristow was needed. Change the original ide-floppy.c with this file an bingo - a clik media can be found on /dev/hdc4 in vfat format.

I wrote "it was needed". ide-floppy.c is supported by Paul Bristow now and there is Clik! support with the native 2.2.18 now.

$Id: index.html,v 1.6 2000/12/19 09:59:15 baer Exp $
Last modified: Sat Feb 3 11:38:39 CET 2001