Linux on the Sony VAIO PCG-FX310

Last modified: January 13, 2007

Warning: Use this information at your own risk. I no longer own this laptop so I'm unable to answer questions.

Summary
Distribution Fedora Core 1 works
Processor Intel 900 Mhz Mobile Celeron works
RAM 128 MB PC100 SDRAM (512 MB Max) works
Chipset Intel 815EM works
Display 14.1" TFT 1024 x 768 works
Graphics Adapter Integrated Intel 815EM Graphics Chip works
Sound Integrated Intel 815EM AC97 works
Hard Disk Toshiba 15 GB ATA/IDE works
Optical Drive Matshita CD-RW/DVD Combo works
Ethernet Integrated 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX works but see notes
Modem Conexant Integrated V.90/K56flex Winmodem works but see notes
Pointing Device Two Button Touch Pad works
USB Two ports (UHCI) works but see notes
PCMCIA 2 type II or 1 type III works
Battery Lithium-ion (PCGA-BP1N) works
i.LINK (aka IEEE 1394, FireWire) S400 4-pin untested
Power Management ACPI works but see notes
Floppy Drive Removable 1.44 MB, 3.5" untested

Distribution

I'm currently running Fedora Core 1 with the stock kernel. The installation went smoothly, but I had to enable ACPI manually.

Processor

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo

processor	: 0
vendor_id	: GenuineIntel
cpu family	: 6
model		: 8
model name	: Celeron (Coppermine)
stepping	: 10
cpu MHz		: 894.294
cache size	: 128 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 2
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse
bogomips	: 1782.57

RAM

The machine has two memory slots, supporting a maximum of 512 MB RAM. It came with a single 128 MB memory module and I purchased an additional 256 MB for a total of 384 MB.

I bought the additional RAM from Coast to Coast Memory and followed their recommendation, which was for PC133 SDRAM SODIMMs.

The VAIO manual says to use PC100 (CL2) SDRAM SODIMMs.

Hard Disk

Toshiba model MK1517GAP 15 GB ATA/IDE

The disk came with two partitions; one held Windows XP Home Edition and the other was empty. This was convenient since I was able to delete the empty partition and install Linux on it without affecting Windows.

$ /sbin/hdparm /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 multcount    = 16 (on)
 IO_support   =  3 (32-bit w/sync)
 unmaskirq    =  0 (off)
 using_dma    =  1 (on)
 keepsettings =  0 (off)
 readonly     =  0 (off)
 readahead    =  8 (on)
 geometry     = 1836/255/63, sectors = 29498112, start = 0

$ /sbin/hdparm -Tt /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 Timing buffer-cache reads:   476 MB in  2.01 seconds = 236.82 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   60 MB in  3.00 seconds =  20.00 MB/sec

I enabled 32-bit I/O transfers by editing /etc/sysconfig/harddiskhda (copied from /etc/sysconfig/harddisks):

$ diff -u /etc/sysconfig/harddisks /etc/sysconfig/harddiskhda
--- /etc/sysconfig/harddisks    2003-06-05 14:23:32.000000000 -0700
+++ /etc/sysconfig/harddiskhda  2003-11-28 14:58:47.000000000 -0800
@@ -32,7 +32,7 @@

 # (E)IDE 32-bit I/O support (to interface card)
 #
-# EIDE_32BIT=3
+EIDE_32BIT=3

 # Enable drive read-lookahead
 #

Optical Drive

Matshita model UJDA710 CD-RW/DVD combo drive; 8x CD-R, 4x CD-RW, 24x CDROM, 8x DVD

Note that this drive is region locked (RPC-2) and that there's currently no known way to disable it.

The drive is manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., also known as Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries, Ltd., or better known in the U.S. as Panasonic.

I haven't tried it with Fedora yet, but with Red Hat 7.2 I successfully burned CD-Rs using cdrecord and watched DVDs with Ogle.

Ethernet

Integrated 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX ethernet

I had some initial trouble transferring large files. The driver would complain about timeouts and the connections would hang.

Thanks to Jan Slupski, I learned this was due to the sleep mode being enabled on the card. I fetched the eepro100-diag.c utility and followed Jan's instructions. First I verified that sleep mode was enabled by examining the output of:

$ ./eepro100-diag -e -e f
...
Sleep mode is enabled.  This is not recommended.
Under high load the card may not respond to
PCI requests, and thus cause a master abort.

Then I disabled sleep mode with the command:

$ ./eepro100-diag -G -w -w -w -f

The timeouts vanished and I haven't experienced any problems since.

Modem

Conexant Integrated V.90/K56flex Winmodem

I haven't tested it with Fedora, but I had it working with Red Hat 7.2 using the Conexant HSF driver.

USB

USB works fine once ACPI is enabled. My USB mouse didn't require any additional configuration.

PCMCIA

I'm using a NetGear MA401 802.11b wireless PC Card.

Power Management

I had to enable ACPI by adding the acpi=on boot parameter to /etc/grub.conf:

$ diff -u /tmp/grub.conf.orig /etc/grub.conf
--- /tmp/grub.conf.orig 2003-11-28 03:24:13.000000000 -0800
+++ /etc/grub.conf      2003-11-15 16:16:18.000000000 -0800
@@ -12,5 +12,5 @@
 splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
 title Fedora Core (2.4.22-1.2115.nptl)
        root (hd0,0)
-       kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi rhgb
+       kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi rhgb acpi=on
        initrd /initrd-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl.img

References

Additional Resources