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Sony_Vaio_VGN-FE890

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Gentoo Linux on a Sony Vaio VGN-FE890

This Sony brand laptop works particularly well with Gentoo Linux, and possibly other distributions as well.

Current Status

Sound

The sound card for this laptop is reported as an Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller. Fortunately for us, the stock ALSA driver snd_hda_intel (from either the kernel or the alsa-drivers package) will work for this card. Here's the kernel configuration option you'll need to select:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Enable Sound Support
Device Drivers  --->
    Sound  --->
        Advanced Linux Sound Architechture  --->
            PCI Devices  --->
                [M] Intel HD Audio  --->

If you're not following the developer's recommendation by using the alsa-drivers package instead of the built-in kernel drivers, you'll need to add this line to your /etc/make.conf:

File: /etc/make.conf
ALSA_CARDS="hda-intel"

Now just reboot into your new kernel, or load the required ALSA modules and you're all set!

Internal Microphone

The internal microphone required an extra bit of tweaking in order for it to work. Just open up /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base (or create it) and put the following:

File: /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base
options snd-hda-intel model=vaio position_fix=0

Now run # update-modules to commit the changes, and reload the sound card module.

Video

The graphics card is an nVidia GeForce Go 7400. Getting it to work was a fairly trivial operation; just follow the guide at NVIDIA drivers for the details.

WLAN

See this guide.

Ethernet LAN

The ethernet controller is reported as an Intel Corporation PRO/100 VE Network Connection. The stock kernel driver works well on this occasion:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Enable Ethernet LAN Controller
Device Drivers  --->
    Network device support  --->
        Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)  --->
            [*] Intel(R) PRO/100+ support  --->

Now just rebuild the kernel, install, reboot, and enjoy!

Modem

The modem is supported by the hsfmodem. See this guide.

Memory Card Slots

The memory card reader on this laptop is reported as a Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD). The in-kernel drivers don't seem to fair very well for this do-it-all card reader, so we'll grab some (Experimental!) third party drivers instead. Open up a terminal so we can grab the drivers from their subversion repository:

# svn checkout svn://svn.berlios.de/tifmxx/trunk tifmxx

Now enter the tifmxx/driver directory and execute a # make to build the drivers and # sudo make install to install them.

MS/MS PRO/MS PRO DUO Support

Note: This section was written for SVN revision 109 of the tifmxx drivers in mind. It will probably become outdated upon further development of these drivers
Warning: The following drivers are HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL, and may result in data corruption and/or loss!

The following patch file will enable the building of the tifmxx MemoryStick drivers. Just save the following text as Makefile.patch in your tifmxx/driver directory and execute # patch -p0 < Makefile.patch to apply.

File: Makefile.patch
--- Makefile    2007-09-17 10:17:25.000000000 -0400
+++ Makefile    2007-09-16 11:53:26.000000000 -0400
@@ -19,8 +19,12 @@
        mkdir -p $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)
        rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/tifm_core.ko
        rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/tifm_7xx1.ko
+       rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/tifm_ms.ko
+       rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/memstick.ko
+       rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/ms_block.ko
+       rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/mspro_block.ko
        rm -f $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/mmc/tifm_sd.ko
 
-       install -c -m 644 tifm_core.ko tifm_7xx1.ko $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/
+       install -c -m 644 tifm_core.ko tifm_7xx1.ko tifm_ms.ko memstick.ko ms_block.ko mspro_block.ko $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/misc/
        install -c -m 644 tifm_sd.ko $(MODULE_INSTALLDIR)/kernel/drivers/mmc/
        /sbin/depmod -ae

Now execute # make to build the drivers, and # sudo make install to install. To load the drivers at each boot, I put the following in my /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6:

File: /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6
tifm_ms
mspro_block

Internal Webcam

The internal MotionEye webcam is reported by # lsusb as being manufactured by Ricoh Co., Ltd. The drivers for this webcam are located here. Download and extract the drivers to a directory of your choosing, then execute # make to build and # sudo make install to install.

The module is called r5u870, and can be loaded with the requisite call to modprobe; # sudo modprobe r5u870.

Further information about this driver can be obtained from the r5u870 website

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Last modified: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 22:17:00 +0000 Hits: 5,100