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NOTE: This is based on installing Gentoo 2007.0. PLEASE add to it as you see fit.




This is a work-in-progress HOWTO guide to installing Gentoo on a Sony Vaio VGN-G11VN. This is an Intel Centrino notebook with a U1500 Core Solo. It has 2048MB of ram and a 100GB harddrive. The graphic is provided by an Intel 945GM and the 12" display has a resolution of 1024x768.

Hardware overview

ProcessorIntel(R) Core(TM) Solo CPU U1500 @ 1.33GHz
Hard driveToshiba MK1011GAH 100GB
MemoryDDR2-SDRAM (533 Mhz) 2048GB (shared with video)
Optical driveDVD-RW combo drive
VideoIntel(R) Graphics 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML ?
Display12.1" XGA TFT, 1024 x 768 pixels
PC Card1 port Type I/II (CardBus compatible)
EthernetMarvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8055 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
WIFIIntel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (IEEE 802.11a/b/g)
ModemModem V.90/V.92, K56 Flex Fax/Modem
USB2 ports, USB 2.0
AudioIntel High Definition Audio with built-in Speakers
MiscSD/MMC, MemoryStick, Fingerprint, TPM
Weight1,13 kg !

Listed PCI devices

Code: lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8055 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 12)
07:04.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev ba)
07:04.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C843 MMC Host Controller (rev 11)
07:04.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 11)

Listed USB devices

Code: lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 054c:02d5 Sony Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 044e:300d Alps Electric Co., Ltd (*)
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0483:2016 SGS Thomson Microelectronics Fingerprint Reader
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  

Connected when Wireless switch is on *



File: /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

Feel free to add your optimizations in CFLAGS.

File: /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf
USE="acpi mmx sse sse2"
INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse synaptics evdev"

See Synaptics Touchpad for synaptics.

See X11 Mouse for evdev.


Linux Kernel Configuration: gentoo-sources-2.6.22-r9
Processor type and features  --->
  Processor family  --->
   Pentium M
Power management options (ACPI, APM)  --->
  [*] Power Management support
  ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support  --->
    [*] ACPI Support
    [*] Sleep States
    [*] AC Adapter
    [*] Battery
    [*] Button
    [*] Video
    [*] Fan
    [*] Processor
    [*]   Thermal Zone
  CPU Frequency scaling  --->
    [*] CPU Frequency scaling
    ---   'performance' governor
    <*>   'powersave' governor
    <*>   'userspace' governor
    <*>   'ondemand' governor
    <*>   'conservative' governor
    <*>   ACPI Processor P-States driver
    <*>   Intel Enhanced SpeedStep
    [*]     Use ACPI tables to decode valid frequency/voltage (deprecated)
    [*]     Built-in tables for Banias CPUs
    <*>   Intel Speedstep on ICH-M chipsets (ioport interface)
Bus options (PCI, PCMCIA, EISA, MCA, ISA)  --->
  [*] PCI support
  [*]   PCI Express support
  PCCARD (PCMCIA/CardBus) support  --->
    <*> PCCard (PCMCIA/CardBus) support
    <*>   CardBus yenta-compatible bridge support
Device Drivers  --->
  Network device support  --->
    Ethernet (1000 Mbit)  --->
      <*> SysKonnect Yukon2 support
  Character devices  --->
    <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)
    <*>   Intel 830M, 845G, 852GM, 855GM, 865G (i915 driver)
    TPM devices  --->
      <*> TPM Hardware Support
      <*>   TPM Interface Specification 1.2 Interface
      <*>   Infineon Technologies TPM Interface
  Hardware Monitoring support  --->
    <*> Intel Core (2) Duo/Solo temperature sensor
    <*> IBM Hard Drive Active Protection System (hdaps)
  Graphics support  --->
    <*> Support for frame buffer devices
    <*>   VESA VGA graphics support
            VESA driver type (vesafb-tng)
    <*> Intel 830M/845G/852GM/855GM/865G/915G/945G support
    Console display driver support  --->
      <*> Framebuffer Console suppor
  Sound  --->
    Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
      PCI devices  --->
        <*> Intel HD Audio
  MMC/SD card support  --->
    <*> MMC block device driver
    <*> Secure Digital Host Controller Interface support


See this guide.

Hard Drive

Emerge sys-apps/hdparm, then rc-update add hdparm default

File: /etc/conf.d/hdparm
pata_all_args="-d1 -c3 -Xudma5"
Code: hdparm -Tt /dev/hda
 Timing cached reads:   2098 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1050.05 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   88 MB in  3.03 seconds =  29.00 MB/sec


Volume control

FN-F2, FN-F3 and FN-F4 don't raise any acpi events. These keys need to be Xorg-mapped using a little trick with xmodmap. Add this to your home directory:

Code: ~/.xmodmaprc
 ! Fn+F2
 keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
 ! Fn+F3
 keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
 ! Fn+F4
 keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
Code: ~/.xinitrc
xmodmap ~/.xmodmaprc

See also HOWTO Use Multimedia Keys to enable these keys.


Emerge sys-power/acpid then add these three files to /etc/acpid to change the brightness using FN+F6 and FN+F7 keys:

Code: /etc/acpi/events/sony-brightness-up
 event=sony/hotkey SPIC 00000001 00000011
 action=/etc/acpi/ up
Code: /etc/acpi/events/sony-brightness-down
event=sony/hotkey SPIC 00000001 00000010
action=/etc/acpi/ down
Code: /etc/acpi/

 BRIGHTNESS=$(cat /sys/class/backlight/sony/actual_brightness)

 if [ "$BRIGHTNESS" -gt 8 ]; then

 if [ "x$1" = "xdown" ]; then
      echo $BRIGHTNESS > /sys/class/backlight/sony/brightness
 elif [ "x$1" = "xup" ]; then
      echo $BRIGHTNESS > /sys/class/backlight/sony/brightness
      echo >&2 Unknown argument $1

CD-ROM Ejection

Emerge sys-apps/eject then add these two files to /etc/acpid to eject the cdrom using FN+E or Eject keys:

Code: /etc/acpi/events/sony-eject
event=sony/hotkey SPIC 00000001 0000001b
Code: /etc/acpi/
umount -l /mnt/cdrom

Sony MemoryStick Reader

TODO: not working for the moment

SD/MMC Reader

TODO: not tested


Linux Kernel Configuration: gentoo-sources-2.6.22-r9
Networking  --->
<*> Bluetooth subsystem support  --->
<*>   L2CAP protocol support
<*>   RFCOMM protocol support
[*]     RFCOMM TTY support
Bluetooth device drivers  --->
<*> HCI USB driver


See this guide.


See this guide.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

TODO: not tested

see Trusted Platform Module on Wikipedia

Fingerprint Scanner

Note: For Sony VAIO owners certain UPEK TouchChips is now working with the upeksonly-driver in fprint. An example is the readers in the TZ-series.

From UPEK, the fingerprint scanner manufacturer:

> It is a problem of custom firmware of the fingerprint module that Sony
> required for their notebooks. This firmware needs a special key before
> calling any functions, thus Linux driver cannot access them... Only special
> version of PS QL (which has the key build-in) can work with the sensor. Sony
> does not want any other software to be able to communicate with the
> fingerprint sensor.
> According to our business agreement, we cannot enclose the Sony's key in our
> Linux BSP.

Anyone fancy trying to work out what Sony's key is by sniffing usb data?

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Last modified: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 18:37:00 +0000 Hits: 3,018