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This is a work-in-progress howto guide to installing Gentoo on a Vaio VGN-N11S/W.

This is an Intel centrino notebook with a T2050 Core Duo. It has 1024MB of ram and a 100GB hdd. The graphic is provided by a GMA 950 and the display has a resolution of 1280x800. (also see lspci)

The basic installation of gentoo is as described in the handbook. I will go into detail for some specialities later.

Basic kernel configuration

Based on gentoo-sources-2.6.24-r2 the following works, but must not be the best solution. For further information about kernel configuration and installing please read the handbook.


Because it is a dual core processor you have to integrate SMP support. Also the processor type can be set to Pentium M because the Core Duo (not Core2Duo) is based on the Pentium M.

Linux Kernel Configuration: Processor
Processor type and features  --->
    [*] Symmetric multi-processing support
        Subarchitecture Type (Pentium M)  --->
    (2) Maximum number of CPUs (2-255)
    [*] Multi-core scheduler support


The modules ahci and ata_piix are requiered.

Linux Kernel Configuration: SATA device
Device Drivers  --->
    Serial ATA (prod) and Parallel ATA (experimental) drivers  --->
        <M> ATA device support
        <M>   AHCI SATA support
        <M>   Intel ESB, ICH, PIIX3, PIIX4 PATA/SATA support

Compile these modules into the kernel or using them as modules is purely a matter of taste. But keep in mind to autoload the modules if they are not build in.


As mentioned the N11S is a centrino notebook. Thatswhy the configuration of the network is quite simple.


Linux Kernel Configuration: Network
Device Drivers  --->
     [*] Network device support  --->
        [*]   Ethernet (1000 Mbit)  --->
              <M>   Intel(R) PRO/1000 Gigabit Ethernet support


See this guide.



For the right installation of the graphics related drivers see Intel GMA.

As mentioned above the resolution is 1280x800.

Keep in mind that TV out can not work with this notebook.


Linux Kernel Configuration: Sound
Device Drivers  --->
    Sound  --->
        <M> Sound card support
            Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
                <M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
                      PCI devices  --->
                          <M> Intel HD Audio

Cardreader (build-in)

I tried a lot but at this kernel stage it is not possible to use the MemoryStick reader, maybe a later kernel version will support it. SD cardreader works quite normal.

For installation see SD and MMC card readers (tifm section)

Sony Laptop Extras

This section is quite problematic. I tried to enable the function of the Fn keys with this driver but it fails.

The only thing this is good for, is that it enables the possibility to change the backround illumination. But this works only with command line calls.

If you want to try use these kernel settings:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Sony Laptop Extras
Device Drivers  --->
     [*] Misc devices  ---> 
        <M>   Sony Laptop Extras
        [*]     Sonypi compatibility


To use powermanagement functions activate the ACPI support in the kernel config.

Linux Kernel Configuration: ACPI
Power management options  --->
     [*] Power Management support
     [*] Suspend to RAM and standby
     [*] ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support  --->
         [*]   Deprecated power /proc/acpi folders
         [*]   Future power /sys interface
         [*]   Deprecated /proc/acpi/event support
         <M>   AC Adapter
         <M>   Battery
         <M>   Button
         <M>   Fan
         <M>   Dock
         < >     Removable Drive Bay (EXPERIMENTAL) 
         <M>   Processor
         <M>     Thermal Zone
         (0)   Disable ACPI for systems before Jan 1st this year
         [ ]   Debug Statements
         [*]   Power Management Timer Support
     < > APM (Advanced Power Management) BIOS support  --->
         CPU Frequency scaling  --->
         [*] CPU Frequency scaling
         [ ]   Enable CPUfreq debugging
         <M>   CPU frequency translation statistics
         [ ]     CPU frequency translation statistics details
              Default CPUFreq governor (ondemand)  --->
         -*-   'performance' governor
         <*>   'powersave' governor
         <*>   'userspace' governor for userspace frequency scaling
         -*-   'ondemand' cpufreq policy governor
         <*>   'conservative' cpufreq governor
         *** CPUFreq processor drivers ***
         <M>   ACPI Processor P-States driver
         <*>   Intel Enhanced SpeedStep (deprecated)
         -*-     Built-in tables for Banias CPUs
         <M>   Intel Speedstep on ICH-M chipsets (ioport interface)
         <M>   Intel SpeedStep on 440BX/ZX/MX chipsets (SMI interface)
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Last modified: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 05:19:00 +0000 Hits: 5,930