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Sony_Vaio_VGN-TX3

This article is part of the Hardware series.
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Contents

Hardware

(for the VGN-TX3XP Variant)

Installing Gentoo

Geting started

The 2006.1 install disc does not fully work: the automatic X-server configuration fails and both network devices are not recognised automatically. Wireless from the live CD is hopeless, but the ethernet works after loading the module e100.

Code: loading network driver module
modprobe e100

After that you can use net-setup, see Installation handbooks for more info on network config.

Once the network work you're ready to use the dialog based installer.

Code: starting the dialog based installer
installer

That allows you to do a basic installation, partitioning the disc etc.

Configuration

Kernel

Here is my (partly genkernel) kernel config for the vaio (gentoo-sources-2.6.19-r5, you may have to use "make oldconfig").

Graphics

See this guide.

Touchpad

The touchpad reacting when I was typing on the keyboard really annoyed me, so I was looking for a way to switch it off. I could not get the Vaios touchpad to work with the synaptics driver, which allows to switch it of while typing on the keyboard. So I wrote a script that runs at start of the system to check if an external mouse is present. If a mouse is present, a symbolic link to the mouse device is created, which is used in the xorg.conf see above. When no mouse is present, the symbolic link is created to point to a device file collecting all pointer devices, including the touchpad.

Put these files in place:

Starting the service "/etc/init.d/touchpad_select start" will make the choice. Add this to the default runlevel as well:

Code: Automatically switch on/off touchpad on startup
rc-update add touchpad_select default

Ethernet

See this guide.

WLAN

See this guide.

Battery saving setup

Most information on the Xorg-setup and battery saving is from [1].

Make sure you enabled the "sonypi compatibility" and "sony laptop extras" in your kernel config.

This should give you a file /proc/acpi/sony/brightness with which you can control the brightness of the display by writing a number between 0 and 7 to that file. Lower values allow to save energy. Thus we'll have a script bellow to set this to 3 when on battery and to 7 when on wire.

Code: Testing the brightness control module
echo 0 > /proc/acpi/sony/brightness
echo 3 > /proc/acpi/sony/brightness
echo 7 > /proc/acpi/sony/brightness

Then emerge a few laptop packages which allow automatic switching of the energy saving features of the laptop (frequency switch, brightness and more).

Code: Installing laptop packages
emerge cpufreqd
emerge app-laptop/laptop-mode-tools kde-base/klaptopdaemon
rc-update add laptop_mode default
rc-update add acpid default

The laptop-mode daemon allows to ad scripts in a simple way to react to events. We use this to switch the brightness. Save this file as /etc/laptop-mode/batt-start/brightness.sh. The frequency scaling worked out of the box.

Now make sure all required modules are auto-loaded, save this file as /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6 and edit according to your own needs.

If you load all these modules and start these services (or after the next reboot of the system) your display should turn darker and the CPU switch to slower when you unplug the mains. Now you really have the 6.5 hours of battery life.  ;-)

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Last modified: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 06:39:00 +0000 Hits: 5,427