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Old 12-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #1
toshiro
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Linux on Sony Vaio S13


Hi,

I found a Sony notebook that have very impressive spec (in spanish: http://www.sony.com.mx/corporate/MX/...VS13A25PL.html

I really like that hardware so I'd like to buy it. Of course, my idea is to throw Windows 8 as soon as the computer boots for the first time and install Linux. Before doing that I made a quick internet search about this notebook and linux and found little (the model si quite new); unfortunately, the little I found is problems, like being unable to charge the battery more than 80%, not being able to control keyboard backlit, nVidia graphics card not working, etc. The problem is that I don't know anybody with a Sony Vaio and Linux, so I don't know if that problems can be solved somehow or is better not to buy that computer and look for something else.

Any comment will be appreciated Thanks!

Last edited by toshiro; 12-08-2012 at 04:46 PM.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
TobiSGD
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That link is shortened and does not lead to an actual site that describes that laptop. Unless you provide a valid link we can't help.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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Does it have a restore disk? If it does you can try several different linux distros on it and if none of them work you can restore windows and do whatever with the computer. I have an older Sony Vaio with linux (suse) and it works fine. I have also had Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Fedora 8 & 17 on it. Fedora was the only OS that didn't work out well. Fedora 8 liked to make my screen turn pink while Fedora 17 gave me kernel panicks. I don't know about the backlit keyboard though because the Sony I have doesn't have one. It has nVidia graphics and they work fine in linux. I hope this helps and that that the computer works out!

Last edited by Nbiser; 12-06-2012 at 07:10 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
toshiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
That link is shortened and does not lead to an actual site that describes that laptop. Unless you provide a valid link we can't help.
Sorry, here's the link: http://www.sony.com.mx/corporate/MX/...VS13A25PL.html
 
Old 12-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
toshiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
Does it have a restore disk? If it does you can try several different linux distros on it and if none of them work you can restore windows and do whatever with the computer. I have an older Sony Vaio with linux (suse) and it works fine. I have also had Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Fedora 8 & 17 on it. Fedora was the only OS that didn't work out well. Fedora 8 liked to make my screen turn pink while Fedora 17 gave me kernel panicks. I don't know about the backlit keyboard though because the Sony I have doesn't have one. It has nVidia graphics and they work fine in linux. I hope this helps and that that the computer works out!
Yes, the problem is that I don't want to buy an expensive computer without knowing if that will work first (there's no refund policies here in Uruguay like in U.S.). Also, I've read that these new computers has a newer BIOS (UEFI) that makes installation much more complex, I even read that even Windows cannot be restored easily (if at all). Anybody have any idea about this?

Thanks!
 
Old 12-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
Nbiser
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The problem with UEFI is that you can't put any bootable disk at all into the CD drive, any GNU/linux systems will be seen as unauthorized operating systems. Even if Microsoft gives in and allows open source OSs to boot, there's still a catch. Any open source OS would have to insert propietary signatures into their code. Of course, this would go against FOSS idealogy and would go against the GPL lisence agreement. It sounds like the only thing us linux users can do is use Virtual Box or VMware. Who knows, maybe us linux users should go computer age Amish!
 
Old 12-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
Ztcoracat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiro View Post
Yes, the problem is that I don't want to buy an expensive computer without knowing if that will work first (there's no refund policies here in Uruguay like in U.S.). Also, I've read that these new computers has a newer BIOS (UEFI) that makes installation much more complex, I even read that even Windows cannot be restored easily (if at all). Anybody have any idea about this?

Thanks!
I have a Sony Vaio and I love it! I had it custom built so it was on the expensive side.
However I have Win's 7 on it and don't have to comply with the BIOS and the UEFI issue. Not sure what that work around is; sorry it still alludes me- I (think) it in-tails disabling the secure boot but I am not the expert on that.

My Vaio came with a Recovery Media Partition all of it's own. Not sure if your is the same.
Anyway; I simply went into Vaio Care and clicked on Advanced Tools> Restore & Recovery> Create Recovery Media
I was than prompted by the Vaio to insert the first bland DVD and started to watch the recovery media so written to the disc. When finished I had a total of 5 Recovery Disc's.

My return policy with Sony was 30 days.

Now I can put my desired distribution (Fedora) on my Vaio and if I don't get the installation correct I have the Recovery Disc's for Win's 7.

I strongly suggest that you read all of the Installation Documentation about the distro that you will be installing on your Vaio before doing so. Also, look for if (it doesn't boot correctly)the rescue mode instructions to guide you.

Here is the PDF that the Linux Foundation created in reference to the UEFI and Secure Boot:
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publi...open-platforms
And an additional article in regard to the subject as well:
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-...em-open-source

Best of luck to you

Last edited by Ztcoracat; 12-10-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Additional webpage link
 
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
The problem with UEFI is that you can't put any bootable disk at all into the CD drive, any GNU/linux systems will be seen as unauthorized operating systems.
Wrong in two ways. At first, what you describe is Secure Boot, not UEFI. I don't know how often I have to repeat that, but UEFI and Secure Boot are not the same. Second, Secure Boot will not see any GNU/Linux system as unauthorized, it will only see unsigned bootloaders which keys are not in the database as unauthorized. this may in the current state be almost any Linux distribution, but there is already a bootloader for that from the Linux foundation (currently waiting for the key from Microsoft) and the Shim from Matthew Garret, which will enable any Linux distro to boot on PCs with Secure Boot enabled.
You can be pretty sure that the next versions of Fedora (may be not 18, since it is already in Beta, but I think 19 for sure) and Ubuntu will support installing and booting on Secure Boot enabled computers.

Quote:
Even if Microsoft gives in and allows open source OSs to boot, there's still a catch. Any open source OS would have to insert propietary signatures into their code. Of course, this would go against FOSS idealogy and would go against the GPL lisence agreement.
Only if you use the GPL 3, which has those special clauses for DRM systems (like Secure Boot is one), the GPL V2 (which is the license for the Linux kernel, it is not licensed under V3) has not. So signing something that is licensed under GPL V2 (or most other OSS licenses, like the BSD license) is not a problem at all.

Quote:
It sounds like the only thing us linux users can do is use Virtual Box or VMware.
Or you just disable Secure Boot or use a signed bootloader.

Quote:
Who knows, maybe us linux users should go computer age Amish!
Why? We are owning the server market, the mobile market and the super computer market. As it turned out til now none of Microsoft's attempts to kill competition is working, including Secure Boot.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 12-10-2012 at 03:27 PM.
 
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #9
Nbiser
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Here is the link I got my info from. http://www.linuxforu.com/2012/02/uef...#disqus_thread

Last edited by Nbiser; 12-10-2012 at 03:19 PM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
Ztcoracat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
Here is the link I got my info from. http://www.linuxforu.com/2012/02/uef...#disqus_thread
Interesting article! I don't like some of the things that were said.
I hardly think that folks will stoop as low as to sleep with some hardware manufacturers. IMO this should of never been said as it was most inappropriate-

I'm pretty sure that Linux Developers have already started working on a way around this and The Linux Foundation is working on it as well.

Last edited by Ztcoracat; 12-10-2012 at 03:43 PM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
Here is the link I got my info from. http://www.linuxforu.com/2012/02/uef...#disqus_thread
I would recommend to actually read the documentation on UEFI, Secure Boot and the requirements Microsoft sets to get hardware approved for the Windows 8 logo. In fact, the best way to make sure that you can boot up Linux on a Windows 8 machine is to buy one with the Windows 8 sticker on the box.

The blog post you linked to is full of simply wrong statements. I accuse many bloggers of simply spreading FUD when it comes to UEFI, Secure Boot and Microsoft. It would think that is more or less the natural way. The success of a blog is not measured in the quality of articles, but in page impressions. While there are many bloggers that can hold the quality of their articles high and have a huge number of page impressions it is much easier to generate page impressions with attention begging headlines and articles full of wrong statements that are designed to heat up the discussions to generate even more page impressions. My conclusion to that is rather simple: There is nothing wrong with reading blogs, I am subscribed to several. But whenever it comes to controversial topics that may have some impact, go and read the documentation yourself, read the sources that the blogs cite (if they don't that may be a first sign for low quality articles) and upon that build your opinion. Never build your opinion on blog posts and especially never build it upon only one blog post. You may come to the same conclusions the blogger have come to, but often I have seen that bloggers either have misinterpreted their sources, may be simply because of a misunderstanding, but more often because they lack knowledge on that particular topic and instead of educating themselves before writing an article they just cite other bloggers (that is, for example, why so many people thought that the default DE in Debian would be XFCE in Wheezy). And sometimes you can see that they willfully misinterpret their sources.

Don't get me wrong, there are many good (and some excellent) bloggers out there, but since everyone can start a blog the number of bad bloggers is naturally much higher. Just as in: Everyone can learn to program, but the number of very good programmers is naturally much smaller than the number of mediocre or bad programmers.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 12-10-2012 at 03:51 PM. Reason: fixed typos
 
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #12
Nbiser
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Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I would recommend to actually read the documentation on UEFI, Secure Boot and the requirements Microsoft sets to get hardware approved for the Windows 8 logo. In fact, the best way to make sure that you can boot up Linux on a Windows 8 machine is to buy one with the Windows 8 sticker on the box.
Where can I find the documentation? I looked around on microsoft.org and could'nt find anything helpful.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:13 PM   #13
Nbiser
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Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
Interesting article! I don't like some of the things that were said.
I hardly think that folks will stoop as low as to sleep with some hardware manufacturers. IMO this should of never been said as it was most inappropriate-
I agree! It was inappropriate.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:36 PM   #14
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbiser View Post
Where can I find the documentation? I looked around on microsoft.org and could'nt find anything helpful.
UEFI and the Secure Boot specification: http://www.uefi.org/home/
Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr.../hh748200.aspx

The link to the Windows 8 requirements will ask you for agreeing to their license, otherwise I would have given a direct link. After agreeing to the license follow the Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Client and Server Systems link to the actual requirements for the logo. The relevant parts for Linux users are in the subsection System.Fundamentals.Firmware.UEFISecureBoot, paragraphs 17 and 18.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
Nbiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
UEFI and the Secure Boot specification: http://www.uefi.org/home/
Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr.../hh748200.aspx

The link to the Windows 8 requirements will ask you for agreeing to their license, otherwise I would have given a direct link. After agreeing to the license follow the Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Client and Server Systems link to the actual requirements for the logo. The relevant parts for Linux users are in the subsection System.Fundamentals.Firmware.UEFISecureBoot, paragraphs 17 and 18.
I read paragraphs 17&18 and I have come away with a new opinion of secure boot and UEFI. It would appear that Secure is one and the same as UEFI, but that secure boot can be turned off. Mandatory. Secure Boot Variable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows Hardware Certification
The firmware shall implement the SecureBoot variable as documented in Section 3.2 "Globally Defined Variables' of UEFI Specification Version 2.3.1 Errata B"
This would make it appear that UEFI implements secure boot. Later on, it talks about how if the user erases a certain database secure boot will be disabled. So you seem to be right about some blogs! Nevertheless, it does seem like a stunt that Microsoft would try to pull off!

Last edited by Nbiser; 12-10-2012 at 08:19 PM.
 
  


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