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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 02-05-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2009
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Exclamation Hardware issues with Debian on Sony Vaio VGN-FS980

I used to have a dual boot desktop with slackware and WinXP on it, but now I've had a Sony VGN-FS980 for a while, so I decided to take it for a spin on Linux.

I tried Ubuntu (Intrepid Ibex) first, and it ran quite well, even detected the wifi card. I didn't like Ubuntu, though, and decided to go one more step before dropping again on Slackware (it always gets things working... impressive). So I found that site, and installation went on beautifully, but not all hardware is working:

-> Wi-Fi card shows up on lspci, but I couldn't find the application to connect to my network.
-> Sound card doesn't work and doesn't show on lspci.
-> I'm not sure the Intel GMA950 3D capabilities are working.

These problems seem to be related to either my lack of proximity to Debian, or to proprietary drivers (firmware?) I believe wouldn't be installed with Debian.

Thanks for reading!
Old 02-07-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Oregon
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 488

Rep: Reputation: 38
I don't have any specific answers, but in general, you will want to determine the actual hardware (chip set) being used for Wireless and sound, then attack each issue separately.

The Goodbye Microsoft seems to have some hardware issues with its installer.

For wireless, once you determine the chipset, check the hardware compatibility list (HCL) on this site or do a Google search. You may need to download the appropriate driver module and compile it. With Debian, you can use their module-assistant (m-a) to do this pretty painlessly. If there are no Linux drivers available, the last resort is the ndiswrapper module used with the Windows driver. Googling ndiswrapper will give you way more info than you want.

For sound, you could try alsa-conf from command line to see if it turns up anything. Otherwise, you'll need to follow the same procedure above.

I don't know about the 3D graphics.

Googling Linux + your laptop model should also turn up some ideas.

The other alternative might be to download a netinstall CD of Debian Testing from the weekly build on the Debian website and re-install. The hardware detection is getting better all the time, and you may getter an newer kernel version.


firmware, hardware, laptop, sony, vaio

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