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Old 08-09-2003, 09:35 PM   #1
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Linux on Vaio SRX77 mini-howto

I have a Sony Vaio SRX77 notebook, with integrated wireless, mem stick, sound, USB devices (webcam, CD burner, and wireless keyboard/mouse), all working flawlessly, in just a few hours. The research took alot longer, though.

I am using Mandrake 9.1. This may work on other models of Vaio's (specifically with external PCMCIA-controlled CD-ROM drives), but YMMV.

1. To boot from the CD's, attach the proprietary CD-ROM drive via PCMCIA card, insert CD1, and boot. Get to the boot prompt, and type in "expert noauto ide1=0x180,0x386". This will SKIP auto-detection, and allow the bootloader to get things going correctly.

2. Once in, be ABSOLUTELY sure to choose ACPI (NOT APM), when it prompts for it. Look for the checkbox closely. ACPI is critical to getting all the bells and whistles going.

3. Perform the load to your liking, change CD's when prompted.

4. After everything is loaded, and the machine is about to reboot, power it down and unplug the CDROM drive. It will cause the box to lock up. (Still don't know why).

5. Boot up. Visit the linuxant home page to get the drivers (tried to post the link, but couldn't). Look around for the hsflinmodem-5.03.27lnxtbeta03042700k2.4.21_0.13mdk-1mdk.i586.rpm package. This may be a later version, but it will be named something like this. The hsflinmodem one is what is needed. Download and run the script, and it should bring things up correctly.

6. Add the sonypi module to the end of the /etc/modules file. This will let you adjust the screen brightness, and do other vaio-related things, via software. A quick search on Google will show you what/where.

7. Load the PCMCIA-CS module, either from CD, or from rpmfind. Once it's loaded, you want to edit the /etc/pcmcia/config file. Look for:

card "Lucent Technologies WaveLAN Adapter"
version "Lucent Technologies", "WaveLAN/PCMCIA"
# bind "wavelan_cs"
bind "orinoco_cs"

Comment out the wavelan_cs line, and add the orinoco_cs line, as shown above. Save the file. Also, edit the wireless.opts file accordingly, to set your ESSID, mode, and WEP stuff.

A note here. I have not been able to (so far), get the original PCMCIA controlled CD-ROM drive to work. However, for $69, I got the USB CDRW, which works fine for me. I use a Kensington camera, and it works using the SE401 drivers. I also use an Archos, which is properly detected, and mountable as an external hard drive.

The USB mouse was a puzzle. The wireless keyboard/mouse I use at my desk (Logitech RF wireless combo), the keyboard worked fine right off. I had to go into Drakconf, and set my mouse to be a USB mouse, and reboot. Once that was done, both the touchpad and USB mouse worked fine together (????).

There are probably things that could be better, but the install only took a few hours, and everything (even memory stick), works fine for my needs. Hope this helps someone else.


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