Ubuntu 9.04 on Sony VAIO Z

20 04 2010


I know this stuff is old (Ubuntu 10.04 is coming soon) and probably you can find better guides online.

I just wanted to upload here some content from my old site .

FYI, I am not currently using the VAIO, but I’d like to suggest you some resources if you want to successfully install linux on your classy laptop:


  • A VAIO Z (mine is model Z11MN/B) with Windows XP installed (if you have Vista or 7, you have to downgrade it before);
  • An empty CD rom;
  • A bunch of spare hours… And some good music đŸ™‚


  • Get and ISO image of Ubuntu 9.04 (you can choose between 32 and 64 bit versions – I personally recommend the 64 bit edition if you have 4 GB of RAM);
  • Burn it onto a cd and put it in the drive;
  • Reboot and follow the installation instructions;
  • After having completed the full installation of Ubuntu, put the graphics switch on “SPEED” position, then reboot XP;
  • Reboot again into Ubuntu and see if the small green led is on “SPEED” (otherwise, reboot again XP and retry);
  • Open a terminal and type:
    sudo su

    (this will let you log in as superuser, as the following command lines are to be executed as superuser)

    • cp /proc/acpi/dsdt DSDT
    • apt-get install iasl
    • iasl -d DSDT
    • gedit DSDT.dsl
  • Now look for a line containing:
    Store (0x03E8, OSYS)
  • Replace it with:
    Store (0x07D6, OSYS)
  • iasl -tc DSDT
  • cp DSDT.aml /etc/initramfs-tools/DSDT.aml
  • dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-$(uname -r)
  • Now, after a reboot with XP, you’ll have just the Intel card enabled, without needing to reboot XP anymore to switch it.

After this procedure, the backlight won’t be adjustable unless you add this:

  • gedit /etc/init.d/mybacklight.sh
  • Write on it:
    xrandr –output LVDS –set BACKLIGHT_CONTROL legacy
  • Save and exit from gedit;
  • chmod a+x /etc/init.d/mybacklight.sh
  • update-rc.d mybacklight.sh defaults

Still to fixup:

  • F5, F6 keys won’t work for backlight adjusting, nor will the S1, S2 and DVD eject buttons;
  • Other minor features are not yet supported.

References / credits:




4 responses

24 06 2010


i just got my gowgeous z yesterday, did things changed in any way with 10.04 ?

25 06 2010

Currently I have no GNU/Linux on my Vaio Z11MN/B, (I formatted it with Vista, it’s going to be RMAed).
The last Ubuntu I had on it was 9.04 so sadly I don’t actually know if this procedure is still valid.
In my opinion the main difference won’t be the release of Ubuntu, but the hardware, that is quite different between yours (last model, Q1 2010) and mine (first model, Q3 2008).
Anyway, I’m planning to write a new “howto” as soon as my Vaio comes back, so stay tuned!

P.S.: Have you already tried to install Ubuntu? If so, what did/didn’t work?

25 06 2010

i tried with 10.04 alternate install and managed to fuck up faildows7 instalation. Because i couldn’t partition disk I searched forums and found out that there is bug in 10.04 installer. I used xp downgrade disk to revert to xp, and here i go again, this time with 9.10 alternate install. I was told it should work. I don’t care about gpu switching, i just want linux and nvidia gpu to work.

25 06 2010

ok, i think i ll go mental…i installed ubuntu but it just doesnt want to boot (black screen) I ll revert to faildows7 and wait until someone comes up with working solution :/

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