Sony Vaio SZ Series And Linux

I owe a SZ Series Sony Vaio laptop and it's successfully running Ubuntu Linux 8.04, however it required some tricks to let it be really good.


Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7250 @ 2.00GHz
HDD: Seagate Momentus 5400.2 ST9120821AS 120GB
Graphics in Stamina mode: Intel GM965/GL960
Graphics in Speed mode: nVidia GeForce Go8400
My version of laptop has no video camera

Stamina/Speed switch

The laptop comes with two graphics card. One is integrated Intel device that offers really low power consumption and quite good performance. The second is nVidia dedicated graphics card that has better performance but bigger power consumption. If you want to play some OpenGL games, you'll probably need to go Speed.

Note: only one video card can operate at once. This is done by design and there is no way to use both at once.

Don't play with the switch during the normal operation. Don't try to switch it during a restart. For me this resulted in serous problem of not being able to switch the mode back to stamina from speed. No matter what was the position of switch, always the speed mode was activated. I had to take the battery and the AC off, then hold the power button for 30 seconds and then start the laptop with the AC plugged in. It helped at second time or so.

To change the speed/stamina mode, just normally shutdown the machine. Then switch the mode switch and power the machine on. This way it's always working for me.


After installing stock Ubuntu 9.10 everything (almost) works out of the box, you'll need to adjust a few things.


The sound's working, but in order to let it work with external speakers (and to let plugging the jack mute the internal speakers) you need to do the following as root:

echo "options snd-hda-intel model=vaio" >> /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

After a restart, the sound and external speakers work as expected.

Optimal graphics configuration with GLX

TODO (a script)

LCD Backlight control

Intel (Stamina mode)

Works out of the box.


You have to download a nvclock from svn. And then use the following commands:

# increase the brightness by 17%:
nvclock -S +17
# decrease the brightness by 17%:
nvclock -S -17

Dualscreen configuration


Works out of the box


Install nvidia-settings and run it after logging in.

Battery consumption — how to disable the Bluetooth device

If you don't use Bluetooth daily you may want to disable the bluetooth device. To do so, issue the following command as root:

echo blacklist hci_usb >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bluetooth
rm /etc/rc2.d/*bluetooth
sed -i 's|^exit 0|echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/sony-laptop/bluetoothpower\nexit 0|' /etc/rc.local

After a restart the hci_usb module should not be loaded and power should not be consumed. Check it with the following command (as root):

lsmod | grep hci_usb

if you get no output, it's just OK — no loaded module with hci_usb within its name.

If you ever need to enable the Bluetooth adapter (for example to transfer a file to your Nokia mobile phone), just do (as root):

# as root:
echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/sony-laptop/bluetoothpower
modprobe hci_usb
/etc/init.d/bluetooth restart
# as normal user run the bluetooth manager of KDE:
# or for GNOME:

To permanently enable the Bluetooth just remove file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bluetooth and the "echo 0 >…" line from /etc/rc.local


Works out of the box.

Frequency scaling based on the AC/battery status

This works out of the box and is configurable.

Fingerprint sensor

Get the fprint newest sources from the svn, compile and install. It works. But who would use it?

Webcam support

I've got a VAIO without a camera.

Other resources

I've found this one recently

This may be helpful for you (I've taken the bluetooth trick from it).

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