31 May, 2007

Kubuntu on Sony VAIO PCR-SRX41P

Yesterday, I bought a new laptop. My old one (a Fujitsu-Siemens, PIII-450, 192 mb ram) let me down one time too much. On FOSDEM, it kept the audience waiting a long time, but things got even worse - during my KDE 4 talk at a Mandrivaclub meeting, I had to wait a few minutes between each slide, and at the KOffice ODF, fighting the laptop took almost as much time as writing the articles. Saturday I have a talk at the local NLUUG, so I would prefer to have a workable setup by then.

So I got tired of that, and got myself a very small (10.4" screen) VAIO. PIII-800 MHZ, 256 MB ram. Nope, not like 10 times faster, but I can't afford much more (I paid 200 euro's). It doesn't have a cd drive (well, an external one, firewire based), thus it's very light: only 1.2 kg!

Now how well does it work with linux (Kubuntu Feisty Fawn)? Almost perfect. Yes, really. suspend and hibernate both work (but choosing suspend hibernates the laptop, and hibernate suspends it...); the volume keys, mute, brightness - they all work. Different from the windows ones, where you first have to do Fn-F5 and use the arrows to change brightness, here Fn-F5 decreases, and Fn-F6 increases brightness. Same goes for volume, but who's complaining? I prefer it this way, actually...

Network works fine, I haven't tried wireless much yet, but it's pretty old (802.11b) so that might be a problem here and there. At least at home, it doesn't see my wireless network...

So, let's see how it works saturday.


And here, for the people from linux-on-laptops:

Installing Kubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) on Sony VAIO PCR-SRX41P

General Hardware Specifications of this VAIO:















































































Hardware Components


Status under Linux


Notes


Pentium III-M Processor, 800 MHz Works No special procedure required during installation.
10.4 SXGA TFT Display 1024x768 Works No special procedure required during installation.
Intgrated 82815EM in Intel 815EM chipset( Works No special procedure required during installation.
256MB, PC100 Works No special procedure required during installation
30 GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
Bluetooth might work I can't turn it on in linux (yet), so it doesn't work.
Integrated Network Card Works No special procedure required during installation
Internal 56k Modem Not tested. It is a winmodem. Should not be hard to get working but I don't need it.
external Firewire 24X Max Variable CD-ROM/DVD Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
Internal Intel Wireless Networking (802.11b) Works No special procedure required during installation
Lithium-Ion Battery Works Guidance Power Manager DOES show time left properly, but the icons shows up always red
Internal Intel AC'97 soundcard Works

No special procedure required



This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.20

Unresolved issues:
  • Bluetooth

  • KDE battery meter doesn't function correctly

Function Keys:
  • Fn + F2: Mute
  • Fn + F3: Volume down
  • Fn + F4: Volume up
  • Fn + F5: Brightness down
  • Fn + F6: Brightness up
I'm happy with the battery time, btw - works for 3 hours, no problem.