Ubuntu On Sony Vaio FW Series

Tips & Tricks related to Sony Vaio FW series laptops

What’s about latest Ubuntu 10.04 beta?

with 44 comments

I want to gather all problems for the latest beta in the one post. If someone have any problems with FW models in latest Ubuntu 10.04 beta, leave comments here then.

Written by egaistek

April 15, 2010 at 00:31

Posted in Vaio

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44 Responses

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  1. Adjusting the screen brightness through the hardware keys does not work. The indicator pops up on screen but does not change. Adjusting the brightness through the power management slider works fine, however.

    (On Kubuntu 10.04 beta 2)


    April 15, 2010 at 01:42

    • Same problem here on Vaio FW21M


      May 11, 2010 at 20:52

  2. Brightness keys do not alter level, OSD does pop up but level not changed.

    Using FW21E and open source ATI driver.


    April 15, 2010 at 01:53

  3. Yes, same here on sony vaio VGN FW 35G
    Apart from the standard ATI composite bug
    other things seem fine. In fact, last I checked, my internal mic now works whereas it didn’t (for all practical purposes) in Karmic.


    April 15, 2010 at 03:53

  4. Lcd brightness keys does not work.


    April 15, 2010 at 15:59

  5. On VGN-FW21E, tested on Apr. 15th daily live CD

    Not working:
    – “AV MODE”, “zoom in”, “zoom out” keys don’t work
    – brightness as said before
    – brightness is reduced when running on battery but is not restored to 100% when plug in AC

    Working since 10.04:
    – switch between internal & external mic.


    April 15, 2010 at 22:24

  6. Same problem here for the brightness keys
    but the microphone is working out of the box, that’s good news


    April 16, 2010 at 12:44

  7. Brightness adjustmenet does not work with fglrx (FW21Z). I had to revert to the open source driver, but it doesn’t support power saving, so the temperature is always around 50° (42-44 with fglrx).


    April 20, 2010 at 17:45

  8. I have a FW11M model and the following issues:
    – Compiz is still slow with fglrx driver, had to apply Felix Kuehling’s patch (that still works) http://launchpadlibrarian.net/32728179/xserver-xorg-backclear.patch
    – If using X with the ati opensource driver, when my external monitor is connected ubuntu changes resolution to 1440×900 on the laptop display. If I force 1600×900 then compiz won’t work
    – the brightness and “AV MODE”, etc, as said before
    – ubuntu won’t wake up from suspend, I allways have to poweroff the laptop using the power button
    – indicator-applet has big spacing between icons, but that has nothing to do with the sony vaio eheh 🙂


    April 25, 2010 at 18:03

    • Suspend mode works fine for me. Try this:

      add the following line to /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules (you may have to create it)


      Everything should work after that.


      May 3, 2010 at 13:33

      • This doesn’t work for me. I have also tried the uvcvideo and it still crashed when waking up from suspend. Is anyone else having this problem? Any known solution?


        July 2, 2010 at 17:08

  9. as all the guys above. the brightness is not working. nor is the Fn key.

    I tried to download and install OPERA browser, but its not installing. i dont know why.

    everything was good back in 9.10 .. i dont know why this new one sucks


    April 30, 2010 at 16:11

  10. Hi all,

    I’m using Vaio FW11M. Ubuntu LL runs much more smoother & faster than KK, imo!

    But the only problem I’ve noticed is the Brightness-function keys.

    Another problem is going fullscreen on Youtube with FF, but I think it’s more FF/Ubuntu related than my Vaio FW11 🙂

    (Running Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit, installed via Wubi)


    April 30, 2010 at 18:59

  11. Hi, egaistek. 10.04 is released and I’m looking forward for your updates 🙂 Your past work really rocks and thanks for that!


    April 30, 2010 at 22:02

  12. Hi,

    Another issue is getting to me: the highest resolution I can go to, by default is 1440×900 on a VGN-FW21E. I can’t set it back to 1600, and it’s annoying. I’ve started searching the forums and saw something to do with changing xorg.conf. I remember doing this a while ago, but can’t remember the specifics + some of the forum solutions aren’t made for Vaio’s.
    Can anyone share a solution for this ?


    April 30, 2010 at 22:50

    • to be complete, I also have a secondary Dell monitor which has been detected correctly – it’s now @1920×1200


      April 30, 2010 at 23:03

    • As a follow-up, after I switched to a HDMI cable instead of a VGA one, for my secondary monitor, the 1600×900 resolution was available again, for my laptop screen.
      I didn’t update any graphics packages or made any other changes. Weird, but fixed.


      May 4, 2010 at 18:17

  13. Touchpad is not working 😦 I have a FW11E


    May 1, 2010 at 00:58

    • Hi Vanio,

      I’m using FW11M (with bluray drive) I don’t have any problems with touchpad.

      I think VaioUbuntu can open a new thread since LL is officially released now!:)

      I’ve uninstall 64-bit and installed 32-bit now. I’ve closed my lid and Ubuntu went to sleep mode.
      I woke my laptop up, but the screen staid black!
      So i’ve rebooted my Vaio and now my Ubuntu says my Networking is disabled.

      Any idea how to get it back enabled? I’ve googled this problem and this problem is also known in Ubuntu 8! :s weird they didn’t fix it well 😦


      May 1, 2010 at 18:13

  14. I have a FW21J.
    All is working with ATI propietary driver 10.4, unless:
    – S1 key (I have it assigned to eject DVD drive), and AV Mode key.
    – Using backclear ppa (solves unminimizing delay).
    – Low resolution on plymouth screen at startup.
    – No brightness control.


    May 1, 2010 at 19:53

  15. I have a FW11M, apart from the issues already mentioned my media keys appear as global shortcuts in the list of Amarok (or any media pl but do not function. I am using ubuntu 10.04. The keys only work with the media players that come with the ubuntu installation.


    May 4, 2010 at 20:22

  16. The biggest complaint for me (not that it’s unique to Lucid Lynx or even Ubuntu) is the lack of fan control. The fan is pretty much always busy and loud, and fancontrol doesn’t seem to work.


    May 5, 2010 at 22:39

    • have the same problem here. the fan is almost alway running. is it dangerous for my laptop?
      any suggestions against that problem?


      May 6, 2010 at 02:42

      • cpu is round 55° all time. when i run a flash player in firefox (youtube/ zattoo) it raises to 80. now i am a bit scared for my notebook.


        May 6, 2010 at 03:22

    • Sorry to reply to myself but it’s fixed: the solution was simply to use the proprietary ATI driver for the graphics card (which was the culprit, since it controls the fan as well, it seems) instead of the open source driver. It now runs almost silent.


      May 6, 2010 at 21:00

      • so which driver did you choose? could you send a link. when i install the fglrx driver brighness control won’t work.


        May 6, 2010 at 21:30

  17. Thanks it worked.. lets see if we can solve the rest, by we we all know who I mean..


    May 6, 2010 at 02:18

  18. sony vaio vgn-fw21e ;

    – birghtness doesnt work always runing %100
    power management or birghtness applets doesnt work.
    – av mode, f1 , fn brightness and fn zoom doesnt work
    – i have a temparature problem , temparature sensors and fan control doesnt work true. when i use ubuntu , my laptop is getting hotter. in windows i dont have any temparature problem.

    my english isnt good enough sorry for this.


    May 6, 2010 at 14:03

    • Yes, I can confirm: I have FW21E and I’ve the same your problems.


      May 9, 2010 at 22:36

      • And also the life of the laptop It’s incredibly short: one hour at most! 😦


        May 9, 2010 at 22:39

  19. This upgrade for me was bad. no other words for it, now i’m regretting it. I’m downloading the 9.10 ISO’s as a fall back but I’m sorry to say I’m leaving ubuntu behind if at all possible. Has anyone had any experience with open suse on vaio notebooks?


    May 6, 2010 at 23:03

  20. @sese, I used flgrx, which doesn’t provide brightness control but at least doesn’t deafen me with fan noise 🙂


    May 7, 2010 at 20:35

  21. Lucid Lynx. brightness at 100% only. cannot dim.

    SMBIOS 2.4 present.

    Handle 0x0001, DMI type 1, 27 bytes
    System Information
    Manufacturer: Sony Corporation
    Product Name: VGN-FW373J
    Version: C601989G
    Wake-up Type: Power Switch
    SKU Number: N/A
    Family: N/A

    Handle 0x000F, DMI type 32, 20 bytes
    System Boot Information
    Status: No errors detected


    May 8, 2010 at 09:39

  22. Can you run compiz effects with proprietary ATI driver on FW11? I get really jurky results.

    Open source runs smooth,videos too but too much noise.


    May 8, 2010 at 15:22

  23. On the lucid lynx there are the same old problem of other previous distribution. On my sony vaio fw11e the graphic acceleration work, bt all the movements are poor fluid and the redimension of windows, include minimization and maximization are very slow.

    Control of luminosity not working so brightness always 100%.


    May 11, 2010 at 21:16

  24. Lucid on VCN-FW31E:
    – brightness keys not working (broken since Karmic)
    – mic now works great straight after install (fixed since Karmic!)

    Does anyone here have advice for getting the brightness keys working again in Lucid? Do any of the previous patches (needed before Karmic) work in Lucid?


    May 14, 2010 at 02:31

  25. Brightness from keys doesn’t work any more. However, saying e.g.
    echo 20 >/proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness
    as root works.
    Say cat /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness to get valid values.


    May 14, 2010 at 03:10

  26. VGN-FW41ZJ, to save my eyes I needed to do

    echo 76 | sudo dd of=/proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness

    Straight echo forwarding didn’t work for this model.

    Timo Karhu

    May 16, 2010 at 15:38

  27. FW11e – brightness doesn’t work


    May 18, 2010 at 14:54

  28. Does anyone have a brightness fix yet? I’ve tried a couple of tips people posted above but none seem to work for me.


    May 19, 2010 at 23:02

  29. I have 2 main problems , brightness doesn’t work and temperature is too high, on windows it stays close do 39 C on ubuntu it stays in 52 C


    May 22, 2010 at 17:26

  30. i write a bug about fancontrol and special buttons.

    You will write comment there and ubuntu developers will make a fix about it.

    bug link;



    June 3, 2010 at 13:13

  31. I Just bought a Sony Vaio Model: PCG-81114L (Acording to sonystyle.com the model is “VPCF121FX”) and my Touchpad doesn’t work in anyway it’s like it never existed.

    Is there anything that can fix it?


    July 22, 2010 at 09:35

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