FN Key Tutorial (Part 1)..

**** WARNING: This will only work for releases up to Feisty. For Gutsy release and later check here! (only for FS model laptops). If you don’t have an FS model laptop, you can try this tutorial anyway but skip installing the Sony_acpi software and go straight to part two. I’ve not tried this myself though, so please leave a comment if it works for you 🙂 ****

Part 1 – How to set up your laptops bios to use the keys & how to install the sony_acpi patch.
(Tested in Feisty & Dapper)

Setting the Bios:

The first thing that you need to do, is to go into your laptops bios & check that the HotKey Event Code is set to Type 1..

Restart your computer & keep pressing the F2 key until it enters the setup screen.

Press the right arrow key once to change to the Advanced screen.

Navigate to the last option called HotKey Event Code by pressing the down arrow key & Press the enter key to show more options.

Use the up & down arrow keys to highlight Type 1 & press the enter key again to select it.

LaptopsBios

Press the right arrow key 3 times to get to the Exit menu & press the enter key to Save the Changes & Exit.

Press the enter key again at the pop up box to confirm the saving of the changes.

Let the computer restart & boot up as normal.

WARNING: People who dual boot between Ubuntu & Windows might find that the keys won’t work anymore in Windows. You shouldn’t have any trouble, but if you do then it’s changing this setting that’s caused it.

Installing sony_acpi

The first thing that you need to do is enable the extra repositories.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to install the sony_acpi patch..

Open up a terminal & type sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) gcc-3.4 libxosd-dev & press the enter key. Keep pressing Y to confirm installation of the software when asked.

Next type sudo rmmod sony_acpi to make sure that sony_acpi’s not already loaded on your system. You may get an error saying.. ERROR: Module sony_acpi does not exist in /proc/modules. This is a good & nothing to worry about 🙂

Enter the following commands into a terminal one at a time & press enter after each one..

wget http://download.berlios.de/fsfn/sony_acpi.tar.gz – downloads the software’s archive to your home folder.

tar zxvf sony_acpi.tar.gz – extracts the contents of the archive into a new folder inside your home folder called sony_acpi.

cd sony_acpi – navigates into the folder you just extracted from the archive.

make && sudo make install – compiles the software & installs it on your laptop.

As this is an Ubuntu specific install, we now need to copy one of the newly created files from the sony_acpi folder that your already in, to the correct folder that the Ubuntu system uses..

sudo cp sony_acpi.ko /lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/ubuntu/acpi

(If your using a different kernel, then change the 2.6.20-15-generic part to the correct kernel number).

sudo modprobe sony_acpi – starts up the newly installed software on your laptop.

If you type ls /proc/acpi/sony into your terminal now & press the enter key, you should see the 3 files that you need in the sony folder.. brightness brightness_default & fnkey.

Feel free to delete the sony_acpi archive now from your home folder, but keep the sony_acpi folder that you created where it is, in case you need to copy the file again the next time you update your kernel.

sudo rm -r sony_acpi.tar.gz – removes the sony_acpi archive.

Optional Tests:

If you restart your laptop, open up a terminal & again type ls /proc/acpi/sony, you should still be able to see the 3 files. The sony_acpi software will also be auto run on boot up..

To test this type sudo rmmod sony_acpi into a terminal again, but this time you won’t get an error & it will let you input the next command (If you do this, don’t forget to start up the sony_acpi software again with sudo modprobe sony_acpi).

That’s all folks 😀

Not as bad as you expected it to be hey?

Now head on over to parts 2 & 3 of the tutorial to complete it.

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27 thoughts on “FN Key Tutorial (Part 1)..

  1. Pingback: FN Key Tutorial (Part 2).. « Ubuntu-FS

  2. Pingback: FN Key Tutorial (Part 3).. « Ubuntu-FS

  3. Hey, great blog. I am doing some of the same stuff as you, trying to get my VAIO to run Feisty correctly. Any chance you want help with this blog?

    Anyway, I was having a little trouble with your instructions and determined the issue. On my version of Feisty, the sony_acpi module already existed, and everytime I ran the “sudo make install” command it ran fine but never showed the fnkeys file. This is because the Ubuntu version of this module is located in “/lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/ubuntu/acpi/”

    To fix it, the module needs to be manually copied to the correct location with the following command:
    sudo cp sony_acpi.ko /lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/ubuntu/acpi/

    Hope that helps!

  4. Pingback: [Info] Sony Vaio FS series FN keys « Ubuntu-FS

  5. “you should see the 3 files that you need in the sony folder.. brightness brightness_default & fnkey.”

    i’m quite desperate at that point. the fnkey file is just missing when i try to get my fn keys to work according to your tutorial and – due to the fact, that i’m new to linux – i have no clue what went wrong 😦

  6. Hi Robert,
    If you email me, I’ll see if I can help.
    Unfortunately I can’t get your email address & the forums been taken down, due to no use 😦

  7. no longer necessary 😀
    i guess i just made a mistake (although i’m not quite sure, WHAT exactly went wrong) but meanwhile my fn keys work quite fine and i’m happy to be able to adjust my screen brightness finally =)
    thanks a lot for the tutorial!

  8. Thanks, a lot, it works great with a VAIO VGN FS715F, the only tweaking i had to do was to find out my kernel number which is 2.6.20-16-generic, with “uname -r”.
    I’m really thankful. 🙂

  9. Hi, I just updated linux headers from the aoutomatic update service, and my fn keys no longer work…, is there a way to fix this? linux-headers-2.6.20-16 v: 2.6.20-16.31
    I’m using a vaio VAIO VGN FS715F

  10. On model FE31M, can’t change the Hotkey event code.
    althought I followed the installlation but I only get 2 filles “brightness an brightness_default”

  11. Glad it help some of you guys out a little 🙂

    @AlfyBoy – Unfortunatly you need to redo the main installation for the software everytime you update your headers (at the moment). Hopefully this will improve over time.

    @fjtirgari – Sorry chief, but I can only test these tutorials out on a VGN-FS models of VAIO laptop. That’s why the sites called Ubuntu-FS 😉

    • You have to press del or F2 or F12 when starting the computer, to enter bios

      “Restart your computer & keep pressing the F2 key until it enters the setup screen.” written in the text above

  12. Hi

    On my FS295VP I get nothing inside /proc/acpi. /var/log/messages Has no info.

    lsmod | grep sony returns:

    sony_acpi 6412 0
    sony_laptop 32088 0
    sonypi 23960 0

    Can someone tell me how to get more info?

    I am using Gutsy with kernel 2.6.22-14-generic. There was no ubuntu directory in the kernel tree, so I put sony_acpi.ko inside /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/acpi/. Is that where I went wrong?

    Thanks for any help.

  13. After rebooting I now get brightness and brightness_default inside /proc/acpi/sony, but no fnkey, just like fjtirgari and HEist. I can adjust the brightness by echoing numbers into brightness as root, so that at least works.

    However, I’d like the fn keys to work as well. The readme file in the tarball has no further info. How can I figure out what steps to take further?

    Any help is appreciated.

  14. Sorry Diederick, but it looks like the Ubuntu devs have been swapping the directories around and the tutorial will only work for pre-Gutsy releases of Ubuntu 😦

    I’ll look into getting them working again for Hardy release.

  15. Sorry Diederick, but it looks like the Ubuntu devs have been swapping the directories around and the tutorial will only work for pre-Gutsy releases of Ubuntu 😦

    I’ll look into getting them working again for Hardy release.

  16. Pingback: Updated the FN key tutorials.. « Ubuntu-FS

  17. Pingback: BySus Gedankenwelt » Post Topic » Und die Lösung des nächsten Problems - wieder die FN-Keys

  18. Thanks for the site.
    Got my keys up and working on my FS285H running Hardy 2.6.24-21

    Q.How do I enable the graphics option (fsfn -o) to run at startup in Hardy??

  19. I am having this problem during step 1

    make -C /lib/modules/2.6.28-11-generic/build SUBDIRS=/home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi modules
    make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-11-generic’
    CC [M] /home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.o
    /home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:55: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
    /home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c: In function ‘sony_acpi_add’:
    /home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:274: error: lvalue required as left operand of assignment
    make[2]: *** [/home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.o] Error 1
    make[1]: *** [_module_/home/kevinkapel/sony_acpi] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-11-generic’
    make: *** [default] Error 2

  20. I have a problem:

    carlos@desktop:~/sony_acpi$ make && sudo make install
    make -C /lib/modules/2.6.32-24-generic/build SUBDIRS=/home/carlos/sony_acpi modules
    make[1]: se ingresa al directorio `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.32-24-generic’
    CC [M] /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.o
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:55: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c: In function ‘sony_walk_callback’:
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:258: error: dereferencing pointer to incomplete type
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:260: error: dereferencing pointer to incomplete type
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:261: error: dereferencing pointer to incomplete type
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c: In function ‘sony_acpi_add’:
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:274: error: lvalue required as left operand of assignment
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:324: error: ‘struct proc_dir_entry’ has no member named ‘owner’
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c: In function ‘sony_acpi_init’:
    /home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.c:379: error: ‘struct proc_dir_entry’ has no member named ‘owner’
    make[2]: *** [/home/carlos/sony_acpi/sony_acpi.o] Error 1
    make[1]: *** [_module_/home/carlos/sony_acpi] Error 2
    make[1]: se sale del directorio `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.32-24-generic’
    make: *** [default] Error 2

    I have a Sony VAIO VGN-N350FE

  21. Hi there,

    Was *really* hoping this fix would make my Vaio work, but sadly I get the same error as Carlos above. Is there a fix?
    Thanks
    Matt

  22. Sorry guys but it looks like the latest versions of Ubuntu have too many incompatibilities with the FNkey software. It looks like there’s not much chance of it working again any time soon 😦

  23. so i guess people will have to use their laptop in glorious FULL brightness that blinds, lol.
    on a serious note though, this is really important. I am having exact same issue with the people getting pointer reference and stuff like that. Please any one working on a solution yet… People desperately need this. Thank you

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