A couple of days ago IntuitiveNipple started a new thread on the Ubuntu forums. He’s started working with Mattia Dongili on the Sony Notebook Control/Sony PI sony-laptop driver for the Linux kernel, to try & improve support for the following Sony VAIO laptop features..

Fn keys, screen dimmer, bluetooth, wireless LAN power, suspend/resume & VMX (VT).

If you want to improve Ubuntu/Linux support for VAIO laptops (not just the FS versions), they need as many people as possible to follow this tutorial & submit their results.

Please help out! It’s not hard to do & the results could help to bring about huge improvements in the way that Linux operating systems work with Sony VAIO hardware.


The first thing that we need to do is find out what version of the BIOS your laptop is using. You can see your BIOS version by pressing F2 as the PC starts & entering the BIOS itself (might be the Esc key on non FS models?).

It should be shown on the very first screen of your BIOS setup menu..


It’s the top line that you need to take notice of & write down. As you can see from the screenshot, mine says BIOS Version: R0040J1.

To exit the BIOS without changing any of your settings, press the Left Arrow key to get to the Exit menu, then press the Down Arrow key to select Discard Changes & Exit, & then press the Enter/Return key to restart your laptop.

Once your laptops restarted & you’ve logged back into your desktop, you will need to install & run a simple ACPI utility. Open up a terminal & enter the following Bold lines (one at a time)..

cd Desktop

sudo apt-get install acpidump

sudo acpidump -b -t DSDT -o FileName

tar -czvf FileName.tar.gz FileName

sudo rm FileName.dsdt

You must replace FileName with your laptop model & BIOS version. To make things easier for the Ubuntu developers to analyse the results, please format the name of the file according to this scheme..


EXAMPLE: Mine is the VGN series of VAIO laptop, model FS215E with BIOS version R0040J1, so I need to name my file VGNFS215ER0040J1.dsdt.

Check out the image below to see an example of how your terminal should look. I didn’t use the install command, as I already had the software on my system..


Now you can attach the archive file from your desktop (the tar.gz file) to a reply on the original forum thread & it can be downloaded by IntuitiveNipple/Mattia for dissection & comparison.

Once the developers have this information, bug fixing will become a lot easier & hopefully it won’t be too long before Ubuntu can set up your FN keys etc. automatically on install. This information could go a long way to helping the developers sort out a lot of the other VAIO problems too, not just on Ubuntu but all open source operating systems.

Thanks for helping 😀


12 thoughts on “ATTENTION All VAIO OWNERS!

  1. I have VGN-SZ430N and I’ve just installed Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon into it. I don’t get the FN Key and Bluetooth problem. The only things missing are WebCam and Fingerprint reader. Everything else is running perfectly after I installed all of the restricted drivers, especially the Nvidia driver.

  2. I see alot of references to making Sony FS series laptops work… What about SZ series? I have a VGN-SZ670N. No “Fn” keys work.



  3. Sorry Mr Z, but I don’t have that model of laptop at hand for testing and I decided on making the site VGN-FS model specific, to increase the chance of writing easy to follow and hassle free tutorials.
    You will probably find that the tutorials on this site may either work for you too, or can at least guide you in the right direction to find the answers you seek.
    You can always email me with your questions and I’ll see what I can do to help 🙂

  4. I found that for BIOS version reboot is not necessary as suggested by IntuitiveNipple on the thread 2. Placing the content here for convenience:

    $ sudo apt-get install dmidecode
    $ sudo dmidecode -t bios

    I obtained:

    $ sudo dmidecode -t bios
    # dmidecode 2.9
    SMBIOS 2.4 present.

    Handle 0x0000, DMI type 0, 24 bytes
    BIOS Information
    Vendor: Phoenix Technologies LTD
    Version: R1120J7
    Release Date: 07/04/2007
    Address: 0xE6C60
    Runtime Size: 103328 bytes
    ROM Size: 1024 kB
    PCI is supported
    PNP is supported
    BIOS is upgradeable
    BIOS shadowing is allowed
    ESCD support is available
    Boot from CD is supported
    Selectable boot is supported
    EDD is supported
    8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
    CGA/mono video services are supported (int 10h)
    ACPI is supported
    USB legacy is supported
    AGP is supported
    Smart battery is supported
    BIOS boot specification is supported
    Function key-initiated network boot is supported
    Targeted content distribution is supported
    BIOS Revision: 12.0
    Firmware Revision: 12.0
    ACPI x86-based PC

    Otherwise this tutorial helped me a good deal as I am a newbie. I am going to post the details of my Sony VGN-240FZ after doing some experiments. Thanks a bunch.

  5. Dear Friends
    I have a problem with my Sony Vaio Laptop Model FZ250EB
    I cant install windows XP, no way i found, and no bios setup

    can any one help me in this issue


  6. Sorry Farhad, but this site has nothing to do with Microsoft or the Windows operating system. You might be best checking the Sony site or forums for help. You can find the links on the top right of this page in the Links section 🙂

  7. I’m trying to make the Fn keys work for my VAIO VGN-AR41E and after a search on www I’m becoming confused and ask to you that seem the most qualified to have a solution.
    Basically the key that don’t work are:
    – Fn+FX (F5, F6 for brightness, F10 zoom, F12 Hybernate, this function doesn’t work btw)
    – Eject
    – S1, S2 (programmable I suppose)
    – AV MODE (not a big issue)

    Volume and play buttons are recognized.

    The above are not recognized in key shortcuts windows.

    As additional info
    sudo lsmod | grep sony

    sonypi 23192 0
    sony_laptop 35292 0

    Is there a solution for a non expert?
    Available to provide info. Thanks a lot


  8. Hi. I’m maybe a little OT, because my problem is with a Vaio PCG-5B1M instead of an FS.
    I tried to install Ubuntu Lucid but the Live sessione couldn’t start. I suspected my CD was wrong, for this reason I switched to Hardy. I installed Ubuntu Hardy without any problem.
    Anything was ok with Hardy. Then I tried to update to lucid from the Update Manager. After restart, the computer freezes after a very short (less than 1 sec) attempt to show the logon on the character terminal, and the dotted Ubuntu Lucid logo.
    Later I could check that my Ubuntu Lucid Installation CD was Ok.
    Any Idea on that? I couldn’t find any thread for this specific trouble.
    It is similar to this one.

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