Linux on the Sony VAIO PCG-SRX51P/A

This page summarizes the current state of my attempts to get this little beastie fully supported by Linux.

Current Kernel: 2.4.20-pre10-ac2 with patches

If there's anything that you want to comment or complain about, I can be reached using atownley at the domain eircom dot net.

This page was last updated: $Date: 2002/10/21 15:13:03 $

Product Specifications
Processor: 850MHz Mobile Intel Pentium III with SpeedStep Technology Not sure about the speed control
L2 cache: 512 KB
Motherboard Chipset: Intel 815EM Supported
Memory: 256MB (upgradeable to 384)
HardDisk: 30GB TOSHIBA MK3018GAS, ATA DISK drive
Video Chipset: Intel 815EM Supported
Video RAM: Up to 11MB SDR X Actually reports 16MB
Display: 10.4" TFT XGA (1024x768) Used Generic LCD and set DPI to 124x122
Sound: Yamaha YMF753-S
16-bit CD-quality stereo
Microsoft Sound System
Hardware MIDI
Kernel detects Intel 810 + AC97 Audio. Seems to work for now.
Optical: PCGA-DVD1 i.Link drive.
1 PC Card (PCMCAI type I or type II with CardBus) Seems to work.
i.Link 4-pin (FireWire)
MagicGate MemoryStick slot Haven't gotten there yet.
1 USB port (version 1.1) Haven't gotten there yet.
Bluetooth Haven't gotten there yet.
Headphone out
Mic in
VGA Monitor out
Modem: Internal V.90/K56Flex data/fax Was working, but haven't recompiled drivers yet.
Network: 10Base-T/100-Base-TX Uses the Intel EtherExpress 10/100 (eepro100) driver
Network: Wireless LAN Working. Seems to be a PCMCIA device.
Keyboard: 84 Keys Fn keys work for the keypad stuff, but haven't tried the other keys
Mouse: Touchpad with JogDial and back button Currently have set to emulate 3 buttons. Haven't messed with the JogDial yet.
Battery: PCGA-BP2S (Li-Ion)


The 51P comes with an external i.Link (FireWire) DVD/CD-ROM drive, which, as has been mentioned in other places, seems to be supported enough by the BIOS to boot the machine. Taking this information into account and figuring that I wouldn't be able to use it to install, I copied the contents of the RedHat 8.0 media to another machine, put the CD in the drive, plugged in the network cable and rebooted.

Like clockwork, the machine boots off the CD. No problems there. Going through the normal install is standard RedHat 8 stuff. Was able to NFS mount the media images and had no problems. Skipped creation of the boot disk.

I guess I should mention that I left the XP installation alone and used the extended partition for Linux. Disk druid gives a warning about the boot partition possibly not being supported, but it is safe to ignore this message.

My partition table looks like the following:

Disk /dev/hda: 3648 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
Units = cylinders of 8225280 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting
from 0

   Device Boot Start     End   #cyls    #blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *      0+   1827    1828-  14683378+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2       1828    1860      33     265072+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3       1861    2513     653    5245222+  83  Linux
/dev/hda4       2514    3647    1134    9108855    f  Win95 Ext'd
/dev/hda5       2514+   2774     261-   2096451   83  Linux
/dev/hda6       2775+   2863      89-    714861   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda7       2864+   2927      64-    514048+  83  Linux
/dev/hda8       2928+   2991      64-    514048+  83  Linux
/dev/hda9       2992+   3647     656-   5269288+  83  Linux

The rest of the infomation on this page covers specific things that I have done thus far to get certain things to work (or not as the case may be).


I'm currently running a very non-standard version 2.4.20-pre10-ac2 kernel with a number of official and some minor fixes to get things to compile. I've also got a 2.4.20-pre8-ac3 kernel that I use from time to time, but the main kernel is the 2.4.20-pre10-ac2 one.

Patches used (and applied in this order to 2.4.19):

  1. patch-2.4.20-pre10
  2. acpi-20021002-2.4.20-pre8.diff
  3. patch-2.4.20-pre10-ac2

However, I also downloaded the source snapshot of the ieee1394 driver directory because there were too many incompatible changes when attempting to use the patches from the website.

For some reason, it doesn't seem like they're keeping up with the Makefiles in the latest kernels, because I had to do some surgery on it to get it working in the source structure.

I created this patch which I have submitted back to the ieee1394 folks. It needs to be applied after you download and unpack the tarball. I made this patch on the 21st of October 2002, so I don't know how long it will be necessary.

Once all the patches are applied, I built the kernel using the following config file. I'm in the process of getting rid of everything that isn't required because, while the machine is zippier than my old one (ThinkPad 770X), it still takes a lot of time to build all the drivers for stuff I don't need. I'll post the updated configs here as they become available.


Had to make the proper device:

	# mknod /dev/sonypi c 10 63

and add the appropriate lines to modules.conf:

	alias char-major-10-63 sonypi
	options sonypi minor=63

After that, the utilities all worked fine.


No problems at the moment. Works out of the box.

JogDial Button

Haven't messed with it yet.


Haven't used it yet.


Downloaded and installed the hsflinmodem driver binary RPM for testing under the standard RedHat 8 kernel. Once I upgraded kernels, I downloaded the source for the driver, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

Linmodem Site

Wireless LAN

As I mentioned above, it seems to be a PCMCIA device. With the current kernels I've been using, it was correctly detected and initialized, but I don't have an access point with which to really test it yet.


Added PCIC_OPTS="cs_irq=11" as mentioned on other Sony pages.

Power Management

This is going to be quite a challenge, I guess. The support is compiled into the kernel, and it seems to load ok, but I'm not sure if it is actually working. It is next on the list since I got the DVD drive working.