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62% (18)
Good
 
17% (5)
Fair
 
7% (2)
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7% (2)
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7% (2)

Sony VAIO VGN-SZ Series

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Sony VGN-SZ Series laptop. This should cover the the VGNSZ18GP, VGNSZ25GP, VGNSZ28GP, VGNSZ3XP VGNSZ34GP and VGNSZ38GP.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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Specifications

NameSony VAIO VGN-SZ Series
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T2300 1.66GHz to T7200 2.0GHz
Screen13.3“ WXGA
RAM512MB to 2048MB
HDD60GB to 120GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNvidia Geforce 7400 (speed mode) or Intel i945 in stamina mode
Network10/100 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other2 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Webcam, Fingerprint reader

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesUse the sky2 module
WirelessYesUse ipw3945 module (before kernel 2.6.22), out of the box with iwlwifi drivers
BluetoothYesTested with bluetooth mouse, mobile phone (obex, internet connection)
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireYes work out of the box with a firewire harddrive
Card ReaderYes
MemoryStick Duo Reader Yes
PCMCIAYes
ExpressCard SlotYes
CameraPartiallyUse http://www.palmix.org/r5u870-en.html driver (deprecated since kernel 2.6.30) but may work with UVC module (Not tested)
Thumbprint ScannerLocked by Sonyfor more details see : http://reactivated.net/fprint/wiki/Unsupported_devices#UPEK_devices_in_Sony_laptops

Notes

For the Geforce 7400 graphic processor you can use either one of the open source nv module or proprietary 'nvidia' module from NVIDIA. For OpenGL support you will need the proprietary module.

Stamina mode can be manage with a simple startup script switching the xorg.conf for the intel chip o the nvidia chip using a simple lspci. you can get an exemple (sorry in french) here.
Stamina mode increase at least one hour of battery life, but switching between modes is available only with a complete reboot…

NOTE : That solution doesn't work at all on Centrino 2 systems (for exemple vaio Z series) or new AMD mobile platform using “discrete graphic card feature” (also called “Dynamic Hybrid Graphics System”).

You will need to use kernel version 2.6.17 or later for the ethernet controller in the SZ to function.

The webcam in the SZ works with this driver.
Note : this procedure is working with 2.6.32 kernel : http://www.slax.org/forum.php?action=view&parentID=57409

Summary

Linux support for the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ Series is quite good. The installation went through fine and hardware support is great.


Discussion

DanyalDenyo, 2010/08/03 21:47

I've installed ubuntu 10.04 on my SZ-2HP/B. Everything seemed working but then I began to have problems with Video. First of all its kinda choppy when playing divx, though hardly noticable. It sometimes flickers and it has literally 5fps when playing some flash videos that require high processing power (ie. videos on bloomberg.com). When I reduce the playback quality to the lowest setting it plays the video at a normal speed. This kind of problems I never had with Windows XP, the laptop works very fast on XP with the help of 4 gigs of ram (can only use 3 cuz of 32 bit). One thing I've also noticed is that when I run starcraft it is also choppy but more importantly it runs full screen (stretched). It ran on full screen only when it was on stamina mode (on intel on board video). the nVidia drivers are installed. I'm using the most recent one and I've also tried the other 2 available drivers but they were problematic/much slower than the current one. This page is the closest I could get to my problem and I'm considering switching back to XP. Any help appreciated.

none, 2010/06/21 11:29

Works fine on a Vaio SZ90.
Interestingly, on Ubuntu 9.04 it used a different SATA module for the IC7 disc controller, but during the 10.04 installation I happened to have a silicom image SATA PCXEPRESS card installed. Ubuntu 10.04 used the sil32_sata module, and now it seems to use this for all disc devices including the integrated SATA controller. Does anyone know what the previous module would have been for the default installation?

HaveVaioSZ-AndWishIHadSomethingElse, 2010/06/19 19:23

Biometric page has been 'removed'. Probably got told to by Sony for an anal reason.
http://menelkir.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/upek-biometric-touchchiptouchstrip-fingerprint-support-on-ubuntu-10-04/

Chris, 2011/03/07 00:08

He moved his blog to another provider. The article is still online: http://menelkir.itroll.org/2010/05/upek-biometric-touchchiptouchstrip.html

prkreddy, 2010/05/13 02:44

how to set the finger print protection for sony vaio vgn-sz28gp plz! give reply

beno, 2010/05/08 15:58

The fingerprint reader works fine with Ubuntu 10.04, just follow the instructions in http://menelkir.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/upek-biometric-touchchiptouchstrip-fingerprint-support-on-ubuntu-10-04/

ahmet anil dindar, 2009/12/20 11:34

I have vgn-sz1hp/b with fedora 11 installed. The problem i suffer is i could not succeed installing the webcam. i am not sure the given ricoh driver works. any idea?

anon, 2009/11/06 00:37

it works pretty darn excellent, only thing that wont work is fingerprint reader and it is because sony used custom firmware (typically the same fingerprint hardware WOULD work otherwise)

Chris J, 2008/12/05 09:46

Just installed Ubuntu 8.10 onto my VGN-SZ2XP and haven't configured anything especially. Major problem so far is when docking / undocking with the Sony docking station.
Docking - it doesn't recognise wireless (monitor yes)
Undocking - can hang computer, power reset button doesn't respond and you get a flashing CAPS and Num Lock light - only solution is to remove battery.

I'm sure I'll find some more fixes as I investigate further, but if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be very helpful. Just a shame it doesn't work “out of the box”!

Martin, 2008/03/15 05:15

Works quite ok

I have installed debian on a VGN-SZ4XN machine, and it works fine. Everything except the fingerprint reader - due to (afaik) sony using custom firmware or something like that.

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sony_vaio_vgn-sz_series.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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