Segfault > IT > Hardware > Notebook Sony VPCF1

(25.Mar.2011)


Index:

Concerning the performance of the CPU, when compiling the 8 threads (4 CPU cores) of the Core i7 740QM @1.73Ghz are as fast as the 4 threads (4 CPU cores) of my other Core Q9550 2.83Ghz - the compilation times are the same.


Backlight

  • The modules that are needed are at least "sony_laptop" and "video" - I assume as well "backlight" but I cannot check right now as I have probably compiled it in the kernel and not as a module.
    • The module "video" comes from the kernel option "ACPI_VIDEO", which is located under "Power management and ACPI options => ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support".
    • The option "ACPI_VIDEO" becomes visible only if the options "ACPI", "BACKLIGHT_CLASS_DEVICE", "VIDEO_OUTPUT_CONTROL" and "INPUT" are selected (kernel 2.6.38). 
  • The backlight works at least since kernel 2.6.36-r5 (didn't test older kernels). I am using the kernel 2.6.38-r0 while writing this.
  • The backlight can be regulated by inserting a value between 1 and 8 into "/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness" and the current value is retrieved from "/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/actual_brightness". Up to you to write your own script and link it to the keys (through acpi daemon or with the program "xbindkeys").
  • I had to add the following two lines (actually just one of those two might be sufficient, but I didn't test which one) to my "xorg.conf" under the "device" section of the GPU to avoid video/screen corruption:
    Option   "RenderAccel"          "true"
    Option  "backingstore"          "true"
  • You will HAVE to add the following line to your xorg.conf (under the "device" section of the graphics card) to activate the above settings concerning the backlight - without doing this you won't be able to control the backlight brightess when in X:
    Option  "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
    • This means that the GPU section of my "xorg.conf" looks like this:
      Section "Device"
         Identifier "Card0"
         Driver  "nvidia"
         VendorName  "nVidia Corporation"
         BoardName   "Unknown Board"
         BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
        #Option "Coolbits" "0"
        Option  "RenderAccel"    "true"
        Option  "backingstore"   "true"
        Option  "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
      EndSection

Graphics card

  • Worked for me out of the box, but had to apply 2 parameters (see above) to avoid localized video corruption (e.g. flickering flash/youtube videos and some areas of the screen not being redrawn and still showing the old contents of the pixels).
    Update 10.Apr.2011: perhaps the screen corruptions were caused by Adobe Flash. Seems to be ok now that I upgraded to the Gentoo beta-Version 10.2.153.1_p201011173 of the package "adobe-flash".
  • Using package "nvidia-drivers" version 260.19.36.
  • Not very representative, but anyway: "glxgears" returns ~11000 FPS.

Framebuffer

  • Selected "VESA VGA graphics support" (FB_VESA) under "Device Drivers => Graphics Support => Support for frame buffer devices".
  • Added in "/boot/grub/grub.conf" to the kernel line the setting "video=vesafb:mtrr:3,ywrap vga=31b" to have something like 1280x1024 (if I remember correctly).

Touchpad

  • Have a look with "ls -ltrh /dev/input/m*" to see which mouse devices were recognized during boot.
  • Issue on each of the "mice" or "mouse<#>" that you find there a "cat /dev/input/mouse<#>" (or "/dev/input/mice") and then move your mouse => if you see weird chars appearing on the screen it means that that's the correct device. If both "mouse<#>" and "mice" work, use "mice".
  • I haven't been able to find any "intelligent" driver for the Sony touchpad - the only one that was working was the standard "mouse" driver (scrolling vertically with the side of the touchpad does work - scrolling horizontally doesn't). Set xorg to use it - e.g.:
    Section "InputDevice"
       Identifier "Mouse1"
      Driver  "mouse"
      Option  "Protocol"      "IMPS/2"
      Option  "Device"        "/dev/input/mice" #Touchpad
      Option  "Buttons"       "5"
      Option  "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"
    EndSection
  • Set the mouse speed and accelleration by fiddling around with the command "xset mouse 25/10 0" modifying its numbers until you're happy. Set this command to run whenever your get into X (e.g. in "/etc/X11/Sessions/enlightenment" if you're using the Enlightenment window manager without any login manager like "xdm").

Keyboard

  • The keyboard configuration with X is always messy and it depends as well which xorg-version you're using.
  • One of the dirty options is to run e.g. "setxkbmap -layout ch" when X starts (e.g. in "/etc/X11/Sessions/enlightenment") to set a Swiss keyboard layout.

Audio

  • The module is the usual HDA_INTEL.
  • Weird: "alsaconf" does not recognize the soundcard, but the mixer for both Intel soundcard and the nVidia HDMI work perfectly. Boh.

lan

  • Works out-of-the-box using the module "sky2" ("SysKonnect Yukon2 support").

Wireless

  • The module to be used is "ath9k" and the chip is recognized by lspci as being an "Atheros AR9287".
  • I am using "WICD" as network manager and it works perfectly. Bullshit! It works well only at the beginning, but after a few minutes the connection degrades and/or drops and/or the access point has to be reassociated.
  •  
    • Update 30.Apr.2011: Correction - the connection drops from time to time under Linux with Kernel 2.6.38 and 2.6.36 (didn't try other kernels). See e.g. http://blog.homelinux.org/?p=170. I'm working on it.
    • Update 30.Apr.2011: Seems now to be working better after upgrading the kernel to 2.6.38-r3 ("gentoo-sources-2.6.38-r3").
    • Update 01.May.2011: Today still having problems with sluggish connection. I am sure that nobody else is using the same channel.
    • Update 01.May.2011: Using "ndiswrapper" to use the Windows XP drivers didn't work (at least not with the 64bit drivers - didn't try the 32bit drivers as my OS is 64bit) - the ndiswrapper-module crashes when loading.
    • Update 01.May.2011: Seems now to be working (at least during the last 45 minutes - getting consistently a transfer rate of ~2.6MBytes/s using iperf using a 802.11g access point - I don't have any 802.11n AP to try the faster connection). I disabled the automatic loading of the modules and I am loading the modules manually plus disabling power saving. Here the commands that I am using:
      #!!blacklist the modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf!!
      modprobe ath9k_hw force_new_ani=1
      modprobe ath9k debug=1 nohwcrypt=1 blink=1 btcoex_enable=1
      iwconfig wlan0 power off
      /etc/init.d/wicd start
    • Update 02.May.2011: Still working perfectly, even after ~2 hours that I am using it. Funny - I almost never had a notebook (this is now my 4th one) that did not have some problems with the wireless connectivity in Linux - the only exception was the EeePC. I wish the manufacturers wouldn't all use every time different and/or newer chipsets... .
  • It is very likely that some of the options which I set do not have anthing to do with this problem (like the blinking LED, hehe...), but as this constellation is working I do not want to waste more time narrowing down the exact cause (FYI my biggest suspects are a combination of "btcoex_enable" option, the power management - of course I tried disabling the pw mgmt without setting other options but disabling only this didn't solve anything - and the "force_new_ani", which now generates some error messages saying "Failed to stop TX DMA!" during the startup which did not appear before setting that option and which I suspect being somewhat "healthy" for the stability of the connection).

    I will post further news if I see during the next days that things stop working.

Webcam

  • Works out of the box (shows the picture - don't know what other "features" this webcam would have).
  • Identifies itself with lsusb as "05ca:18ba Ricoh Co., Ltd".
  • Uses the usual module "uvcvideo" (label "USB Video Class (UVC)" in the kernel config).
  • Tested with the command "mplayer -v tv:// -tv device=/dev/video0:driver=v4l2 -vo x11".

Cardreader

Not working under Linux OS (or I did not find out how to make it work)

The reader returns the following with "lspci -v":
03:00.0 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller
        Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device 907a
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
        Memory at e7a03000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
        Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Capabilities: [78] Power Management version 3
        Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
        Capabilities: [800] Advanced Error Reporting
        Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci

03:00.1 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Memory Stick Host Controller
        Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device 907a
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 4
        Memory at e7a02000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
        Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Capabilities: [78] Power Management version 3
        Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting

03:00.4 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller
        Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device 907a
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
        Memory at e7a00000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
        Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Capabilities: [78] Power Management version 3
        Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
        Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci


References

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor DMI (rev 11)
00:03.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev 11)
00:08.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor System Management Registers (rev 11)
00:08.1 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor Semaphore and Scratchpad Registers (rev 11)
00:08.2 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor System Control and Status Registers (rev 11)
00:08.3 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor Miscellaneous Registers (rev 11)
00:10.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Link (rev 11)
00:10.1 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Routing and Protocol Registers (rev 11)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 05)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio (rev 05)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev 05)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev 05)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev 05)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 6 (rev 05)
00:1c.6 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 7 (rev 05)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 05)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev a5)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 5 Series Chipset LPC Interface Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset 6 port SATA AHCI Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset SMBus Controller (rev 05)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 425M] (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation GF108 High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9287 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
03:00.0 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller
03:00.1 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Memory Stick Host Controller
03:00.3 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd FireWire Host Controller
03:00.4 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8057 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 10)
05:00.0 USB controller: NEC Corporation uPD720200 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 03)
3f:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QuickPath Architecture Generic Non-Core Registers (rev 04)
3f:00.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QuickPath Architecture System Address Decoder (rev 04)
3f:02.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Link 0 (rev 04)
3f:02.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Physical 0 (rev 04)
3f:03.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller (rev 04)
3f:03.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Target Address Decoder (rev 04)
3f:03.4 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Test Registers (rev 04)
3f:04.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 0 Control Registers (rev 04)
3f:04.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 0 Address Registers (rev 04)
3f:04.2 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 0 Rank Registers (rev 04)
3f:04.3 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 0 Thermal Control Registers (rev 04)
3f:05.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 1 Control Registers (rev 04)
3f:05.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 1 Address Registers (rev 04)
3f:05.2 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 1 Rank Registers (rev 04)
3f:05.3 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Memory Controller Channel 1 Thermal Control Registers (rev 04)