GNU/Linux on a Sony Vaio PCG-FX801

This document describes how I installed and configured GNU/Linux (SuSE 9.0 distribution) on a Sony Vaio PCG-FX801 laptop.

Contents

Technical specifications

Component Details
CPU Mobile AMD Athlon XP 1400+
RAM 256 MB
Hard disk 20 GB
Modem Internal V.90
Ethernet Sony RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+
Monitor Built-in 14.1" TFT display
Floppy drive 3.5" floppy
Graphics ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x
DVD drive QSI DVD-ROM SDR-081
IEEE 1394 (FireWire) controller Sony TSB12LV26
Sound VT82C686 AC97
Ports FireWire
2× USB
2× PCMCIA
Ethernet
serial
parallel
VGA

Summary

Component Status
ACPI not tested
APM working
DVD working
Ethernet working
FireWire not tested
floppy drive working
graphics working
graphics, 3-D acceleration not tested
graphics, dual monitor mode not working
hard disk working
modem not tested
parallel port not tested
PCMCIA not tested
serial port not tested
sound, MIDI not tested
sound, wave working
TV-out not tested
USB working

Details

Preparation and installation

The PCG-FX801 comes with Windows XP preinstalled. The 20 GB hard drive initially has two 10-GB partitions, one of which is blank. At least one of these partitions must be deleted in order to install GNU/Linux.

SuSE 9.0 was installed via network through my company's LAN. Installation went off without a hitch.

ACPI/APM power management

Battery monitors work as expected with APM. Suspend/resume with ACPI was not tested, though there appears to be support for it built into the KDE Control Center (System Administration→Sony Vaio Laptop).

Graphics

The built-in ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x card works well with the standard ATI driver shipped with XFree86 4.3.0.1. 3-D acceleration was not tested.

The graphics card supports dual head mode, allowing one to use both the built-in LCD and an external monitor together for a single large desktop. Unfortunately, support for this mode is not available with the current XFree86 ATI driver. For further details, you can read the following an exchange between the ATI driver developer and myself on the XFree86 discussion list:

From: Tristan Miller <psychonaut@nothingisreal.com>
Subject: [XFree86] Multihead setup: ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x and Xinerama
Message-Id: <200411080143.15163.psychonaut@nothingisreal.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 01:43:14 +0100

Greetings.

I am trying to set up a multihead display with the Xinerama extensions to 
XFree86 4.3.0.1 on GNU/Linux (SuSE 9.0). I have a Sony Vaio laptop with a 
3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x video card. I know that this video card is 
capable of dual display mode as I've got it working with Windows XP. I 
also have no problem running single displays either on the built-in LCD or 
on the external monitor (or on both, but of course in that case both 
monitors display the same thing rather than separate desktops).

I understand that for multiheaded video cards, the XF86Config file must be 
set up with two "Monitor" and two "Screen" sections, one for each monitor, 
and also two separate but nearly identical "Device" sections. If the video 
card has two separate BusIDs (as revealed by /proc/pci), then each 
"Device" section must specify a unique BusID. However, if the video card 
has a single BusID, then the line "Screen 0" should be added to the first 
"Device" section, and "Screen 1" to the second. (Sources: 
<http://www.kclug.org/pipermail/kclug/2002-September/010412.html> and 
<http://freedesktop.org/bin/view/XOrg/FAQMiscellaneous#How_do_I_set_up_a_multihead_conf>.)

My video card has only one entry in /proc/pci:

  Bus  1, device   0, function  0:
    VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility P/M AGP 
2x (rev 100).
      IRQ 5.
      Master Capable.  Latency=66.  Min Gnt=8.
      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe9000000 [0xe9ffffff].
      I/O at 0x9000 [0x90ff].
      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe8100000 [0xe8100fff].

Therefore I set up my XF86Config file with the "Screen 0"/"Screen 1" 
variant. However, when I try to test the configuration, I get the 
following error message (extracted from the log file /var/log/Xorg.0.log):

(II) LoadModule: "ati"
(II) Loading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/ati_drv.o
(II) Module ati: vendor="The XFree86 Project"
	compiled for 4.2.0, module version = 6.4.7
	Module class: XFree86 Video Driver
	ABI class: XFree86 Video Driver, version 0.5
(II) v4l driver for Video4Linux
(II) ATI: ATI driver (version 6.4.7) for chipsets: ati, ativga
(II) R128: Driver for ATI Rage 128 chipsets: ATI Rage 128 RE (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 RF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RG (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RK (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 RL (AGP), ATI Rage 128 SM (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro PD (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PF (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro PP (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PR (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TL (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TR (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility LE (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 Mobility LF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility MF (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Mobility ML (AGP)
(II) RADEON: Driver for ATI Radeon chipsets: ATI Radeon QD (AGP),
	ATI Radeon QE (AGP), ATI Radeon QF (AGP), ATI Radeon QG (AGP),
	ATI Radeon VE QY (AGP), ATI Radeon VE QZ (AGP),
	ATI Radeon Mobility LW (AGP), ATI Radeon Mobility LY (AGP),
	ATI Radeon Mobility LZ (AGP), ATI Radeon 8500 QL (AGP),
	ATI Radeon 8500 BB (AGP), ATI Radeon 7500 QW (AGP)
(II) Primary Device is: PCI 01:00:0
(II) ATI:  Candidate "Device" section "Rage Mobility 1".
(II) ATI:  Candidate "Device" section "Rage Mobility 0".
(II) ATI:  Shared PCI/AGP Mach64 in slot 1:0:0 detected.
(EE) ATI:  XF86Config Device sections "Rage Mobility 1" and "Rage Mobility 
0" may not be assigned to the same adapter.
(EE) No devices detected.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Apparently some part of my system (video driver? XFree86?) does not 
recognize my video card as multihead-capable. Any suggestions on how to 
work around this? Are there some other options I can use in the "Device" 
sections to convince XFree86 that the card can drive two monitors with 
separate displays?

I have tried both the standard ati driver which comes with XFree86, and 
also the ati.2 driver from <http://gatos.sf.net/>.

For reference, below are the relevant sections of my XFree86.config file.

Regards,
Tristan

Section "Monitor"
  Option       "CalcAlgorithm" "CheckDesktopGeometry"
  HorizSync    31-68
  Identifier   "Vaio LCD"
  ModelName    "1024X768@75HZ"
  VendorName   "--> LCD"
  VertRefresh  50-85
  UseModes     "Modes[0]"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
  Option       "CalcAlgorithm" "CheckDesktopGeometry"
  HorizSync    81-81
  Identifier   "SyncMaster"
  ModelName    "SyncMaster 193T"
  VendorName   "Samsung"
  VertRefresh  75-75
EndSection

Section "Modes"
  Identifier   "Modes[0]"
  Modeline 	"1024x768" 94.50 1024 1072 1168 1376 768 769 772 808 +HSync 
+VSync
EndSection

Section "Screen"
  DefaultDepth 24
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      24
    Modes      "1024x768" 
  EndSubSection
  Device       "Rage Mobility 0"
  Identifier   "Screen 1"
  Monitor      "Vaio LCD"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
  DefaultDepth 24
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      24
    Modes      "1024x768" 
  EndSubSection
  Device       "Rage Mobility 1"
  Identifier   "Screen 2"
  Monitor      "SyncMaster"
EndSection

Section "Device"
  BoardName    "3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x"
  BusID        "1:0:0"
  Driver       "ati"
  Identifier   "Rage Mobility 0"
  Screen       0
  VendorName   "ATI"
  Option	"crt_screen"
EndSection

Section "Device"
  BoardName    "3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x"
  BusID        "01:00:0"
  Driver       "ati"
  Identifier   "Rage Mobility 1"
  Screen       1
  VendorName   "ATI"
  Option	"crt_screen"
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
  Identifier   "Multihead"
  InputDevice  "Keyboard[0]" "CoreKeyboard"
  InputDevice  "Mouse[5]" "CorePointer"
  Option       "Clone" "off"
  Option       "Xinerama" "on"
  Screen       1 "Screen 2"
  Screen       0 "Screen 1" Relative "Screen 2" 1024 432
EndSection

Section "DRI"
    Group      "video"
    Mode       0660
EndSection

-- 
   _
  _V.-o  Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)]  ><  Space is limited
 / |`-'  -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=  <>  In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\     http://www.nothingisreal.com/   ><  To finish what you
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From: Marc Aurele La France <tsi@ualberta.ca>
Subject: Re: [XFree86] Multihead setup: ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x and Xinerama
Message-ID: <Pine.BSO.4.61.0411080835110.10235@login2.srv.ualberta.ca>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 08:37:00 -0700 (MST)


On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, Tristan Miller wrote:

> I am trying to set up a multihead display with the Xinerama extensions to
> XFree86 4.3.0.1 on GNU/Linux (SuSE 9.0). I have a Sony Vaio laptop with a
> 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x video card. I know that this video card is
> capable of dual display mode as I've got it working with Windows XP. I
> also have no problem running single displays either on the built-in LCD or
> on the external monitor (or on both, but of course in that case both
> monitors display the same thing rather than separate desktops).

> I understand that for multiheaded video cards, the XF86Config file must be
> set up with two "Monitor" and two "Screen" sections, one for each monitor,
> and also two separate but nearly identical "Device" sections. If the video
> card has two separate BusIDs (as revealed by /proc/pci), then each
> "Device" section must specify a unique BusID. However, if the video card
> has a single BusID, then the line "Screen 0" should be added to the first
> "Device" section, and "Screen 1" to the second. (Sources:
> <http://www.kclug.org/pipermail/kclug/2002-September/010412.html> and 
> <http://freedesktop.org/bin/view/XOrg/FAQMiscellaneous#How_do_I_set_up_a_multihead_conf>.)

> My video card has only one entry in /proc/pci:

>  Bus  1, device   0, function  0:
>    VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility P/M AGP
> 2x (rev 100).
>      IRQ 5.
>      Master Capable.  Latency=66.  Min Gnt=8.
>      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe9000000 [0xe9ffffff].
>      I/O at 0x9000 [0x90ff].
>      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe8100000 [0xe8100fff].

> Therefore I set up my XF86Config file with the "Screen 0"/"Screen 1"
> variant. However, when I try to test the configuration, I get the
> following error message (extracted from the log file /var/log/Xorg.0.log):

> (II) LoadModule: "ati"
> (II) Loading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/ati_drv.o
> (II) Module ati: vendor="The XFree86 Project"
> 	compiled for 4.2.0, module version = 6.4.7
> 	Module class: XFree86 Video Driver
> 	ABI class: XFree86 Video Driver, version 0.5
> (II) v4l driver for Video4Linux
> (II) ATI: ATI driver (version 6.4.7) for chipsets: ati, ativga
> (II) R128: Driver for ATI Rage 128 chipsets: ATI Rage 128 RE (PCI),
> 	ATI Rage 128 RF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RG (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RK (PCI),
> 	ATI Rage 128 RL (AGP), ATI Rage 128 SM (AGP),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Pro PD (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PF (AGP),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Pro PP (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PR (PCI),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TL (AGP),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TR (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility LE (PCI),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Mobility LF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility MF (AGP),
> 	ATI Rage 128 Mobility ML (AGP)
> (II) RADEON: Driver for ATI Radeon chipsets: ATI Radeon QD (AGP),
> 	ATI Radeon QE (AGP), ATI Radeon QF (AGP), ATI Radeon QG (AGP),
> 	ATI Radeon VE QY (AGP), ATI Radeon VE QZ (AGP),
> 	ATI Radeon Mobility LW (AGP), ATI Radeon Mobility LY (AGP),
> 	ATI Radeon Mobility LZ (AGP), ATI Radeon 8500 QL (AGP),
> 	ATI Radeon 8500 BB (AGP), ATI Radeon 7500 QW (AGP)
> (II) Primary Device is: PCI 01:00:0
> (II) ATI:  Candidate "Device" section "Rage Mobility 1".
> (II) ATI:  Candidate "Device" section "Rage Mobility 0".
> (II) ATI:  Shared PCI/AGP Mach64 in slot 1:0:0 detected.
> (EE) ATI:  XF86Config Device sections "Rage Mobility 1" and "Rage Mobility
> 0" may not be assigned to the same adapter.
> (EE) No devices detected.

The message strikes me as fairly clear.  This isn't supported.  If you want to 
know why, search the devel@ archives.

Marc.

+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------+
|  Marc Aurele La France           |  work:   1-780-492-9310           |
|  Computing and Network Services  |  fax:    1-780-492-1729           |
|  352 General Services Building   |  email:  tsi@ualberta.ca          |
|  University of Alberta           +-----------------------------------+
|  Edmonton, Alberta               |                                   |
|  T6G 2H1                         |     Standard disclaimers apply    |
|  CANADA                          |                                   |
+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------+
XFree86 developer and VP.  ATI driver and X server internals.
_______________________________________________
XFree86 mailing list
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From: Tristan Miller <psychonaut@nothingisreal.com>
Subject: Re: [XFree86] Multihead setup: ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x and Xinerama
Message-Id: <200411081708.33557.psychonaut@nothingisreal.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 17:08:33 +0100


Greetings.

On Monday 08 November 2004 16:37, Marc Aurele La France wrote:
> > (EE) ATI:  XF86Config Device sections "Rage Mobility 1" and "Rage
> > Mobility 0" may not be assigned to the same adapter.
> > (EE) No devices detected.
>
> The message strikes me as fairly clear.  This isn't supported.  If you
> want to know why, search the devel@ archives.

I did search them, but couldn't find anything addressing this problem.  
Searching for the name of my video card or for the "may not be assigned to 
the same adapter" message didn't produce any useful results; the former 
just had something about 2D acceleration.  If you're aware of a relevant 
thread, could you please post a link or suggest some alternative keywords 
I could try for a search?

Thanks,
Tristan

-- 
   _
  _V.-o  Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)]  ><  Space is limited
 / |`-'  -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=  <>  In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\    http://www.nothingisreal.com/   ><  To finish what you
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From: Marc Aurele La France <tsi@ualberta.ca>
Subject: Re: [XFree86] Multihead setup: ATI 3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x and Xinerama
Message-ID: <Pine.BSO.4.61.0411111557220.5093@login2.srv.ualberta.ca>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 16:02:21 -0700 (MST)


On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, Tristan Miller wrote:

> On Monday 08 November 2004 16:37, Marc Aurele La France wrote:
>>> (EE) ATI:  XF86Config Device sections "Rage Mobility 1" and "Rage
>>> Mobility 0" may not be assigned to the same adapter.
>>> (EE) No devices detected.

>> The message strikes me as fairly clear.  This isn't supported.  If you
>> want to know why, search the devel@ archives.

> I did search them, but couldn't find anything addressing this problem.
> Searching for the name of my video card or for the "may not be assigned to
> the same adapter" message didn't produce any useful results; the former
> just had something about 2D acceleration.  If you're aware of a relevant
> thread, could you please post a link or suggest some alternative keywords
> I could try for a search?

Well, after some digging, your best bet is probably ...

http://xfree86.desiato.de/xfree86/pipermail/xpert/2000-August/000715.html

This doesn't reference exactly the same problem, but it is related in the sense 
that what you are talking about also involves the driver's current (in-)ability 
to manage two CRTCs.

Marc.

+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------+
|  Marc Aurele La France           |  work:   1-780-492-9310           |
|  Computing and Network Services  |  fax:    1-780-492-1729           |
|  352 General Services Building   |  email:  tsi@ualberta.ca          |
|  University of Alberta           +-----------------------------------+
|  Edmonton, Alberta               |                                   |
|  T6G 2H1                         |     Standard disclaimers apply    |
|  CANADA                          |                                   |
+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------+
XFree86 developer and VP.  ATI driver and X server internals.
_______________________________________________
XFree86 mailing list
XFree86@XFree86.Org
http://XFree86.Org/mailman/listinfo/xfree86