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Saturday, 24 July 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 netbook install on Sony Vaio

I have a really old Vaio,  PCG-TR5MP, I think circa 2004.  I use it really as a travelling backup for my photos and earlier in the year upgraded it to a massive 1Gb RAM and installed Windows 7.  Which worked surprising well and actually better than XP !

Having recently acquired a Mac book which I'll now carry around I thought I'd try one of the netbook versions of Linux on the Sony. Just for giggles.

I've always preferred the Ubuntu distro so went with 10.04 ..

First problem was the Vaio BIOS doesn't support USB boot .. So burnt a CD/DVD.

Boot, install starts, pretty graphics, black screen .... nothing.  Google.  Apparently its an issue with the intel chipset -

To resolve :
1) At the purple screen with a keyboard and stickfigure, press Enter to get to the menu.
2) Hit Enter to select your language, and then press F6 and then Esc.
3) Add "i915.modeset=1" after "quiet splash".
4) Press Enter to boot the LiveCD.
This then installed, but on the first reboot again stuck on the black screen .. so to fix and boot follow :

1) Hold down Shift while booting to enter the GRUB menu.
2) Press 'e' to edit.
3) Add "i915.modeset=1" after "quiet splash".
4) Ctrl+x to boot.

Ubuntu loaded, logged in .... WTF ... the GUI is slow as anything, unusable. 

I then ran :
echo options i915 modeset=1 | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/i915-kms.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u
Which I think make the i915 changes permanent ..

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:glasen/intel-driver 
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Rebooted and the GUI was much better ...

For the hell of it I also did :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:glasen/855gm-fix
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install dkms 855gm-fix-exp-dkms

I think I did most of this out of order but ultimately I have a functioning install now.

This is why Linux will not win .. sorry Linux people.