Sony's Vaio F series laptops work well with Ubuntu, but will not work ideally out of the box. The following information is based on an install of Kubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) on a Vaio VPCF1390X

Vaio F series and Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

This page aims to describe the steps needed to fully enable all/most features of the Sony Vaio F Series notebooks when using IconsPage/kubuntu.png Kubuntu 10.10, Maverick Meerkat. Most of these steps should work with Ubuntu as well.

IconsPage/terminal.png You can find out what specific model you have by typing at the terminal:

sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

An example of the model number is VPCF1390X


Anything not mentioned here probably already works out of the box.

IconsPage/ok.png (works out-of-the-box) IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png (works, with remarks) IconsPage/warning.png (needs manual install) IconsPage/dont.png (won't currently work (completely)) IconsPage/question.png (not yet documented)

Basic Installation Instructions

With an external mouse, one should be able to boot from an Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, etc.) CD, DVD or USB drive and install normally.

If you do not have a USB mouse, it is suggested for the moment to install using the alternate installer.

It should also be possible to add the "i8042.nopnp" option to the end of the boot command when starting from the live CD or DVD (though this is untested). More information is available on the BootOptions page.

The system memory issue and 32/64-bit kernel version

The F series Vaios come with at least 4 GiB of RAM. 32-bit versions of Ubuntu cannot see more than about 3 GiB of RAM out of the box (although using the "linux-image-generic-pae" kernel can circumvent this, with some disadvantages). It is therefore recommended to use the 64 bit version of Ubuntu.

Video and Effects

Installing the Nvidia drivers from the repositories and rebooting DOES NOT WORK! If you do so, you will need to go into recovery mode and remove the drivers.

The version of the Nvidia graphics drivers included with Maverick DO NOT work with the graphics card in the F series. A workaround for getting graphics working is to install the updated version of the driver from the Ubuntu X updates PPA and then install the drivers. After enabling the repository, one should be able to use the Additional Drivers dialogue.

To enable this repository from the terminal, use the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates && sudo apt-get update

To install the drivers from the terminal:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

This should install version 260.19.29 (or perhaps a newer version), which will work. Your DPI settings may be different from what you would like.

Modifying xorg.conf in the manner suggested in the LCD Brightness Control section will enable the brightness control keys on the keyboard.

External Monitor

External monitors will work once you have installed the Nvidia drivers, although you may need to install this xorg.conf file. You can do that by saving the file into your home directory, opening the terminal and pasting the following code:

sudo cp xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and then typing your password.

If you have an HDMI cable attached, you will be able to send sound through it. More information is available here.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The touchpad will not work with the installer disc. However, after performing a full system update and rebooting, the touchpad should work. It may only be recognized as a USB wheel mouse.

Keyboard Functions

The volume control functions and media control buttons work out of the box, as does the "Display Off" button (which appears to be implemented in hardware and thus independent of the operating system). The S1 button is mapped to XF86Launch1, which may be programmed to perform global keyboard functions. KDE users may use the KDE documentation to perform these global operations.

The buttons to control the display output, the zoom functions and the sleep button are not detected out of the box - neither are the Assist or Vaio buttons. However there are unsupported solutions for advanced users.

LCD Brightness Control

The instructions here will properly enable the LCD brightness control.

Suspend and hibernate

The suspend function appears not to work out of the box due to some issues with USB 3.0. This may be seen On Launchpad. The following command will fix this problem:

echo SUSPEND_MODULES="xhci"|sudo tee -a /etc/pm/config.d/unload_module


Speakers and headphones work out of the box, but the built-in microphone appears not to out of the box. It is possible to get an external microphone to work by using the latest development builds of ALSA. However, as with using any development builds, this is NOT RECOMMENDED for production systems and is NOT supported by Ubuntu. If you would like to do so anyway, instructions are available on the Installing Linux ALSA Driver Modules page.


This is a list of references used to make this page. It exists here for the purpose of documentation so that, hopefully, the page may be further improved upon and fixed.





Laptop/Sony/Vaio/FSeries/Maverick (last edited 2013-12-14 11:05:16 by knome)