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 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) on a Vaio VPCF1390X.

Vaio F series and Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal)

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 11.04, Natty Narwhal. 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

Installation appears to function normally. If you need help installing Ubuntu, please follow these instructions.

32-bit and 64-bit systems

The F series Vaios come with at least 4 GiB of RAM. Newer versions of Ubuntu can still use all of this memory (even in 32-bit versions), but it is recommended that you use a 64-bit version.

Video and Effects

Basic video functions should work out of the box. However, the built-in Nouveau driver has very incomplete support for the graphics chips in the F series laptops. Most notably, power management is not yet fully implemented.

After installing, it's suggested that one enable the Binary Nvidia driver to make full use of your graphics chip.

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

External Monitor

Attaching an external monitor is untested with the built-in drivers. However, after installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers as above, external monitors may be attached and enabled using the Nvidia X Server Settings program.

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

LCD Brightness Control

Once you have installed the proprietary Nvidia drivers as suggested above, you may notice that your brightness control keys do not work properly. This is fixable by editing one's xorg.conf file. Open a terminal window and type the following:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

This will open your X server configuration (after prompting for your password). You should see a section titled "Device" that looks as follows:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Default Device"
        Driver  "nvidia"
        Option  "NoLogo"        "True"

Append a line so it appears like this:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Default Device"
        Driver  "nvidia"
        Option  "NoLogo"        "True"
        Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

You will need to restart your graphical server (or reboot) for this change to take effect.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Basic features of the keyboard and touchpad work out of the box. However, the scroll function does not work out of the box at most recent check. If you have this problem, it is possible to fix using the following command:

echo "options psmouse proto=imps"|sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.conf; sudo modprobe -r psmouse; sudo modprobe psmouse

This will tell Linux to treat the touchpad as a generic PS/2 mouse with a scroll wheel. Scrolling on the right-hand side of the touchpad should now work. However, horizontal scrolling does not work.

Keyboard Functions

The only buttons that do not appear to work out of the box are the Vaio button and the zoom buttons (Fn-F9 and Fn-F10 on the VCPF1 and possibly others). However, they may be made to work via ACPI events (information is available in the references). All other keys may be set in system keyboard shortcut settings.


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/Natty (last edited 2013-12-14 11:05:05 by knome)