Sony Vaio PCG-FX240

I wrote this page to help other people to make their Linux work on Sony Vaio.
I think most of this information can be helpful for users of all FX (and some R505) notebooks.
If anybody has additional information about FX series, please email me. I'll update this site.

I'm sorry I usually don't answer fast to questions about Sony, Linux, etc. I just haven't very much time. Moreover, I don't own this Sony Vaio anymore.
So in case of problems the best solution is to search the Linux-Sony archives, and if it doesn't help, post the question to Linux-sony mailing list and 'Cc:' it to me.
There are a lot of kind people much more expirienced than I, so for sure somebody can help you faster.
I'll try to answer all emails, but as I said, it can take a (longer) while.

This is version 1.29 of this file, last updated at Jan 1, 2005. (ChangeLog)
Original location of this page is

Jan Slupski
Penguins on Laptop

Table of Contents
Summary table of hardware
Other informations
Related resources
Other Vaios that are somehow similar to FX240
More detailed informations (on selected hardware)

20041230: sonykeyd daemon version 0.2 available (minor updates only)

device model works on Linux? notes
Motherboard i815 YES 82801BA/82801BAM chipset
Runs on 100MHz bus
lspci result
CPU Mobile Intel Pentium III 800 (SpeedStep) HOPE SO ;) I can switch SpeedStep on Linux!
1585.97 BogoMIPS
L2 Cache: 256KB
cpuinfo from /proc
YES geometry: 29070/16/63 (1824/255/63)
real size: 14307.89 MB
cache: 1874 kB
buffer-cache reads: 115.32 MB/sec
buffered disk reads: 16.84 MB/sec
NEW Recently I added 256 MB of RAM to the system. It cost me about $50 (in Poland), and I'm very happy with it. The system runs much faster now, because can cache most of hard disk access (which is not very fast comparing to recent desktop drives). I strongly reccomend that.
VGA Intel 815EM
2-11MB (borrowed from RAM)
YES (i810 driver), see details 1024x768
text-mode: see details
XWindows 4.0.0 and newer
NEW Antonino Daplas/Ken Mano utility i810switch to switch between LCD & VGA
It's not possible to switch to TV-out yet...
Mouse 2-button touch-pad YES PS/2 compatible
(worth to use Emulate3Buttons feature of XFree)
I'm using very nice USB -- double PS/2 connector, so I can attach 'normal' keyboard and mouse to the laptop.
Sound i815 - SoundMax (i810_audio driver) YES Work's better with ALSA driver.
FDD Removable, 3.5" YES  
cdrecord works good, for cdrdao see notes, for both use ide-scsi driver
Firmware: 1.08
Modem V.90/K65flex AC'97 Modem YES, but with driver Conexant-Ambit SoftK56 Data,Fax ICH Modem
PC Card Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II don't know, but probably yes, because there are Linux drivers, just haven't tested CardBus
2xType I or II, or 1xType III
Ethernet EtherExpressPro i82557
(aka Intel PRO/100 VE)
YES, but see notes e100 (or older eepro100) driver
USB UHCI (2 ports) YES, but after patch Without patch USB on my machine didn't work. Notify my if I did something wrong.
Battery PCGA-BP1N YES Li-ion, 14.8V/1700mAh
Power adapter: 19.5V DC (100-240V AC input)
(IEEE 1394)
Texas Instruments YES known also as i.LINK on Sony systems
ACPI Support for S0 S3 S4 S5 sleep modes (partial), SpeedStep, baterry level, cpu temperature YES, with ACPI patch, or with -ac patch for 2.4 kernel, or with 2.5 kernel
see UPDATED notes
doesn't poweroff LCD on screen blank
partial standby/suspend support
Sony keys sonypi driver, sonypid daemon YES
  • P-keys, Fn-F1 and similar combinations - yes
  • you can use software mixer like aumix
  • you can use spicctrl program for controlling LCD brightness
  • NEW you can use i810switch tool to switch LCD/VGA
  • program your sony keys! - they won't work without it

Additional informations

Other related resources

Other models

Some other Vaios has similar problems as FX240. Some patches/solutions can be sucessfully used on them.
This is list of informations I got from other people about their laptops.
Model What can be fixed Who wrote me about it
(and maybe can help you)
Comments, etc.
FX101 USB Matt Willsher Model also known as PCG-955C
FX140 USB Kevin
FX200 USB Satyajit Behari
FX220 USB Chris Woodruff
Dennis McGuire
FX250 USB Daniel de Young
FX270 USB Andrew Zavjalov
FX290 USB Victor Khimenko Read Victor's BIOS trail!
FX340 USB, ethernet Leonardo Andersen Lopes
FX370 USB Mauricio Di Fulvio
Richard G. Froese
Carl Rehbein
FX390 USB F. Oliver Gathmann
FX403 USB Volker Christian Behr
FX403 has 2 USB hubs. Here is patch that will address flaw in both. Thanks to Volker.
FX950 USB Gwyn Morfey
FX503 USB Tony Geraghty
R505JE USB Dylan Oliver
R505JS USB Kirk VanOpdorp
R505JL USB Girish Pahlya There were no error messages on USB in log files
-- see Girish's mail
R600MX USB Phil Anderson
Acer Travelmate
USB Gino Pelliccia This patch works for Gino on his Acer,
after little modifications. Ask him for details
USB Robert Klein This patch works for Robert on his F-S,
after modifications. Ask him for details.
(USB stopped working after upgrading BIOS)
Note: this is information about models/hardware that somebody had tested. It doesn't mean that these solution cannot work with other models or with other hardware with these models.
If you have other useful information about your model, send it to me . I'll add it here. Thanks!
Thanks for all people for sending their expiriences, comments & kind words!!!

UPDATED I removed information about working modems above. I think the official drivers should make work all Conexants.



NEW Way of accessing SpeedStep has been once again in recent kernels (tested on 2.4.21-rc1-ac3 and later).
Basing on Dominik Brodowski's mail there are 3 ways of accessing SpeedStep.
Two of them are supported by current kernels (2.4 with ACPI or -ac patch or 2.5) See my (2.4.21-rc6-ac1 kernel): Special SpeedStep daemon can be used to automatically switch to high (performace) or low (powersave) level, as cpu load changes.
Some projects below.

This is old (outdated) info for earlier kernels...
I just upgraded the kernel to linux-2.4.19-pre9-ac3 and SpeedStep works!
Only thing you have to do is edit file linux/arch/i386/kernel/speedstep.c and delete line check = 1;
Now you can:
That's it!

Some additional Linux/SpeedStep links:
Linux CPUFreq project (by Dominik Brodowski, seems to be empty (???))
NEW autospeedstep daemon (AFAIK needs ACPI "P-States" mode)
speedstep daemon (doesn't work for me...)
cpufreq list archives


You may want to see Intel(R) 810 and 815 Framebuffer Driver project page. I didn't tested yet.
Antonino Daplas/Ken Mano utility i810switch to switch between LCD & VGA.
Intel's technical specification for i810 chipset. (PDF, 2.9MB)


Modem works!
You have to download HSF modem drivers.
The official page of Linux drivers for Conexant is

What to do? -- Install the hsflinmodem package, and run hsfconfig.


I'm not quite sure if I was doing everything alright, but i810 audio driver supported only 48kHz sampling rate. When I have switched to ALSA driver - everything is ok. (I use 0.9.0beta9 version)
One problem - voice from internal speakers has very poor quality. But what we can expect from speakers that doesn't have more than 1.5 cm diameter.



This device works great at 100Mbps (100Base-T), but... not at 10Mbps (10Base-T).
After period of time (at 10Mbps), driver says:
eepro100: wait_for_cmd_done timeout
and no longer transmit anything.
You can unload module eepro100.o and load it again, and then it works again for some time.

I just found, that EEPROM of this card has set a sleep mode enabled. And this is potential source of problems on heavy load.
I have switched this now, and I'll write what are the results, when I have chance to test it on 10Mbps network.
If you want to check this condition - download eepro100-diag.c program and run:
jajo:~# ./eepro100-diag -e -e -f
If result contains this text, maybe it is yours problem also...
      Sleep mode is enabled.  This is not recommended.
      Under high load the card may not respond to
      PCI requests, and thus cause a master abort.
You can change the value of this setting by the command:
jajo:~# ./eepro100-diag -G -w -w -w -f
Warning: Do everything on your own risk.

Solution: There is other module called e100.o It's part of 2.4 kernel. More info on Intel's site. It can be downloaded directly from Intel.


IRQ routing tables for USB devices seems to be broken. Wrong IRQ is assigned to USB (#10 instead of #9), and in effect USB is dead.
You can use my patch (at your risk). It works good for me.
This is the receipt how to apply it:

untar kernel source
jajo:/usr/src/linux$ cd arch/i386/kernel
jajo:/usr/src/linux/arch/i386/kernel$ patch pci-irq.c <~/files/vaioUSB.patch
jajo:/usr/src/linux/arch/i386/kernel$ cd ../../..
and compile kernel & install it as usual

Here is a subpage showing results of this problem on my laptop.

NEW Detailed step by step instruction of patching RedHat (RPM) kernel by fliptop.

NEW Patching ACPI will fix the USB IRQ problem also.

Don't know how to compile/patch/install or what is it the kernel, -ac patch, etc.?
Search the and The Linux Kernel HOWTO...

Victor Khimenko has reported that upgrading BIOS on FX290 (as Sony suggests) broke his USB (that used to work).
However, patch has helped him. And upgrade has helped in other fields (ACPI).
You must decide if upgrade your BIOS or not.
Read his mail on that subject.


You have to use kernel with recent version of ACPI driver. This can be: It's very recommended to use recent ACPI, as it can solve USB problems, may control speed (and thus power consumption) of processor, and speed of system fan (otherwise system may overheat).
With ACPI you can: You may want to see my whole /proc/acpi/ directory (kernel 2.4.21-rc6-ac1). It's static/off-line of course ;)

Don't know how to compile/patch/install or what is it the kernel, -ac patch, etc.?
Search the and The Linux Kernel HOWTO...

→ Go back to Linux resources page

You can copy and publish any part of above page. Mention of the source ( would be nice (but is not obligatory).
Jan SÅ‚upski, email: jslupski at juljas dot net

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