The sony vaio PCG-C1VE page
for Slackware Linux

Latest Linux kernel is ...


2001-10-08: After thinking a while I decided to reinstall Linux. No, this was not because Linux needs to be reinstalled after a while like Windoze ;) the main issue was I wanted to switch over to reiserfs, the other reason was that I was sick of Slackware and it's ridiculous package management. I've choosen to use Debian GNU/Linux in its unstable/testing fashion and I am very happy I did. After using FreeBSD and it's package system I don't want to upgrade things by hand anymore and I must say Debian has the right utilities to do so. I did the floppy install way, which was not easy I must admit, but it worked. I'll post the installation steps here when I have some spare time ...
2001-07-23: Tried to compile some of the available webinterfaces for the video4linux meye API. Nothing which works "out of the box". Made some changes to w3cam (VIDIOCMCAPTURE to MEYEIOC_STILLCAPT and adding linux/meye.h in the following files: w3cam.c vidcat.c and w3camd/w3v4l.c ...). Here is my w3cam.cgi.scf". Anybody got something really working?
2001-07-21: Compiled linux-2.4.7. There is now <*> Sony Vaio Programmable I/O Control Device support in Charcter devices and <*> Sony Vaio Picturebook Motion Eye Video in Video For Linux. Well, the old ltmodem-5.78e doesn't work anymore. Grepped the ltmodem-5.99b from Home of linmodem has moved here.
2001-07-12: Compiled linux-2.4.6. Did some changes regarding Bluetooth and Wavelan interfaces. Downloaded /etc/pcmcia/hermes.conf for a Orinoco WaveLan card, but I had no time to test it. And at least threw away some kernel modules to be loaded by /etc/rc.d/rc.modules in order to load them by /etc/modules.conf. And at least got my $PS1 in my aterm running: It was so easy when you know how ;) Generated a $HOME/.xtermrc and put my PS1 variable in it. Although I think also $HOME/.bashrc would have done it ...
2001-06-08: Gerald Colin made a pointer to the following urls for accessing the jogdial: a KDE utility (I don't like KDE, so I didn't even try it), another gtk-based utility, which has probably the setuid/setguid problems and at least the jogdiald, a very nice program which I decided to use for now on. It has support for the capture-program, and it is very easy to add other programs. And (for me) one of the best things: it's setuid setable. Very fine!
2001-06-03: Played around with .Xdefaults because the font in my aterm was too small (yes, it took quiet a long time until I did'nt want the "normal" aterm font anymore ;). So I put the following line in my ~/.Xdefaults:


2001-05-27: Compiled linux 2.4.5. Even better sound support as it seems (read the changelog for this version ...)
2001-05-24: Because I do not like the new /opt structure which is proposed for slackware 7.2 I compiled xmms 1.2.5-pre1 and made a package which installes in /usr/bin ...
2001-05-14: The Vaio is on the road again! Yes, it's incredible, Sony took only four workdays to repair it (they told me it would take 12 workdays ...). During the night I installed my Vaio again with Slackware as described on this page - so, this was also a good test for the content here, and: indeed, all written here is approved ;-) Well, there is one interesting point: The Hitachi drive was replaced by a Toshiba 12 gig, which may lead to the conclusion, that the Hitachi drive has some production errors?
2001-05-09: My Vaio is on the way to Belgium for repair-holidays. I'm curious when Sony will send it back ...
2001-05-05: Bad news for me: My harddrive is on the way of being out of order. The people on the c1-forum helped me a lot to be sure it's like one of our biggest nightmares: the drive has probably broken heads ... If you want to listen to the ugly sounds produced by my vaio - here is the link. For a comparison this are the sounds produced by a IBM-disk on the way of dying (Thanks to Steve who provided this link!).
2001-05-02: I have totally rewritten this page for a better overview.

Installation of Slackware Linux 7.1

Installation from PCMCIA-CD-Rom
Well, my english is not that good, so please don't bother. Here we go: I borrowed a PCMCIA-CD-ROM from a friend of mine and booted of it by typing the following at the boot prompt:

boot: linux ide2=0x180,0x386
While partitioning I deleted the Windows Millenium (TM) partition in order to achieve the following layout:
3,00 Gig        for a future Windows reinstallation     /dev/hda1
1,00 Gig        for Linux (/)                           /dev/hda2
6,70 Gig        for Linux (/usr)                        /dev/hda3
0,80 Gig        for Linux (/var)                        /dev/hda5
0,12 Gig        for Swap                                /dev/hda6

Upgrading Slackware to -current

There are two methods to achieve this:

  1. By using the nice little shell script slackUp. This might be an option for you, it was not for me because it does not check for the order of installing the packages which does matter. I am going to explain this in the next method.
  2. Doing it "by hand": Get all your packages listed in /var/log/packages from or your local slackware-mirror and put them into one directory. Then upgrade the fileutls.tgz package first, otherwise you will have problems with installing glibc. After that make a little shell script to upgrade the rest of the packages:

            cd $UPDIR
            for i in *
            do upgradepkg $i

    Now you should be up to date with your packages.

Upgrading to Linux 2.4.x

Slackware still uses 2.2.x kernel series, which are far more stable than the 2.4.x series by now (beginning of may 2001), but the 2.4.x series have very important features which we can use for this vaio-model. Get the newest 2.4.x from Here are some configuration-files which turn up most features needed to access the given hardware. I'm sure there is a possibility to degree the size of the compiled kernel (actually 692 kb) by making more modules. Feel free to do it ;-)

In order to let your usb storage devices work properly, you have to patch your kernel: apply the memorystick-patch from written by Marc Boucher. This does not only enable your memorystick device, but ensures a working usb-slot too (before applying this patch I had to reboot when I wanted to change from usb-mouse to usb-floppy and back...). Compile your kernel:

# cd /usr/src/linux
# make mrproper
# make dep clean bzImage
# make modules && make modules_install
# make bzlilo

It is save to add the following in your /etc/lilo.conf:

image = /vmlinuz.old
  root = [your root device, e.g. /dev/hda2]
  label = linuxold

and do a lilo afterwards to enable your changes. Then reboot. After the system has come up properly (if not boot the old kernel and debug!) deinstall the specific slackware packages regarding the kernel (like ide.tgz, modules.tgz, etc.). Edit /etc/lilo.conf again and delete the entries regarding vmlinuz.old.

Tested USB-peripherals

With this configuration I was able to access the following USB-peripherals:

Xfree 4.0x

The grafic card seems to be running only with a patched 4.01 xfree or with XFree greater equal 4.02. The actual slackware-current branche uses 4.03, take that and use this /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file. Using that one you are able to work with your USB-mouse. For TrueType fonts: make a directory in your fonts dir and copy the TrueType fonts in there. Then get ttmkfdir.tar.gz and copy the binary to /usr/local/bin. Initialize your font dir by typing ttmkfdir [your font dir] >> [your font dir]/fonts.dir. Restart your X and choose the TrueType fonts in gimp, netscape, etc.


If you took the kernel configuration files and the /etc/rc.d/rc.modules from above sound should already work :-). This is the ymfpci driver which is not really to be considered as stable. But it works. Please beware of putting this driver directly in the kernel: With linux 2.4.3 I tried to do so and my system locked up completely (no strg+alt+del, no sysreq, no sshing to it).

The camera software

The package can be found on Samba.Org. You need the imlib-package in order to compile it.

The WinModem

It all looked as if it would not work under linux in any case. Even the manufacturer ( promised no good. I was in discussion with Andreas Rathke who was wondering about my success to get this modem working - hm: we found out that it only works with the model-number ending with 303x, if your's is ending with 262x it will surely not work! Well, the lspci command told me that there is a lucent chip on it, so after a little research I found the proper packages:

After installing it and configuring the scripts in /etc/ppp by pointing the tty to ttyLT0 it dialed in to my ISP where I'm working as a sysop like a magic ;-) Please consider to rebuild your ltmodem module after each kernel upgrade!

Accessing the longrun features of the crusoe

Compile longrun, or take the already built slackware-package [app. 27 kb].

Using the jogdial

There are two ways using it:

  1. Compile the jogutils, they are working, but are not showing the right letters (some weird symbols...).
  2. Or patch the imwheel package by using this patch provided from Ilja Gerhard. I must admit, I didn't try it yet

Speed up your harddisk and enable spin down

Toms hardware tested the sony vaio pcg-c1ve (If you are a german speaking reader consider the german page). Anyway: We all have a slow hard disk :-(
But something can be done: Use hdparm, it's in the bin.tgz package provided by Slackware which is installed by default. If you do a hdparm -a -c3 -d1 /dev/hda your harddisk will have a throughput of 12.65 MB/sec instead of 6.56 MB/sec.
Hdparm can also be used to spin down your harddisk for power saving. Use hdparm -S6 /dev/hda in order to spin the drive down after 30 seconds inactivity (6 means 6 times 5 seconds which equals to the 30 seconds - so if you want a higher delay increase that number!)

Controlling the brightness

There are currently two programs I have tried:

  1. The gtk-based one, which only works as root (because of the gtk-library): Get some of the gtk-devel packages and the setbrightness software. Compile it and use it, it looks nice!
  2. The console based one, which can be used by "normal" users when installed setuid: It's written by Nick Brown (unfortunatly his site has gone away) but you can find the source code here. Compile it by typing gcc -o yourexecutablename vaio.c. Copy the executable wherever you want and set it setuid (chmod u+s yourexecutablename).

Full withd console

Get the patch from here. I must admit that I had not yet the time to test it yet ...

Built Slackware packages

Install them as usual with the installpkg [package.tgz]...

PictureBook Pictures

The best thing is to be able to shoot some pictures from my laptop while using linux :-) Here are some fotos:
[Pic1] This one shows my favorite windowmanager (windowmaker) and the LinNeighborhood application running. In the background you can see an open pine-session.
[Pic2] This one is a AVI to JPEG converted pic in order to show the bad quality of the video ;-)) Same desktop situation.

PictureBook Links

For any comments, recommendations, etc. please feel free to mail to Michael Dosser (mic at ...

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