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Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit on Sony VAIO VPCF121GX PCG-81114L

Monday 6 September 2010 - Filed under Default

The following is what I did to get Ubuntu 10.04 x86(32-bit) running properly on a Sony VAIO VPCF121GX PCG-81114L. This laptop is currently sold at Costco but shares the same body with many other VPCF12***X models. Sony has an annoying way of putting two model numbers on their laptops. I had more luck once I used the one on the bottom (PCG) rather than the one on the screen bezel(VPC).

I’m not sure if these instructions will work for other models but please comment if it works for you. When booting from a 10.04.1 livecd or a default install I wasn’t hearing any sound, couldn’t use the touchpad, could not resume from suspend. I’ve solved 2.5 of 3 problems so far(mic still doesn’t work).


To fix the sound not working, alsa needs to be updated via a backported package. This package is for my current kernel of 2.6.32-24 though you’ll want to make sure you get the corresponding version for your kernel.

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-alsa-`uname -r`

I wrote mostly above because the microphone still doesn’t work on the laptop. I’ve not tried any external mics or usb headsets yet but will update this article if I do find a solution.


This laptop uses and Alps Synaptics touchpad which is fairly common so I don’t really understand why Ubuntu doesn’t support it. The problem appears to be with the auto-detection of the touchpad(lots of Macintosh messages show in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log). To get the touchpad working:

1. Run: sudo vi /etc/default/grub and modify it so the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line looks like this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”i8042.nopnp”
2. Run: sudo update-grub
3. Reboot.


I wasn’t able to resume from suspend until I loaded the latest Nvidia driver. This laptop has an Nvidia GeForce 310M and I found the driver on a forum post. I still cannot switch to other consoles with Ctrl-Alt-F[1-6] so hopefully a future version of their driver will fix that. You can get the driver via ftp from:

This is a shell script(a 24mb one at that) so you’ll need to open a terminal and cd to wherever you save it and then:

chmod a+x

At this point you need to switch to root at runlevel 3. As root at the console I did this by typing:

init 3

Then I was able to login, sudo su to root again and run the driver installation script with:


Now my suspend works!

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2010-09-06  »  David Sterry


  1. sina
    10 November 2010 @ 2:52 pm

    tanx alot