Linux on a
The N505X VAIO is one of the smallest and lightest laptops available. I use it traveling by train, where size and weight is important. It's much nicer to have 1.6kg in your backapack, then 3.5!
Because of its reduced size and weight, there is only limited space for connectors, but the machine is still fully equipped with a good sound-chip, USB, IrDA, Firewire, and PCMCIA. CDROM player and a floppy unit are external, I never need them: there is internet everywhere.
In former versions of this page, I described the complications you had to go through to install SuSE 6.3 and 7.1. However, most of these problems have disappeared with SuSE 8.0. I will however continue to collect useful tips when they arrive. The hardware organization of this vaio is weird, so there will probably always be some problems. Even with some third-party drivers under Windows, as I have experienced.
Please help me to improve this description.
You may decide to reformat the whole disk, and then reinstall windows
from CD. The type of the windows partition shall be `
The installation procedure of Windows98 with VAIO extentions is very simple and fast. There is nothing to be afraid of. Insert the VAIO installation CD in the drive and reboot. The total re-installation takes about 20 minutes, and does not complain about reduced disk-space. It just works.
Installing SuSE 8.0 is really simple: just follow the standard installation procedure. Don't be afraid when the installation halts when probing PCMCIA: it will continue after about ten minutes.
I hope to add more tips here, but everything seems to work well:
Stephan Elsner contributes some tips about installing SuSE 8.1. I haven't tried it myself, because I run Debian on the laptop, at the moment. Stephan's remarks:
I ran SuSE 8.0 without problems for quite some time, but decided to move to Debian (unstable) for a few reasons: my main computer at home also runs SuSE8.0, and I wanted to try-out a different brand. My main system should be stable.
Besides, I wanted to run the latest kernel release you can get, because the VAIO only has 64MB. It must be said: these performance improvements are extremely visible. I now run Gnome, Enlightment, Galeon (Mozilla) at the same time without too much swapping.
Not too many tips and trics:
Adreas Ruedel reported the succesfull installation of SuSE9.1 on his N505SN. A few suggestions he made:
Running Debian unstable has its disadvantages. Besides, I want good wireless support and a system-cleanup. It helped that the Debian package administration got corrupted: let's reinstall the Vaio (again!)
The standard installation tools get you only halfway. You need to know about what pacakges you wish to install yourself, because the huge preselection offerings of the installation will stop at CD2.
Like described by Adreas, boot the vaio from CD1, adding "ide2=0x180,0x386 nopcmcia=yes" as bootparamers. The enabling of PCMCIA would destroy the access to the CDROM drive.
Simply follow the installation procedure, but you do not need to select too many packages: that will fail anyway. At the end of CD1, the system reboots. When asked for CD2, the standard installation stops. In my case, when I answer "OK" on the insert, the system stalls. So: simpy abort.... and some things are done.
Basically, you have a full running system with partial installation. Fvwn windown manager, in stead of gnome or kde. There is even no root password set. Replace the CDROM player with your PCMCIA network card, and reboot.
Some things I did to get the system "in shape".
Excluding all the wrong paths I took, and excluding the download of packages, the installation takes an hour; the VAIO is quite slow, compared to modern standard. The total download time depends on you network speed, and will take a few hours.