Installing Debian "Sarge" on Sony Vaio VGN-T1XP


This document is Copyright (C) 2005 Jim Farrand. Feel free to use it for any purpose whatsoever.

There is NO WARRANTY WHATSOEVER as to the accuracy or usefulness of this document - if your shiny new laptop explodes or your house burns down, it's not my fault.


Revision $Id: index.html 346 2005-03-15 11:19:41Z jim $, Last updated $Date: 2005-03-04 00:07:46 +0000 (Fri, 04 Mar 2005) $

What works?

This is probably what you are desperate to know. The good news is, most stuff I have tried I have got working. Much of the rest I am working on.

Hardware Components Status Under Linux Notes
Pentium-M processor, 1.1 GHz Works
10.6" WXGA (1280x768) X-Black LCD Works
Intel 855GME integrated graphics chip Works Util required to get full resolution. Dual head output works under
Touchpad Works Use standard PS2 mouse driver. Is it possible to get synaptics extensions, like on some other laptops?
External video Works Requires i855crt or
Suspend to disk Working
Suspend to RAM Not working Crashes on resume. May be a kernel patch that helps?
Sound Works ALSA intel8x0 driver
DVD+-RW Drive Works Burnt a DVD+RW with growisofs.
Intel PRO/100 Network Driver Works e100 driver
Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Works Uses ipw2200 which is not yet in the stock kernel
USB Works Can't remember if I used uhci_hcd - mouse worked as soon as I pluged it in.
Firewire Untested ohci1394 detects controller and seem happy
Internal modem Untested
Bluetooth Untested
Special buttons Dodgy Have yet to get these working - seems that Up volume and Down volume are sending the same keycode. :(


I burnt a Debian Sarge bootable DVD and chose the kernel 2.6 installation option (type linux26 at the initial prompt). Wired network card was automatically detected and configured. When configuring X, the screen mode 1280x768 is not available as an option - choose a lower resolution for now.

Let the tweaking begin...


These instructions apply to 2.6.10 kernel, which I compiled from source.


To get full screen resolution, you will need to use a small program called 855resolution. Download and compile this program, then as root run

855resolution 5c 1280 768

You can now add the following to the monitor section of your XFree86Config:

   Modeline    "1280x768" 80.14 1280 1344 1480 1680 768 769 772 795

And then choose this screenmode in the Display section.

You will need to put a call to 855resolution somewhere in your boot process.

To get external video working, use i855crt. Compile this program, copy it to your path, copy the config file to /etc, then execute something like

i855crt swcursor on 1024x768@85
and to switch off again
i855crt off
The odd aspect ratio of the screen is a bit of a problem for my LCD monitor.

Dual Head

It requires a reasonable amount of fiddling, but I eventually managed to get a dual-head setup working with Xinerma etc. (Ie, both the internal LCD and an external monitor being driven simultaneously, but independantly, such that windows can be dragged from one screen to another etc.)

I will try to update with more comprehensive instructions, but for now:


Under ALSA use the intel8x0 driver. Note that you need to mute the "External Amplifier" channel to get the laptops speaker to work! This is not done done by default. Run alsamixer, find the "External Amplifier" channel (off the right of the screen) and press "M".


This requires you to install the ipw2200 driver. (Presumably this driver will ultimately find it's way into the kernel.) It is fairly easy to install, and seems to work fine.

Suspend to disk

Enable SWSUSP in your kernel then use a script to suspend to disk.

My config files etc

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