The Vaio Duo 13 is a very good convertible notebook (in my opinion). For me as a student I don’t want to miss it anymore.
10 hours battery usage, touchscreen and pen input and all of it together with good performance. Sounds good – but there is another point about this laptop.
Linux is great. But now try to use Linux on the Vaio Duo 13.
A year ago not even the touchpad worked. Wireless LAN? Nope.
Touch? Yay, it works! Pen input? Meh – not very useful since the driver misses many important events.
After 3 years of using the notebook nearly every day the battery has a capacity of 78% left.
For Linux this means: About 5 to 6 hours when using it in a normal manner.
I started with installing Ubuntu on the laptop, later I switched to Kubuntu (without reinstalling).
As mentioned above there are or were several problems when running Linux on this laptop. After several updates, hours of using Google and reading Wikis I finally got everything to work like I would expect it.
After a fresh install / booting of a live system: You probably won’t see anything. The brightness is set to 0 – so use your keyboard shortcut to increase the brightness and tada – here you go.
When using an older system the touchpad might not work as expected. It’s connected via SDIO, support for this was added in Kernel 3.19.
When booting try to set
to the kernel boot parameters. To debug remove
to see the boot log.
I strongly recommend to pick a system using Kernel 4+ or at least install such a kernel.
If the screen stays black after boot: Increase the screen backlight. It’s set to 0%.
The rest of the installation should work as usual:
Grap the latest x64 download from the official Website.
Make a bootable USB Stick
To install Kubuntu you will need an (empty) USB Stick. You can use UNetbootin to do so. Just follow the steps here.
Wanting Dual Boot?
Maybe you would like to keep Windows installed as well. In this case you have to resize your partitions before you can install Kubuntu. You can try to do this with Windows Tools or after booting Kubuntu from the USB Stick. In Kubuntu I recommend to you “GParted” to resize your partitions. Keep in mind that you always should backup your important data first!
Put the USB Stick at your Vaio Duo 13 and turn it on again. Go to the Boot Menu (F12) and select your USB Stick as Boot Device. You can start trying Kubuntu now or directly go to the installation – If you cannot see anything, try to turn up the display brightness. It almost took me half an hour to figure this out 😉
Just follow the installation process.
The driver / module to use is brcmfmac for the BRCM43241 chip. The driver needs a NVRAM file to work, but cannot get it by its own. It’s stored in an EFI variable, where the Windows driver can access it. To use this NVRAM file, you need to extract it from there.
Mount the efivars and copy the NVRAM file (use sudo / do it as root)
mount -t efivarfs none /sys/firmware/efi/efivars cat /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/nvram-74b00bd9-805a-4d61-b51f-43268123d113 > /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt
Make sure you actually use the brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt, otherwise the chip won’t work.
To reload the driver (as root / or use sudo):
modprobe -r brcmfmac && modprobe brcmfmac
Afterwards the interface should show (check via ifconfig).
If you use NetworkManager, there might be an issue that no networks show up.
Check that the device is neither soft-blocked nor hard-blocked via
Check /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf and make sure it contains “managed=true” and not “managed=false” in the ifupdown section:
You should also make sure, there is no other configuration for your wlan interface
There may be no configuration for the wireless interface at all!
After these steps the Wireless LAN works for me quite stable. If you have more issues, you can try to disable power management of the chips:
iwconfig wlan0 power off
This does not power of the chip at all, it just turns off power management!
Pen Input + Xournal
When using Windows I really like the behavior of OneNote when using touchscreen and pen. It just works. For Linux I really like Xournal as a note-taking tool.
When installing Xournal from apt-get, you might experience bugs when using the pen. So please don’t do this.
Compile Xournal by yourself to get make pen + touch work as expected (So you will get the newest version where several bugs have been fixed). As root or with sudo:
git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/xournal/code xournal-code cd xournal-code apt-get install automake autoconf libgtk2.0-dev libgtk2.0 libgtk2.0-0 ibgnomecanvas2-0 ibgnomecanvas2-dev libpoppler-glib-dev libpoppler-glib8 ./autogen.sh make make install make desktop-install
Now you have the latest version of xournal installed.
will give you a list of your input devices. Hopefully the pen will show up as “NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen” (I never had issues with this step – pen worked before I could use the touchpad or WLAN)
If you do not experience problems when using Xournal with “Touchscreen as Hand” – skip this section.
Otherwise: Use the Wacom driver instead of the default one.
In /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf comment out the tablet section:
# Pen uses Wacom Drivers: See 50-wacom.conf #Section "InputClass" # Identifier "evdev tablet catchall" # MatchIsTablet "on" # MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*" # Driver "evdev" #EndSection
Then, in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-wacom.conf, modify the section about the N-Trig class:
Section "InputClass" Identifier "Wacom N-Trig class" MatchProduct "HID 1b96:0001|N-Trig Pen|N-Trig DuoSense|NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen" MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*" Driver "wacom" Option "Button2" "2" Option "Button3" "3" EndSection
(I just added “|NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen” to the MatchProduct-line).
should now show something similar to this:
⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Sony Vaio Jogdial id=8 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen stylus id=12 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 id=13 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ SONY0001:00 06CB:0001 id=14 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen eraser id=16 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01 Pen pad id=17 [slave pointer (2)]
In Xournal, go to “Options” and check “Use XInput”.
Under “Options->Pen and Touch” check “Touchscreen as Hand Tool” and “Pen disables Touch”. You might also check “Pressure Sensitivity”.
Click “Designate Touchscreen” and select NTRG0F01:00 1B96:0F01.
Please tell me! I will try to fix them.