Ubuntu on the VAIO VGN-TZ21XN/B

Todo… for now just some must-know info

Screen Brightness

Load the ‘sony_laptop’ module, and change brightness with Fn-F5/F6


Install powertop to keep an eye out on your power usage, and possibly kill power-eating applications/services. I recommend unloading the ethernet module (sky2) if using wireless, and unloading the usb-modules when not needed.


To get sound working, install at least alsa version 1.0.15rc3, either by compiling it manually, or by installing ‘linux-backports-modules-generic’

Hardware Virtualisation (i-VT VT-X)

Sony in it’s infinite wisdom decided to turn off hardware virtualisation, even though the cpu supports it. IntuiveNipple from the wimsbios.com forums found out how to enable VTX using nvram hacking, and user ‘Wil’ figured out the correct values for the VGN-TZ21XN.

In short, you need to boot into dos (usbdisk or boot-cdrom (I used Hiren’s boot cdrom)), have access to an editor (I used the dos version of vim) and the symcmos tool.

Run symcmos -v2 -lnvram0.txt
Copy nvram0.txt to hacked.txt
edit hacked.txt, look for the 0363 record, and change the value from 0000 to 0001
Run symcmos -v2 -uhacked.txt

Turn off your laptop, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on. Boot linux, and enjoy the hardware virtualisation.
It lasts untill you bios-reset or do a bios-upgrade.


The webcam is a Ricoh R5U870, and it works with the driver from mediati.org

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7 thoughts on “Ubuntu on the VAIO VGN-TZ21XN/B”

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