Sony Vaio VPC W21Z1E Howto
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Installing Slackware GNU/Linux on a Sony Vaio VPC W21Z1E (Sony Vaio W-Series Netbook)

Written by Adrian Ulrich in Feb. 2010. Feel free to send corrections/suggestions

Hardware support matrix overview

X.orgWorks with xf86-intel >= 2.10.0
SoundWorks out of the box
HSUPA ModemWorks, needs patching

Installing Slackware64-13.0 via USB

The Intel Atom N450 has 64bit support so slackware64 (or any other 64 bit distribution) should work just fine. As the W21 has no optical drive (it's a netbook) you must install your distribution using USB. Do not forget to activate usb-boot (called 'external device') in the BIOS (Hit F2 at startup)

Upgrade to Linux >= 2.6.33

Xorg and the sony-laptop module will need a very recent kernel. Do not even try to fix things with anything below 2.6.33 You can download my .config for linux 2.6.33-rc7 from here

Upgrade xf86-video-intel

The 'Pineview' GPU is supported since xf86-intel-video 2.10.0, you can download an updated package for slackware64 from my slackware64 repository
# wget
# upgradepkg xf86-video-intel-2.10.0-x86_64-1_au.tgz
# sync
# startx ## Xorg will autodetect everything itself.

HSUPA Modem (Gobi 2000)

The Gobi 2000 WWAN modem works but needs some love to get it running.
First you should check if you can see the modem using lsusb:
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0489:e00f Foxconn / Hon Hai
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 04f2:b15c Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 05c6:9225 Qualcomm, Inc.
If the modem does not show up, something is wrong with your sony-laptop module. (did you upgrade to kernel >= 2.6.33 ?)

Obtaining the firmware

The Gobi 2000 modem is 'dumb' and will not operate without the correct firmware files. You can copy the existing files from your Windows 7 installation: they should be stored at C:\Program files\QUALCOMM\Images\Sony\. You will need 0/UQCN.mbn and both files from the UMTS folder (amss.mbn and apps.mbn). Copy all 3 files into /lib/fimrware/gobi:
# cp UQCN.mbn amss.mbn apps.mbn /lib/firmware/gobi

Did you delete your Windows 7 installation? Don't worry: You can get the files from sonys driver package:
# wget
# cd Wireless\ WAN\ Driver\ \(Qualcomm\)\ 1.0Z2Q309\ -\ 1.1.11/
# cabextract cabextract GobiInstaller.msi

You'll end up with about 70 cryptic named files. So let's try to find the needed files: we are after Sony/UMTS/* and Sony/0/UQCN.mbn.
md5sum of the windows 7 firmware folder
adrian@fuzzy:/mnt/usb/QUALCOMM/Images$ md5sum Sony/*/*
630d880ab78182ebe1f5e0f4d1c56382 Sony/0/UQCN.mbn
91e642c6715e33e351e411119fd34f06 Sony/1/UQCN.mbn
7b21bf6d2b5d96e780855ac73f97afeb Sony/1/amss.mbn
4f46a856fcceb197943d0cf3257c3621 Sony/1/apps.mbn
8e26c530648339168c404fe26466c8b1 Sony/11/UQCN.mbn
9ad595486577d199d9125415e18d72f8 Sony/11/amss.mbn
0cc1b52dbf73d23c7856bacd902ab246 Sony/11/apps.mbn
c9e5805a780d74fced796db7779fc80d Sony/12/UQCN.mbn
9c319c5dc930371591c6372d6e35ed00 Sony/12/amss.mbn
c28c5f749e5481b472f6cfb7c04806cb Sony/12/apps.mbn
7b85bab4749c9cab7c25d8244b5ea9ae Sony/2/UQCN.mbn
d6e9e730ff16a705e0b3d844aca1b4b5 Sony/3/UQCN.mbn
28f0249db271db9951d681150b2ae62f Sony/3/amss.mbn
d9ff7b27c491332650b1efbbee64ee31 Sony/3/apps.mbn
64a529caf150699d5b2cdd917f2f2128 Sony/4/UQCN.mbn
a3ad1158588141f4b07861c44d32b2ba Sony/6/UQCN.mbn
f4acc09f8869429d286d86dfcb01e0f9 Sony/7/UQCN.mbn
1da39dcf4f517fc7b29d68ba986d5e88 Sony/8/UQCN.mbn
a20146ec5d3b2a0312fc0b19a57a78b3 Sony/9/UQCN.mbn
faf675e54e68daa15bc95d883166e4ce Sony/UMTS/amss.mbn
d7496085f1af3d1bfdf0fa60c3222766 Sony/UMTS/apps.mbn

# md5sum *|egrep '630d880ab78182eb|faf675e54e68daa1|d7496085f1af'
630d880ab78182ebe1f5e0f4d1c56382 _890ED25310C543B483CA0E67C40B9C54
faf675e54e68daa15bc95d883166e4ce _9AC93EA34C1C41839E58DBD0FDD29B17
d7496085f1af3d1bfdf0fa60c3222766 _AA67EABAA9DF43B7861A17F9283509FC
# cp _890ED25310C543B483CA0E67C40B9C54 /lib/firmware/gobi/UQCN.mbn
# cp _9AC93EA34C1C41839E58DBD0FDD29B17 /lib/firmware/gobi/amss.mbn
# cp _AA67EABAA9DF43B7861A17F9283509FC /lib/firmware/gobi/apps.mbn

Tada! :-)

Patching qcserial

The qcserial in linux 2.6.33 does not support the gobi 2000 out-of-the box. You need to apply this patch (qcserial.diff). (based on this patch).
After reloading the new module (make modules ; make modules_install ; depmod -ae ; rmmod qcserial ; rmmod usbserial ; modprobe qcserial) you should get a /dev/ttyUSB0 device.

Installing the firmware loader

Download and extract gobi loader and apply this patch (gobi_loader.diff) (note: this patch was stolen from

Upload the firmware

Ok, you can now start your patched gobi_loader to upload the firmware:
/lib/udev/gobi_loader /dev/ttyUSB0 /lib/firmware/gobi

lsusb should now show a new device id for the qualcomm modem:
# lsusb|grep Qualco
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 05c6:9225 Qualcomm, Inc.

You should now re-load the usbserial driver (fixme: why?)
rmmod qcserial usbserial
modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x9225

If everything went well, you'll get /dev/ttyUSB0, 1 and 2 (/dev/ttyUSB2 is the modem itself)


The Gobi 2000 will now behave like a normal Hayes compatible modem. Use your favorite dialing application to get connected:

I use wvdial with my swisscom liberty uno simcard (wvdial.conf)
## first step: unlock the SIM (do not forget to change the pincode in wvdial.conf!) # wvdial pin --> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.60
--> Cannot get information for serial port.
--> Initializing modem.
--> Sending: AT+CPIN="2204"
# wvdial swisscom [...]
--> local IP address
--> remote IP address
--> primary DNS address
--> secondary DNS address

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