Linux on the Sony PCG - C1VE ("Picturebook")
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My C1VE taking a picture of itself using the internal webcam and a mirror.
(Click to enlarge)

[This text dates from August 2003]


I'm collecting some bits about the C1VE here that I myself found useful in setting up Linux. This page is quite new and will probably never be finished.

After having decided on buying a new desktop machine, I thought I could as well by a laptop since desktop machines usually make much more noise. I decided to buy the C1VE Picturebook after having seen a colleague using it. The main drawback in most notebooks is that they are (far?) to large and to heavy to really carry them around, so the Picturebook with its size and weight is quite nice.

Installing Linux

First of all: Linux runs smoothly on the C1VE, except for suspend/resume, which I have not been able to get running.

The problem with installing Linux on the C1VE is that it does neither have a floppy disk drive nor a CD-ROM builtin. I usually do not need a CD-ROM, so I bought the Sony USB floppy drive (PCGA-UFD5) for approx. 100 EUR. (BTW: the C1VE will almost certainly refuse to boot from any CD-ROM/RW except Sony's CRX-51A.)

You can boot the machine using the USB floppy drive. The next problem is that most Linux distributions (I tried Debian, Suse and Redhat) need two boot floppies. The C1VE will load the kernel from first disk, but since it's a USB drive, fail to recognize the second disk.

My workaround was to put the Redhat CD-ISO-images on the Windows partition (the C1VE comes with Windows ME preinstalled) and to use these as installation source. This worked fine and after that, I had Redhat on what was previously drive D:. (I also created a swap partition. Besides that, there is some space on the drive that is used by Windows' suspend mechanism, but I did not look into that in detail.)

[0] root@fermi:~ #fdisk -l /dev/hda

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 1467 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *         1      1045   8393931    c  Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda2          1046      1467   3389715    f  Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5          1046      1070    200781   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda6          1071      1467   3188871   83  Linux

I do not like Redhat, so some time later I replaced it with Debian. Everything works fine, except for suspend and sleep, which I have not tried.

The C1VE LCD Panel: 1024x480

The Linux console uses 80x25 on the C1VE's 1024x480 screen, so there are black areas on either side. It is probably possible to use other video modes, but I don't care.

Getting X11 to run was easy after having found the proper XF86Config-4 on the web. I added an Option "DPMS" and USB mouse support.

I have not yet tried to get the external VGA connector working.

Linux Kernel

Sony Jogdial


Motion Eye Camera

Xawtv.geometry:         320x240
 Christoph Berg | Page last changed Wed Nov 2 15:47:35 2005 CET