Linux on a Sony Vaio Z505R

I finally got my Whitebox Linux install completed on my Sony Vaio Z505R. This is the laptop I mentioned in this post. The install went fine. I had to use the install via FTP method, because of the “funky” hardware in this laptop wouldn’t work with a CD based install. However, once I booted the box up, I would boot then hang after the Configuring kernel parameters. From some previous testing that I had done, I knew that I was having CMOS battery problems as well as a potentially bad hardware clock. So I finally dug up a CD image that would boot into linux without the hardware clock issue, then I modified the rc.sysinit script and the halt scripts to remove call the sync the hardware clock to the system clock. I then rebooted and everything was fine.

I’m not sure what the repercussions of not syncing the hardware clock to the system clock are, I’m planning on running NTP on the box so keeping good time should be OK. I’m going to take the laptop back home this weekend and hopefully be able to do some stress testing to see how reacts. If all looks good, then I will probably move this blog and other web hosting to it. I also need to see if it is going to be too noisy. I want to potentially have the harddrive spin down after inactivity, but I don’t know if that will work well in this configuration.

[Listening to: Amon Hen by Howard Shore – The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring (5:02)]
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2 Comments

  1. Website on a laptop that will hibernate? Sounds kinda risky and definately frustration causing on your reader’s side of the request 🙂 But if it works, that will certainly be interesting. Anxious to follow this one and see how it turns out.

    Keith

  2. Actually, my plan was to just use the bios function to spin the hard drive down after inactivity. This way it will still be operational, but not as noisy. As far as web services, the most popular pages should be cached (hopefully in RAM). Other pages would have to be loaded after the hard drive spun up. My thoughts are that this will not be acceptable performance, but I need to do some real world testing.

    The box does feel faster than my other servers, but that drive is just too noisy (I need to try it stuffed under the desk where the others are to be sure). I really like using older laptops as my servers, they are small, and they have built-in monitor, keyboard, mouse, and battery backup.

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