NetBSD on a Sony Vaio R505JS

This page is intended to help all those (if any exist) who wish to install NetBSD on their Sony Vaio R505JS. From what I can tell, this should also work on the Sony Vaio R505JL as it is almost identical to the R505JS.

I used to run OpenBSD on my Vaio R505JS, but after a year when the cardbus (pcmcia slot) still didn't work, I decided to give NetBSD a try.

The problem was that OpenBSD couldn't assign an interrupt to the cardbus. After spending a long time mucking around with the PCI interrupt code, I finally gave up. This is a good thing, because it seems that the interrupt needed to be mapped through the ACPI subsystem, which is not supported by OpenBSD (yet).

First of all, you need to install NetBSD-current, as it has (experimental) ACPI support. At the time i am writing this, I just upgraded to NetBSD 1.6N from NetBSD 1.6M, both of which work great. From what I can tell, the next major release, NetBSD 2.0, should have ACPI support.

Once you install NetBSD-current you will note that the cardbus is still not working. This is because ACPI support is not enabled in the generic kernel (yet...), so you must do this with the option "options ACPI_PCI_FIXUP". Besides that you need to set the options "options RBUS_IO_BASE=0x500" and "options RBUS_IO_SIZE=0x800" (thanks to google and the NetBSD mailing lists). Time to build your own kernel.

You can use my NetBSD 1.6N kernel configuration file which also has support for spic (the sony jog dial) as a mouse wheel, as well as support for a usb mouse if it happens to be present.

Note that the mouse wheel wsmouse device has ONLY support for the mouse wheel and not for any of the other buttons on the mouse. This greatly confused me for a moment, but after reading a few man pages i discovered that you set your PS/2 mouse as the "CorePointer" and the mouse wheel as an additional mouse with "SendCoreEvents" enabled and everything should work just fine.

Here is my XF86Config file.

And for any one interested here is my dmesg.

What doesn't work?

The CDRW/DVD drive doesn't work, although I haven't had much time to muck around with it too much.
The problem with the CDRW/DVD drive is that it uses SCSI over firewire (ieee1394) and while this is supported (experimentally) on NetBSD, it only 'sees' the drive and bails out after a few errors during boot time.
The ieee1394 on linux project, which i believe (don't be mad if I am wrong) the NetBSD ieee1394 code is based on, seems to be making great progress. I must also say that with my breif stint with linux on my laptop (i was desparate... don't get me started) the ieee1394 code got further, but still didn't work (this is with linux-2.[4-5].*).

hope this helps someone,
- muzzle(AT)