Sony R505DL running FreeBSD 5.2-release, with rdesktop (from cvs) connected to Windows XP running Macromedia DreamWeaver MX 2004. Notice the 16 bit rdesktop connection.Installing FreeBSD 5.2-release

SONY PCG-R505DL 1.0 Ghz Pentium III 256 MB 30 GB HD iLink-CDRW base station.

Installing from CD.

FreeBSD 5.2-release will boot from the CD. (This doesn’t work with LINUX)

  1. Start the computer up and boot from the CD.
  2. Partition
    the harddrive the way you want it. (If you want to dual boot I assume
    you already move Windows XP to where you want it. Check my up and
    comming FAQ on Sony’s software coming soon)
  3. Partition the harddrive as directed in the freebsd manual. (1 slice then auto partition that slice)
  4. Install everything you can, except servers like Apache or FTP or pop…
    (This is a personal laptop not a production web server).
  5. Do not configure X11. Version xfree86 4.3 ships with this release and it does not place nice with the i830 chipset.
  6. FreeBSD will configure all the other devices just fine.
  7. Once the setup complete (Minus X11) restart the laptop and eject the disk.

Configuring the Laptop:

  1. X11 is broken on the Intel i830 chipset so you need to install the latest Beta X11R6 4.4 ( can download the FreeBSD binaries from here http://xfree86.mirror.cygnal.ca/snapshots/

    Download them all you need them.

  2. Make the install executable by running chmod 733 Xinstall.sh in your download directory.
  3. Then “./Xinstall.sh” Say yes to everything.
  4. Now you need to re-install gdm. To do this run the following commends.
    1. pkg_info | grep gdm
    2. pkg_delete gdm_xxx (where X is the full name of gdm displayed in step 1)
    3. pkg_add -r gdm
    4. mv /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh.example /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh
    5. /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh start
  5. There you are X11 running working (FYI you don’t need a X11Config file :-))
  6. Add the following to the /boot/load.conf
  7. Sound Stuffsnd_pcm_load=”YES”



    # PCMCIA Stuff


    #DVD Stuff




  8. Add the following to /etc/sysctr.conf#For DVD and KDE Sound





Making the system work for you:

The rest of this is how to make this laptop work perfectly.
FreeBSD installs and runs but it is missng mozillafirebird, java, open
office etc…

Mozilla Firebird.

  1. The FreeBSD version works very well but I cannot get flash
    to work and java takes hours (more then 7) to compile so install the
    linux version of firebird and jre14.
  2. To install run pkg_add -r linux-mozillafirebird


  1. To install linux java:
  2. cd /usr/ports/java/linux-sun-jdk-14/
  3. make install clean (follow the directions)

Java Plugin

  1. ln -s /usr/local/linux-sun-jdk14/jre/plugin/i386/ns60-gcc/libjavaplugin.so (this is a gues I don’t have the dir right here)




  • The system will install from a CD.
  • The CD Works out of the box!!!
  • Once I figured out how to install modules Sound Worked Quickly
  • Video Support (Still working to perfect this some display corruption issues)

So why would I bye a Sony Laptop?

I need Windows to be FAST, QUICK, STABLE.

I needed a small fast beautiful looking laptop.

So since I need windows (its a work thing) and a PowerBook G4 is about
$2000 dollars out of my price range the $2,200 with warranty (I beat up
my computers) was perfect. So why run a Unix? Because I can. I love
testing out Open Source Software, and it really just makes me feel good.

Howto install FreeBSD.

Note: Do not configure X11 during installation. Do it after.

Other than that follow the directions located @ http://www.freebsd.org to complete the installation.

After Rebooting several things must be edited and setup (This is where the fun stuff comes in.)

If you setup was like mine XFree86 will not work right out of the box. To fix this fun problem run the following commands:

	X -configure
	mv /etc/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config.old
	mv /root/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config

This will let X start but you will still only have 8 bit color 16
colors 🙁 So open the /etc/X11/XF86Config with your favorite editor
and add the following line to the Monitor Section. You can download my
XF86Config from here (Coming soon)

	DefaultDepth 24

X11 in now configured!!! Its not perfect but it works for now.
If X crashed it really doesn’t like restarting. I don’t know why and I
am not good enough to fix it yet. I recommend restarting the laptop.


Add the following to the /boot/loader.conf


Now heres the issue. The i830 chipset is nothing but problems for
Open Source Software (Please contact Intel and request they open the

After spending days searching I found the solution on a list server I can’t find again.

Its hack job, it most likely will break other stuff but it works so “GOD BLESS IT”.

This chang must be completed after ever reboot so created an rc.local
directory at /etc/rc.local and placed the command in a #sh script file.
Is it correct no, is a security risk maybe. Do I care not a bit, I can
listen to my MP3’s.

To setup the /etc/rc.local add the folloing to the /etc/rc.conf

Then run the command:
	mkdir /etc/rc.local

Add the following to /etc/rc.local/system.sh

	pciconf -w -b pci0:31:0 0x61 9


XMMS is my player of choice. To install it run the following commands:

	cd /usr/ports/multimedia/xmms
	make install clean

Ok so I purchased a DVD/CDRW in the base station.
That means that I might want to watch my Harry Potter DVD. Well with
Linux its next impossible to do without reading 50 million documents on
how its illegal to play a movie on an un licensed player. Well I don’t
want to copy it, burn it or stream it to my 50 friends I just want to
watch a DVD while working on my homework.

Steps to DVD glory:

You must enable Ultra DMA to speed up your hard drive and cdrom
access. To do so add the following items to the /boot/loader.conf

Now we need to configure the sound so it will play back nicely. Add the following to /etc/sysctl.conf

Now we need to install some Playing Software:

VLC – VideoLan Client is fast easy and works great.

	chmod 666 /dev/cd0
	ln -s /dev/cd0 /dev/dvd
	cd /usr/ports/multimedia/vlc
	make install clean
Xine - Now I normally use Xine because its go a great skin. But my current dilemma
is getting it to work with pkg_add or make install clean
	cd /usr/ports/multimedia/xine
	make install clean
	cd ../xine_d4d_plugin
	make install clean
	cd ../xine_d5d_plugin
	make install clean
	cd ../xine_dvdnav_plugin


Add the following to the /boot/loader.conf



Run the following command once. If sets the system to detect any ssid.

ifconfig wi0 ssid “”

Now start sysinstall and configure the wireless adapter as if it were any other device.



Gnome and KDE Power Management:

If you want know to know that power status of the laptop (Amount of battery) you must add the following lines to your


	apm -e 1

Run Display Manager (GDM):

pkg_add -r gdm

Follow the directions speciffed when the package installes.

Custom Scripts

I have included my /etc/rc.local/system.sh script bellow so you can reference to it


	# Setup the sound card correctly
	pciconf -w -b pci0:31:0 0x61 9
	# Make the symbolic links for dvd plays
	chmod 666 /dev/cd0
	ln -s /dev/cd0 /dev/dvd
	ln -s /dev/cd0 /dev/acd0c
	chmod 666 /dev/dvd
	# Configure so the gnome-power applet won't complain
	apm -e 1
	chmod 666 /dev/apm
	chmod 666 /dev/acpi
	# Configure Wireless
	ifconfig wi0 ssid ""



From the terminal run the commands

	pkg_add -r cdrecord
	cdrecord --scanbus
	Cdrecord 2.0 (i386-unknown-freebsd5.1) Copyright (C) 1995-2002 Jörg Schilling
	Using libscg version 'schily-0.7'
   	     1,0,0   100) 'MATSHITA' 'UJDA710         ' '1.50' Removable CD-ROM
   	     1,1,0   101) *
   	     1,2,0   102) *
   	     1,3,0   103) *
   	     1,4,0   104) *
   	     1,5,0   105) *
   	     1,6,0   106) *
   	     1,7,0   107) *

Now install XCDRoast and gtoast

	pkg_add -r xcdroast
	pkg_add -r gtoast

Now Add the following to the /etc/rc.local/system.sh (This will let any user run the Recorder its a laptop not a server)

	chmod 666 /dev/xpt0
   chmod 666 /dev/pass0


Install VNC

	pkg_add -r vnc

Automatic Updates

The ports system in FreeBSD is second to none. However, like all systems it must be updated.

Still being new to freebsd I need to figure out how to update my
port colleciton most importantly I need to instal Linux-Java-1.4.2
which is not in the 5.1 RELEASE port collection.

The next problem that I have run into is I can’t find a good example of how to upgrade the port collection.

As I try this I might have found a solution however, its updating
/usr/src not /usr/ports which leaves me with a nice void in my belly.


What to do next:

External Display, Jogdial … Lots of other stuff




Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, Linux, vlc, xine, mplayer etc… are trademarks of there respective organizations.

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