Ubuntu ideapad 100s, finally.

It works much better with Ubuntu 17.10 now. Instructions edited for 17.10 below.

I struggled with this for a while, but today I found the magic combination of efi and grub parts to mix with an Ubuntu 16.04.1 64 bit ISO to produce an almost perfect Linux laptop. As always, this documentation is for my own use, but it would be nice if it helps someone else looking to get Ubuntu running on a low-grade, lightweight laptop.

  • Keyboard works
  • Trackpad works
  • Wifi works
  • Power management seems to work
  • Wifi not yet without a USB wifi adapter
  • Power and suspend TBD

Here’s what I did.

  1. (on Windows) Download ubuntu-17.10-desktop-amd64.iso
  2. (on Windows) Download debian-8.6.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso (debian multiarch)
  3. (on Windows) Right click the debian-8.6.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso and select Mount
    1. Open the virtual disk in windows explorer, we need to copy a couple things from it.
  4. (on Windows) Using Rufus 2.11, burn ubuntu-17.10-desktop-amd64.iso to a bootable USB drive.
    1. Close Rufus
    2. Open the drive in windows explorer, we need to put a few things here.
  5. (on Windows) From the debian image
    1. Copy \boot\grub\i386-efi (the whole folder)
    2. Paste it in to the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk) in \boot\grub\
    3. Copy \efi\boot\bootia32.efi
    4. Paste it in to the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk) in \efi\boot\
  6. Now you can shut down the ideapad, insert the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk), and enter the utility by pressing the smaller button to the right of the indicator LEDs next to the power button.
  7. Choose Boot Menu
  8. Highlight your USB drive.
  9. Install ubuntu.
  10. Change power settings so it never goes to sleep!
  11. You can also add xscreensaver and configure its daemon to start at boot time:
    1. https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1356824

 

Sleep and wake seem to work with no fiddling now. Battery life is excellent.

While I was writing this in windows 10 on another computer, I learned that if the ideapad does go to sleep, you will have to power cycle it to get it back up. 🙁