Install Ubuntu (13.10) on Ideapad Yoga 11s
Oct 26, 2013
3 minutes read

I’ve recently bought a brand new machine: an Ideapd Yoga 11s, but there it is, it was, once again, no a straight path to get Linux working on it, so here is a guide to get it work or at least the basics of it.

Choose your side

First thing first, you have to choose your Linux distribution wisely. As the installation will need some compilation to get internet connection working, you have to choose one that provides the make utility along with the headers of you kernel otherwise you will not be able to enable the wifi. Regarding these needs, I chose to install Ubuntu which is not usually my first choice but which provides these things on installation.

First step: Get you USB boot to work

The first problem you’ll encounter is to get your usb boot to be working. You’ll have to modify the boot options of your BIOS. To do so, boot your computer using the special button for rescue (just on the left of the normal boot button) and then press F2 or F12 and choose to launch the BIOS setup program. Once there, go to the boot options tab and modify boot from UEFI to support legacy, and choose the legacy first option. Now you should be able to boot on your Linux USB key.

Second step: Boot from USB Key

You can’t simply launch the standard boot menu entry to get ubuntu working, you have to change one of the boot options. One way to grant access to these options is to press F6 and then close the opened menu; the boot options line should be now visible and editable. Add at the end of the line: acpi_backlight=vendor and then boot; this way your screen backlight should stay on. Follow the installation as you would normally do, further choices are up to you :)!

Third step: Back to the civilization

Once you have Ubuntu installed you’ll quickly realize that you don’t have neither wireless nor bluetooth drivers installed. That was the most difficult point to figure out but in fact, the hardware of the yoga 11s is the same than the yoga 13. Although you need to compile these drivers (that’s why you must have make and headers).

Some really cool guy built these drivers for us, they’re freely available on his Github account you might find there and there. Just clone these two repositories and put them on a USB key. Copy them on your computer and for each one of them:

  $ make
  $ sudo make install

Once it’s done, simply reboot your computer, you get it!

The Final Count Down

The last annoying point you might encounter is the backlight settings. You’ll eventually find out that the adjustment keys for backlight aren’t working. This is because one of the drivers automatically installed is misleading the system and you have to blacklist it. To do so, edit the blacklist.conf file:

$ sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

And add at the end of this file:

$ blacklist ideapad_laptop

Now we have to fix the grub trick, so edit your default grub entry:

$ sudo vi /etc/default/grub

Make the 11th line to look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="acpi_backlight=vendor quiet splash"

And then rebuild grub entries with this command:

$ sudo update-grub2

That’s it! Everything essential should be working now! Despite this (quite long) installation process, don’t give up; it is an amazing machine!


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