Category: Hardware

Install Ubuntu on Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro

Before Buying Yoga 2 Pro:
If you have bought a Yoga 2 Pro, then skip this section and jump directly to the next section. This computer has the following problems, known widely among its users, yet not acknowledged or properly addressed by Lenovo.
1. Inaccurate Rendering of the Yellow Color. This is widely and notoriously known. Lenovo’s BIOS update until today (June 6, 2014) does not solve it. Lenovo regards it as solved and dismisses it, but many users do not agree at all.
2. Poor Micro HDMI Compatiblity. The Micro HDMI port, the only video export of the computer, is hidden too deep to make a stable contact with a standard Micro HDMI cable. Some DIY users have to manually file the bud of their Micro HDMI cable for 1mm~2mm to fit with this port. You may need to try a few cables to find a working one.
3. Unintended Mute Speaker Caused by Inconsistence Audio Jack Detection. Sometimes, the speaker mute because the computer falsely detects audio jack as plugged in, though actually not at all. Unfortunately, plugging-and-unplugging does not always solve the problem. It depends on luck.
4. Frequent WiFi Signal Dropping. To my experience, my 8-year old T60 has much better WiFi performance than my Yoga 2 Pro. By the way, this computer can only receive 2.4G Hz signals, not 5G Hz signals.

Install Ubuntu on Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro

Hardware: IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro, Intel Haswell i5 CPU, 256 SSD, 8G RAM
Software: Ubuntu 13.10, 64bit

Process:
1. Enable booting from USB
Power down the computer. Push the “novo” button, then the computer enter BIOS configuration. Disable “Security Boot”, and Disable “Lenovo Fast Boot”.

2. Prepare Ubuntu Installation USB
Create a Ubuntu Installation USB following the instruction by Ubuntu. After this, find file /boot/grub/grub.cfg and modify it by adding “acpi_backlight=vendor” before “quiet splash”. You shall have something like this in the boot options: “acpi_backlight=vendor quiet splash”. You may need the root permission to edit this file, so use “su” or “sudo” to get the root permission when editing, for example, sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.cfg
This is important. Otherwise, Ubuntu installation runs but the screen does not turn on.

3. Install Ubuntu
Insert the USB disk and power on the computer with the “novo” button. Select USB boot from the Boot Menu. Then the Ubuntu installation process starts. You many need to use “gparted” to shrink the Windows partition and create one partition for Grub boot loader and another partition for Ubuntu. It is wise to avoid overwriting partitions with factory settings and factory boot loaders. For example, the Windows 8 is on partition /dev/sda5. /dev/sda1 ~ /dev/sda4 has software installed by Lenovo, then I shrink /dev/sda5, and created /dev/sda8 for boot loader and /dev/sda9 for Ubuntu. I try to avoid overwriting /dev/sda1 ~ /dev/sda5.

4. Screen Problem
Now, your Ubuntu can boot, but you still have only a black screen.The
Restart computer, and choose “advanced Ubuntu” in grub and choose recovery mode, and choose “root console“. In this way, you can enter the command line mode to solve the screen problem.
Modify /etc/default/grub by modify with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”acpi_backlight=vendor quiet splash”
Run update-grub2, then this “acpi_backlight=vendor” option will be pushed to your /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Now the screen problem shall be solved.
Make sure you make this change for all the Ubuntu boot entries of your grub, otherwise some entries will not work.

5. Wifi and Screen Brightness Problem
There may be other solutions, but this simple solution works perfect for me.
In /etc/modprobe.d/ I created a file “blacklist-ideapad_laptop.conf”, and in it, I put “blacklist ideapad_laptop”, in this way, both the wifi and brightness problems are solved. Very simple. You do not need wicd to solve this problem.

6. Tweak for SSD (Optional).
Edit /etc/fstab to add options mount “noatime,nodiratime,discard” to your ubuntu partition.
Edit /etc/fstab to use tmpfs for /tmp and /var/tmp

Useful Links:
http://memobadz.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/lenovo-yoga-pro-2-on-ubuntu/
http://askubuntu.com/questions/367963/ubuntu-on-lenovo-yoga-2-pro/485632#485632 (Thanks to rubo77)