Installing Linux on Lenovo laptops

domingo, junio 12, 2016 , 0 Comments

This is not an another guide to install linux step by step on Lenovo laptops, specifically a G50-45, it has not sense for me to upload Next->Next->Next screenshots  ..... because there are many linux distributions with intuitive graphic installers that make easy install a linux system. Rather it focuses on the most important issues that we will find to install the system or after having successfully installed . Specifically , I used Debian Jessie ( current stable to date of the article ) that works very well with some adjustments and i have chosen XFCE4 . If you are a noob user in Linux and you have problems with the  Debian  installer , try other distributions (Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Fedora) whose installers are even more simple and intuitive. Note that this laptop has a processor rather limited , so you must opt for desktop type ( Xfce , Mate , E17 , LXDE , etc ..... ) , which does not mean we can not use Gnome or KDE , although  they are not recommended with this hardware.


  • The first problem we 're going to find is that we have to modify the BIOS settings , so we must turn off the laptop and immediately press a small button next to the charging connector :

Select Bios using the keyboard arrows, and press Enter
  • The next step is to disable "Secure Boot" in the security tab:

  • Then select  "Other OS"  in "OS Optimized Defaults":

  • By last "Exit saving changes"

Now we can boot using DVD, CD o USB Pendrive,  insert your linux image, then turn off the computer and press the button next to the power connector as in the previous step , and select the boot device. If it does not detect or operate the DVD or flash drive, it is because it does not support UEFI , it is best to get another if you have one, if not do the following:

I don't like this way, because sometimes cause troubles with the BIOS, the last revision (2.*) resolve it many bugs, but to avoid problems use UEFI.

After install Linux:

"Old" kernel recognize the hardware to the first except for some firmware , partitioning is simple.

Graphic Driver:  
We use "Open Source Radeon" it's the default driver and deliver the best 2D performance also vdpau support (Video hardware aceleration). To do this we need to install the firmware to work , because if we have realized our screen resolution is very low .

apt-get install firmware-linux firmware-linux-nonfree firmware-realtek

Reboot and we will have our graphics card working correctly . Vdpau maybe have issues with outdated firmware using stable branches , I have prepared this guide.

Video troubleshooting:

Failed to start Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of backlight:acpi_video0. See systemctl status systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service

This is happening because there are two backlight managers at the same time, one is provided by radeon driver, other is provided by Acpi system, just disable the last one to fix it

systemctl mask systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_vide0.service
Tarjeta Wireless: 
We need to install firmware first:

apt-get install firmware-realtek

Wireless troubleshooting: There is a "bug" in the way that system insert the wifi module, to fix it read this guide. 

We need to install Blueman

apt-get install blueman

Bluetooth troubleshooting: The default kernel 3.16.0 detect and insert the bluetooth module on start up, but there are not way to scan networks, maybe playing with the module options can fix it, but if you have not time to play with the module options, you can install 4.5 kernel (debian backports), notice that you need the last firmware too, if not it doesn't work. If you don't know how, use the video aceleration guide to find out, you will learn to mix debian branches.

This laptop use Elantech touchpad. To get tap and some multi gestures work we need to edit or create the next file: /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/synaptics.conf and put this inside ->

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier      "Touchpad"                      # required
        MatchIsTouchpad "yes"                           # required
        Driver          "synaptics"                     # required
        Option          "MinSpeed"              "0.5"
        Option          "MaxSpeed"              "1.0"
        Option          "AccelFactor"           "0.075"
        Option          "TapButton1"            "1"
        Option          "TapButton2"            "2"     # multitouch
        Option          "TapButton3"            "3"     # multitouch
        Option          "VertTwoFingerScroll"   "1"     # multitouch
        Option          "HorizTwoFingerScroll"  "1"     # multitouch
        Option          "VertEdgeScroll"        "1"
        Option          "CoastingSpeed"         "8"
        Option          "CornerCoasting"        "1"
        Option          "CircularScrolling"     "1"
        Option          "CircScrollTrigger"     "7"
        Option          "EdgeMotionUseAlways"   "1"
        Option          "LBCornerButton"        "8"     # browser "back" btn
        Option          "RBCornerButton"        "9"     # browser "forward" btn

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