Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 and Lenovo Ideapad U460

Posted: September 9, 2010 in Linux
Tags: ,

It has been quite awhile since I last spent considerable time in configuring and setting up a Linux system. I have been able to install Ubuntu in all the laptop and netbook,I have been playing for the last few years ever since I moved from Slackware to Ubuntu as my primary desktop system. With the continuous improvement of Linux and OSS platform, installation of Linux is really very easy. Compare with the good old days, where we tend to share experiences of how to install Linux and always need to check up various howto guide before installation, we hardly need to be bother with such steps these days. Everything just seems magically work out of the box. So, the idea of publish some write out on our installation experience seems rather pointless.

Until I need to install Ubuntu into this laptop.

Below is the hardware specification of Ideapad U460:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-450M Processor ( 2.40GHz 1066MHz 3MB )
  • Memory: 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz
  • Graphic: NVIDIA GeForce 305M, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HM55 HD
  • Sound: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio, nVidia Corporation High Definition Audio Controller
  • Display: 14.0-inch HD LED Glare 1366×768
  • Hard Disk: 500GB 5400RPM (Western Digital)
  • Webcamera: Yes
  • Wireles: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 1000
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
  • Input/Output Port: 2 x USB, 1 x eSATA/USB, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Mic-In, 1 x Headphone
  • Expansion Slots: 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • Battery: 8 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Downloading the CD installer from Ubuntu is easy, and is very fast if done it via bitTorrent network. Formatting and installing of Ubuntu to the laptop is very very easy. Everything seems to work fine straight from default installation. The problem starts to appear when I attempt to setup the graphic and sound of the laptop.

Basically, 2 problems:

  • 1) The graphic would go blank screen after enabling the proprietary NVIDIA graphic driver.
  • 2) No sound in the headphone audio out.

Solution:

  • 1) Ubuntu would correctly detect and install the proprietary NVIDIA graphic driver, but upon reboot, the system would go into blank screen. The solution to solve this problem is boot into bios (press F2 while system boot up), under: “Configuration” -> “Graphic Device”, select “Discrete Graphic” instead of “Switchable Graphics”.
  • 2) Just install the latest ALSA driver version 1.0.23. Follow the guide found here: Upgrade Alsa (1.0.23) on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04

Things I did not try:

  • 1) the finger print login. Not important to me, I would rather remember password.
  • 2) multi-touch touch pad. Why on earth I would need a multi-touch when I have keyboard and mouse/mousepad?
  • 3) HDMI video out.

Note:

  • There are complains found over the internet about screen brightness problem, which I did not encounter. I suspect, the update and fixes download from Ubuntu after the installation may have resolved the issue.

So far, the system is very stable, no unusual reboot or hardware incompatible issue.

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Comments
  1. paulgb says:

    Thanks for the summary Lenrek!

    I have a fairly new U460, almost the same as your model. I have it as dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10-04 and it is working smoothly under each operating system. I would recommend it!

  2. pradeep says:

    Hey Thanks lots of sharing.
    This method works and I would recommend this method to others , upgrading to alsa’s recent version fixes the problem.

  3. Gustaff says:

    Thank you very much for the tutorial. I followed your step and successful in updating alsa in my laptop. However my headphone is still doesn’t work and I’ve tried to look for any possible solution from several lists and irc chat room. I’ve check the alsamixer via terminal and it seems everything is fine. Up until now I am still struggling to solve the problem.

    I am still a new comers in Linux environment and at the moment I am using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with Lenovo g460. Do I need other modules to make it work? I hope you can help me out, and of course anyone who visit this blog. Here are some detailed info for the audio devices:

    Audio device: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio (rev 05)
    Audio device: nVidia Corporation High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)

    Anyway, I am really enjoy to learn some stuff from your blog. Great job!

    All the best,
    – Gustaff

    • lenrek says:

      Did you run alsaconf after install alsa? Make sure you run the alsamixer to unmute the volume.

      Another alternative is to upgrade your 10.04 to 10.10. I manage to upgrade it and there is no need to separately install alsa for 10.10.

  4. ashok says:

    thanks a lot.. it helped me fix my mic problem.. 🙂

  5. brett says:

    Thanks!! I’ve been looking for quite some time how to fix the graphics issues i was experiencing on my u460s

  6. stavanzer says:

    The tip for the graphics worked wonders for me, I had been stuck with this problem for days… Thank You!!

  7. pepito says:

    Are you able to select between Nvidia and Intel graphics card?
    If so, do you have to go in the BIOS to do it or can you just use a different xorg.conf everytime you want to switch?
    I am about to buy this laptop, but I want to know first if I’ll be able to use both graphic cards.

  8. pepito says:

    Is it possible for you to post here some screenshots of the BIOS screen in which you can change the graphic card options? Thanks a lot!

    • lenrek says:

      Just follow the steps as I stated in the blog, I don’t there is a need to post screenshots.

      If you are not sure about what to do, I suggest to find a friend who has some knowledge of computer setup and do this for you.

      • pepito says:

        Thanks for your reply.
        I do have computer knowledge, but I don’t know if the BIOS offers all 3 options: “Discrete Graphics”, “Switchable Graphics” and “Integrated Graphics”, or just the first two (the ones you wrote in your blog).
        In my case I would use the nvidia gpu all the time, except when I’m traveling on an airplane, there I would want to watch movies and use the intel gpu for more battery time.
        I also wonder if its possible to turn off the LCD backlight via hardware button and dim it (via hardware or acpi + nvidia_bl module).
        If all this is clear I’ll buy it ASAP to have it before I go back to my home country (I can get it cheaper in the US: 650$).
        Thanks!

  9. Eoga says:

    Well even when the nvidia configuration could be better for a lot of things it is not whe you are traveling, as pepito mentioned, and here is when you want to use the intel card.
    In case you want to use only the intel card you can use vga_switcheroo to turn off the discrete card and use only the integrated card, this only work when you are using the free drivers an not the proprietary ones. This way you can use your laptop running on your battery for a longer time

  10. nuxail says:

    really appreciate your solution..it really work…

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