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Lenovo IdeaPad S10


This is a guide to running Linux with the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 laptop.

Since the Lenovo S10 has no optical drive, you'll need to install from either a USB optical drive, or from a bootable USB stick. UNetbootin is a cross-platform tool that can be used to create bootable USB sticks from nearly all major Linux distributions, as well as from arbitrary ISO images. See for download information.

Ubuntu desktop downloads can be found on

Note that there are several customizations of Debian/Ubuntu that are specific to netbooks. This page does not cover the details of those distributions, and only refers to the standard Ubuntu Desktop version 8.10.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo IdeaPad S10. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 specifications page.

NameLenovo IdeaPad S10
ProcessorIntel Atom 1.6Ghz
Screen10.2” WSVGA Widescreen
RAM512MB to 1GB
HDD80GB to 160GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
NetworkEthernet, 802.11bg, Bluetooth (Optional)

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorYes Shows up as 2 CPUs due to HyperThreading.
GraphicsYesWorks better with desktop effects turned on
WirelessYes Ubuntu updater offers “restricted drivers” for the Broadcomm chipset. The difference between those and the standard drivers are that ”restricted drivers” are non-libre drivers. That means they are closed source (copyrighted) and may contain patents.
BluetoothNot Tested (S10 does not come with Bluetooth built in, but it can be install as an add-on)
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Webcam Yes (Must be used with V4L2 enabled programs such as “cheese”)
Microphone No Does not appear to work with 8.10 out of the box.


The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 was tested with Ubuntu 8.10. Everything tested worked straight out of the box.


The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 works just fine with Ubuntu 8.10 and will likely work fine with other distributions as well.


sp, 2012/02/26 15:07

I currently run Antix m11 on my ideapad s10. This Linux distribution is based on Debian Testing. This has a Fluxbox and Rox-filer desktop environment, which is comparatively stable than other Linux distributions I have tested (all Ubuntu based distributions Linux mint, and Ubuntu also not running well with this laptop).

nez, 2010/12/15 11:06

Just installed ubuntu on lenovo s10-3, but it cant boot. dont know why. tried the usb boot and it couldnt either. please help.. pleasee

Kim C. Callis, 2010/12/12 08:45

How well does this device work as a tablet? And if it does work as a tablet, what is the process to get it work and what applications work?

Gosseyn, 2010/04/04 22:35

Despite all my tries to make a bootable USB key with an Ubuntu remix 9.10 (special edition for netbooks), I'm not able to boot with that USB key, even by pressing F12 and selecting the USB key (detected by the BIOS). I have tried creating the USB image under MacOS X and Windows with different methods, but no one works. I can mount the USB key on the desktop on the Mac (not on Windows, the USB key appears like not formatted), but I can't boot the Ideapad with it, like if no boot sector found. My USB key is an EMTEC 4Gb. The volume appears to be an ISO 9660. If someone knows why I can't make a bootable USB key or has any experience with this… Thanks to help.

bob, 2010/01/11 13:58

To get the WiFi working on 9.10: Using “sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source” in the terminal and rebooting will resolve this issue without further problems.

Anthony, 2010/01/25 18:48

When i run sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source
i get the reply Couldnt find package sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

my wifi is not working or showing up

thanks in advance

NOro, 2009/11/23 16:48

I've installed ubuntu remix on my lenovo s10 and everything wokrs fine, just the wifi doesn't work…I've tried a many distributions of linux,but only this ubuntu remix works best of all..

joe, 2009/11/04 22:24

I've been using Ubuntu 9.10 on the Lenovo S10 and everything's running smoothly. I agree that it seems faster with compiz (and cairo-dock). Its so much more pleasant than my XP was. (not too impressed w/ Win7, BTW)… except for streaming lash-video, which is rough sometimes.

Advice: Learn to love it the terminal, it will be good to you.

dd, 2009/07/14 06:44

made a clean installation of ubuntu 9.04 without windows os .. built in cam not working .. anyone can help?

PhatRick, 2009/07/07 06:43

I wrote the following little shell script, fixes the issue, references to where I found the fix are commented. Run at startup. You might want to set ethtool in sudoers, to simplify this. Weird thing is if I turn it off checksum and then turn it back on it now works! Otherwise I keep getting corrupted mac's quite often and sshfs becomes useless.


# I had the same problem with my LOM NIC Marvell 88E8001. I´m quite sure it
# was a hardware/driver issue, but in my case I solved it disabling the
# offload checksum on the NIC with the following command:
# sudo ethtool -K eth0 rx off tx off
sudo ethtool eth0
sudo ethtool -K eth0 rx off tx off
sudo ethtool -k eth0
sudo ethtool -K eth0 rx on tx on
sudo ethtool -k eth0

Rhapsodic, 2009/05/21 18:35

Is the external screen working at 1024×768 with Ubuntu properly?

jimmy, 2009/05/05 00:01

does hibernate/suspend work in F10?

Mo-Che Chan, 2009/04/02 00:56

Lenovo released new BIOS, 14CN58WW, and I updated.
The lightness of screen will be adjusted to maximum whenever reboot my ubuntu 8.10. This problem does not exist before I update to new BIOS. Does any solution exist?

orm, 2009/03/11 10:24

In order to get the microphone working:

right-click the loudspeaker icon in the top panel and select “open volume controls” (I think that's how it is called in english, can't confirm as I'm on a german system; it's the second item from the top). Then unmute the “Front Mic” control by clicking on the small loudspeaker icon below the faders. Adjust the faders to your liking and enjoy…

Just got the S10e today, installed a standard Desktop 8.10. I don't use the proprietary Broadcom driver and scanning and everything seems to work just fine.

All Ubuntu Newbies: Don't forget to issue the following commands after a fresh install in a Terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

This will get all packages up to date.

Bugbear, 2009/03/07 04:05

I did get everything to work with Fedora 10 - although it is not as snappy as Ubuntu. This included the power meter. Vertical scrolling is still an issue. Wireless works via

Bugbear, 2009/03/07 03:40

Vertical Scrolling fixed via:

Power display does not seem to work but run acpi -b from the terminal seems to work

Have not tried this for the mic yet

No issues with wireless at all

JD, 2009/02/13 16:48

The trackpad is DOA, everything else worked right out of the box. The installation was dual boot.

DougSalah, 2009/01/28 02:56

I am running 8.10 on my S10. I also upgraded the RAM to 2gig and replaced the HD with a 320gb 7200rpm drive. I haven't tested everything but it is a wonderful machine. I am hoping to swap out the 3 cell battery with a 6 cell and tweak the power management so I can stay away from a power outlet longer.

Mojmir, 2009/04/01 09:41

In the disscussion above it was mentioned “replacing the HDD”. What is a correct procedure as there is the EBIOS somewhere there on the old one and the service partition. Is it possible to move it somehow?

barron, 2009/01/27 04:20

I'm experiencing the same problem with power management. 8.10 is not able to calculate the remaining battery time. I haven't yet found a solution.

Martín Spaghi, 2009/01/06 20:10

Installed Ubuntu Intrepid. Everything worked out of the box, the WIFI with the proprietary driver.
No problems with battery, camera, ethernet. Will continue to investigate and post any results I find.

feivel, 2008/12/30 18:43

WLAN is listed as BCM4312 but in reality is a 4315 (see PCI id) which is NOT supported by b43.

Pete, 2008/12/28 16:57

Wifi does not work properly. On ubuntu you can have a closed source driver added. But it do not work as it should. Network scanning does not work and secure wifi does not work. I have also problem with the expresscard. But im not 100 sure that it is the lenovo that cause the problems.

Ryan, 2008/12/27 10:30

I just installed Ubuntu 8.10, and everything is working smoothly with the exception of power management. The OS can tell when the battery is discharging / plugged in, but cannot tell the discharge state (i.e. remaining battery). Has anyone else seen this issue? Is anyone aware of a resolution?

ransom, 2009/10/10 15:11

it's not as flashy as the power meter applet, but you can type 'acpi' in terminal

chrysler, 2008/12/19 05:19

I can install ubuntu8.10 before. But I cannot install the ubuntu8.10 after updated the newer firmware. I don't know why.

wilbur, 2008/12/15 03:07

I installed Debian (sid). I cannot get sound to work. snd_hda_intel is loaded and alsamixer screen looks fine but I get no sound. And I could not get wireless to work with the b43 drivers (with b43-fwcutter firmware) but it works with ndiswrapper. Everything else worked out of the box (expresscard reader not tested), including the webcam (mplayer tv://0). Any ideas how to fix the sound problem?

slacy, 2008/12/09 23:20

I've just installed 8.10 as well. It seems to work just fine, with a very small list of very small quirks:

- Keyboard repeat rate is not adjustable.
- Brightness on resume from suspend is very low (but resets to normal when changed back).
- Trackpad is too sensitive vertically. (A patch to the synaptics driver appears to be underway)

Everything else works like a champ. I haven't tried WPA on WiFi or the mic / webcam yet. I've heard reports that the webcam works, and that the mic may or may not (Not sure what the variable here is).

KGP, 2008/12/08 00:29

Could you get the mic to work with this laptop ? Are you able to use skype ?

WK, 2008/12/06 18:31

How about hibernate and suspend, how long does it run on battery?

farrell, 2008/12/06 10:51 says every S10 comes with GMA 950 graphics, but you listed GMA X3100. I'd really appreciate the output of lspci on your device, THX!

Bill Giannikos, 2008/12/06 12:33

Yes, you are right. I have made the change.

wylee, 2008/12/05 05:57

I just installed 8.10 on the s10. wireless works fine. I'm having trouble with the ethernet, any time I want to transfer big files about 2g or greater on the lan via scp I get a “corrupted mac on input.” was wondering if you're experiencing this.

Raceme, 2009/03/20 17:38

I've got there exactly the same problem: “corrupted mac on input” while transfering file with ssh, scp or rsync. Not found any workaroud for the moment…

It is almost certainly caused by the ethernet card: either an hardware problem or a driver bug from what I have read.

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lenovo_ideapad_s10.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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