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Lenovo IdeaPad S205


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo IdeaPad S205 laptop

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo IdeaPad S205. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo IdeaPad S205 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo IdeaPad S205 specifications page.

NameLenovo IdeaPad S205
ProcessorAMD Zacate Processor E350/E450 1.6Ghz dual core
Screen11.6“ Widescreen 1366×768
RAMUp to 8GB
HDD320GB (depend of model)
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsAMD Radeon 6310 Graphics
NetworkRealtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E Ethernet
Atheros AR9285 WiFi b/g/n
USB 3x USB 2.0
Other Bluetooth (optional)

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorFullShows up as 2 CPUs.
Card Reader Full


* Tested with Debian GNU/Linux. Ubuntu not works out of the box.

* Linux 2.6: There is no standart kernel driver for card reader but you can use opensource driver from realtek. I dont recommend to use this driver because this driver brokes a USB subsystem - with this driver you can't use USB-flash, USB-hdd or other USB storage.

Linux 3.2: Now card reader works fine with standard kernel drivers.

* For install GNU/Linux you must use GRUB1 or Lilo because GRUB2 dont support UEFI booting without special partition for bootloader.


Very good device but firstly you need some information for install GNU/Linux.


how to start a website, 2014/04/28 11:43

The demons gave him the impetus. I do think people are born with the seed of genius, and it either gets worked or it doesn’t. Probably his experiences [in WWII] gave him the impetus to create. Everything he wrote about stemmed from that.

furnished accommodations, 2014/04/22 16:00

I have to unplug the power and battery, hold down the power switch for around 10 seconds and then power it up again. It will resume perfectly from the suspended state

gyffes, 2013/08/14 04:26

For the longest time, the only distro I could get on my s205 was Fedora – but Fed16 (XFCE) ran like a dream on it. (ok, Mint went on but track pad was wonky)

Because I'm REALLY unhappy with Fedora 17 & 18, I've been casting about for another distro to try on it. I'm an XFCE fan, so that drove my decision-making. I could Puppy, and the wifi on that worked great, but it's just a bit too.. ugly, and installing Puppy to disk is less of a joy than one would hope.

Sabayon has gone on smoothly but got the now-familiar wifi issue, requiring the modprob/rfkill dance. Unfortunately, Sabayon doesn't come with rfkill installed and w/o 'net connection, I couldn't get it. Then I found the fix: reboot, F2 for bios. F9 for “reset to defaults”. F10 to save and exit. On restart, wifi was working! I'm astonished it was that easy, frankly, but here it sits, online.

I love the s205, frankly, perfect combo of size and ease-of-typing. It'd be nice if it were thinner, but I actually dislike carrying the 11” MBAir – it's TOO thin, so the battery on this makes a nice grip.

Yep, still happy with my 205.

tomo19, 2013/04/23 23:40

I'm using LILO and dual boot with win7, debian 6 (squeeze) with encrypted partition, using linux for daily work and use, win7 only sometime for short time, I don't have any trouble with this netbook and linux on this, sometimes is something going back in KDE enviroment, but drivers working ok, wifi, ethernet net interface, gpu with original drivers, no boot problems

skillz, 2013/03/20 15:22

At first, the UEFI meant that I only had luck installing Fedora. With later kernels however, everything seemed to work out of the box. I'm presently using Crunchband Waldorf and it's my main work machine these days, and I'm pretty happy with it's performance. Be careful around the power switch as it's quite sensitive.

Also, I seem to have a choice of having all the USB sockets working, but not the card reader, or having the left USB and card reader working, but not the right hand USBs. I'm hoping this'll be fixed at some point.

dingo, 2013/03/18 04:34

Be warned. This laptop has been an incredible hassle. At various times with different distros the following have proved difficult:

1) dual booting with windows 7.
2) getting the wifi working. works out of the box now with newer kernels but slow.
3) sound.
4) seemingly random failures to boot. as one user mentioned this seems to be remedied at times by removing external power and waiting a while.
5) proprietary catalyst driver sucks

don't buy this laptop if you want to run linux on it.

Charles Lo, 2013/03/15 16:07

I've install CentOS 6.4 at this machine.
It work well now. I've found out any obvious problem.

Bill McHale, 2012/07/31 02:12

After a year of fiddling, I have finally gotten decent performance out this laptop.

Most things worked fine out of the box with ubuntu 11.04… except wireless, grub and the microphone. I found guides on line to get the wireless working by blacklisting a bunch of stuff (or you can run
rfkill unblock wifi
rfkill unblock all
sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi
) Either way, wireless performance was awful. Not much changed under 11.10

Finally under 12.04 things are much better. Though performance when not plugged in drops (I am still experimenting with power settings) and performance seems to drop after an hour or two. restarting wifi generally takes care of the problem.

. The microphone was because it was a stereo mic that inverted the wave on one side.. I think pulse audio preferences fixed that.

Anyway, now that I got things working, it is quite a splendid little laptop.. but it is definitely not an install for the feint of heart (maybe 12.10? :)).

Tonmaster, 2012/06/27 21:39

The new Ubuntu LTS 12.04 Release works out of the box, including Grub2. Everything is perfekt now ;)

H Durer, 2012/03/06 14:31

Wiped Windows and managed to get Ubuntu 11.10 to run on it (11.04 didn't work for me).
Is now mostly usable but

  • often needs multiple boots before wifi connects (the base stations are seen but connecting to them fails reliably if in fail mode and works reliably if in works mode)
  • wifi throughput seems fairly poor and can be unstable under sustained load compared to other laptops I have around
  • suspend doesn't work
  • shutdown doesn't power off (but reboot works)

Had no problems with sound or SD card reader which were reported by others elsewhere.

J F, 2012/01/25 13:22

Such a lovely laptop, but such a pain to put Linux on. I have Ubuntu 11.04 working on it, mostly happy now with a 2.6.39 and a 3.2 kernel. However if I suspend the laptop it will fail to boot as the drives appear to have been remapped or something. I have to unplug the power and battery, hold down the power switch for around 10 seconds and then power it up again. It will resume perfectly from the suspended state - bizzare!

Sean Finney, 2012/01/14 13:17

I have a lenovo S205, and has been the most troublesome Linux laptop I have ever encountered.. ( have installed Linux on about 10 or so different laptops in one form or another, and have never had an issue, until I got this one)

Boots up from USB and runs linux without any difficulty, Installs without a hitch, however within a day fails to boot. Followed every single web page I can find on the net, about issues about UEFI and made sure I have always used GRUB1, to no avail.

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lenovo_ideapad_s205.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/12 14:47 by
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