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Lenovo Ideapad Y500


This is a template for a future compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 laptop. If you have the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo Ideapad Y500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 specifications page.

NameLenovo Ideapad Y500
ProcessorUp to 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM
Screen15.6“ 1366×768 Widescreen
15.6” 1920×1080 Widescreen
RAMUp to 16GB
HDDUp to 1TB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GT650M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11 bg/bgn

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveWorksMay not be present in Ultrabay
Graphics ChipWorks Complications with second Nvidia card in Ultrabay
VGA OutWorksTested using nvidia drivers on various distros.
HDMI OutWorks
Bulti-in MicrophoneWorks
Headphone JackWorks
Microphone JackWorks
EthernetWorksmanual driver installation may be required on some distributions
WirelessWorksmanual driver installation may be required on some distributions
Card ReaderWorks
Touch PadWorks
Suspend/ResumeWorksactivation might crash KDE (backup ~/.kde)


Backlight may or may not work depending on distribuition/drivers. If it does not work, try the nvidiabl module.


You can enter a summary of how well the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 works with Linux here.

Installation Procedure (suggestion!)


Note: A kubuntu live boot I tried didn't recognice screen resolution and wireless network.

use on windows
or on Mac OS X 10.6.8

to create a bootable USB device
(other data on the stick stays intact, just put them into one folder)

In the BIOS:

(note lenovo ideapad y500 has a bios button on the side. 
 very useful since F2 stopped working for me)
shut off secure boot if not already off (my case)
switch from EFI to legacy support but leave the "second boot??" on EFI
activate USB boot

Windows puts restore information in the middle of the C: partition. These are in 'unmovable' files that get in the way when shrinking the partition. If you want a lot of space for linux, disable 'system protection' prior to shrinking the partition, in which case the system protection files are deleted (ignored?), and much more can be chopped off the end:

'Control panel' --> 'System' --> 'System protection'.
Select 'Windows8_)S (C:)(System)' Hit 'Configure' button, and
then 'Disable system protection'.

Shrink your big windows8 partition in win8.

win8: right click lower left corner -> choose "File System Manager"
I did this: 880GB NTFS -> 664 NTFS & 216 FREE for linux

If you disabled system protection on C:, repeat steps above to turn on system protection for C: drive, now that it has been shrunken.

Reboot from USB and choose the install-ubuntu option.

(Install while network connection is present. Wlan works well right from the start.)
For install method choose: "something different" to ensure
the partitions are created the way you want them.
Find the free space you created under windows8 and click on it.
click the "add?" button and 
1) create swap partition (type =swap)
   on the end! so that it can be more easily extended if needed.
   130% ram size is recommended
   I had 8 GB but might upgrade to 16GB at some point.
   I choose 16GB swap (on HDD) since my SSD is exacty that size.
2) create root partition filling the rest of the space
   mountpoint \  type ext4-journaled
As boot device choose the entire SSD device. 

After successful install you might need
to get everything worlking properly.
I was able to boot from ubuntu but not from Windows8
thus I was able to install bootrepair from within ubuntu.

After the first normal linux startup:

Firefox was crashing when dragged and then dropped
an automatic nvidia driver installation solved the problem immediately.

Last you might want to install synaptic and kde (and your language pack)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install synaptic
sudo apt-get install kde-full


Lukas Süss (2013-03)


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Justin, 2014/12/18 14:28

I bought a y500 i5 a year ago and run Ubuntu 14.04. The builtin webcam and microphone do not work and I have occasional problems with wireless speed. Usually disconnecting from the wireless network and reconnecting fixes it.

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mia, 2014/10/30 09:58


Alex, 2014/07/14 02:26

I finally got my backlight controls working. I'm running Mint 17 on my Y500 with the GT 750M.

All I had to do was install xbacklight and go thru the settings menu to set the keybindings for the Fn keys to xbaclight -dec 10 and xbacklight -inc 10.

Ann, 2014/04/20 15:02

Important! Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has been released

can anyone test if it works and tell the steps done??


bit_shifter, 2013/11/09 17:57


Initial issues with this laptop when purchased (March 2013):

No Ethernet drivers (alx) in the Linux kernel for the Atheros chip (they are now included as of kernel 3.10).

On resume from sleep, the Ethernet alx module no longer works. The solution is to “rmmod alx && modprobe alx” and it comes back just fine. The permanent and automated fix is to make systemd scripts that tie into the sleep and resume hooks to rmmod alx on sleep and modprobe alx on resume – others have done this and have detailed it in the Arch Linux forums.

Jumpy touchpad/trackpad – this can be alleviated by using the commands “synclient HorizHysteresis=60” (or higher) and “synclient VertHysteresis=60”. It seems to help, but it's still not as good the default Windows driver/configuration.

SLI video card configuration doesn't give you any performance increase and, in some instances, hurts your performance. Disable it in the xorg.conf file under the “Device” section by adding (or changing the existing line) to 'Option “SLI” “off”'. This will at least save you some power/battery usage, since you get no benefits of running the 2nd card in Linux anyway…

Current issues:

Latest proprietary Nvidia drivers >319.XX don't compile with kernels >3.9. This is reportedly fixed in driver version 331.XX, but I haven't tested yet to confirm.

Other notes:

You can add an mSATA SSD to the empty internal mSATA port – I use a 240GB SSD entirely for Linux and installed Linux applications/games. This helps performance immensely.

The HDMI output works perfectly with the Nvidia binary driver.

The microphone jack works perfectly – tested with a gaming headset.

Not Linux related: the Windows wireless driver SUCKS. You will get frequent drop-outs and terrible speeds. As of this time, there isn't a fix. It's obviously driver related, since the wireless card works perfectly in Linux… Linux win.

My configuration:
Lenovo Ideapad Y500
Intel i7-3630QM
2 x Nvidia 650M GT
Arch Linux kernel 3.9.2
Nvidia binary 319.17
KDE 4.11.2

Drew , 2013/09/30 15:14

Hello, I've gotten my Lenovo y500 750m SLI installed with Ubuntu. However, the brightness doesn't adjust, and I'm not sure if SLI is configured correctly. Does anyone know how to use SLI? and how to get it working properly?

jpcordero, 2013/08/22 16:39


What kind of installation did you perform? Can you provide further details?

Did you installed it on a dual boot along windows? In uefi mode?


maximi89, 2013/08/14 02:35

There are various different models called “Y500”, in Chile it's coming one with a nVidia Geforce GT750M and with Intel Core i7…

Aditya, 2013/07/31 17:17

Hi Ann,

Yes, that's what I'm saying. This is assuming the ubuntu didn't mess up the partitions or the grub, which is what happened to me. You may need to use lenovo one key recovery.

Best of luck,

Patrick, 2013/07/28 01:46

I had a similar experience as Aditya, I believe a lot of the issues with other distros is due to a clash of the latest NVIDIA drivers not being included in the distros combined with an UEFI boot mode as opposed to legacy. Fedora 19 was just released this July, so they must have the updated NVIDIA drivers included.

Aditya , 2013/07/23 20:34

Just wanted to let everyone know that Fedora 19 has excellent support for UEFI bootup. I tried many other distros(Ubuntu 13.04, 12.04 LTS, Opensuse 12.3) to no avail. They would either not boot up from UEFI mode or would get stuck at a black screen after bootup. I used Fedora 19 iso for gnome and created a USB stick with Fedora's own USB creator( Neither UNetBootin or Linux Live creator worked for me. Hope this helps someone.

Ann, 2013/07/24 18:33

Dear Aditya,

so you are telling me that if I create and iso of Fedora 19 with USB creator, I will get both win8 + fedora and grub as startup without problems?

I have already and ext4 partition of fuckedup ubuntu, do you believe I wont have problems and do you any other advice?

thanks in advance

Aditya, 2013/07/31 17:18

Hi Ann,

Yes, that's what I'm saying. This is assuming the ubuntu didn't mess up the partitions or the grub, which is what happened to me. You may need to use lenovo one key recovery.

Best of luck,

Ann, 2013/08/04 14:50

I dont know if I will have the balls to do it, it caused to me much trauma and blessed god to have windows again

in computers there is one thing said: if it works, dont touch it!

for now I use live ubuntu usb to pay with paypal and other secure stuff, not sure if will install Fedora 19 or will continue what I do with ubuntu


bharat, 2013/10/26 16:24

Thanks Bro … Very Helpful :)

Brian, 2013/07/13 21:11


Tested bluetooth on a Lenova Y500 (icore 5 model) with Ubuntu 13.04 , can send/receive files without any problem .


donarus, 2013/07/07 10:00

just some more notes

webcam resolution OK

hdmi working perfectly OK

VGA out working perfectly OK

bluetooth tested and is working OK

Tadeas 'donarus' Palusga

donarus, 2013/07/07 09:53

Linux Mint 15 on Lenovo Y500 (ivy bridge i7, SLI dual graphics, 16g corsair)

+ Graphics OK (nvidia proprietary)
+ std keyboard OK
+ Sound OK
+ Webcam OK
+ Ethernet OK
+ Wi-Fi OK
+ microphone OK
+ all output ports OK
+ Possible to run both Windows (UEFI boot) and Linux (std boot). Just start NB by pressing hardware button on left side of the case and select boot options and then select correct boot Windows/Linux
+ Possible to dualboot both Windows and Linux using GRUB2

- cannot reduce brightness
- unusable multitouch in clickpad

  1. you can make clickpad more usable by using imps

echo “options psmouse proto=imps” » /etc/modprobe.d/synaptics_clicpkad.conf
modprobe psmouse -r
modprobe psmouse

Best regards

Tadeas 'donarus' Palusga

Katy Smith, 2013/06/27 14:59

I bought the Lenovo Ideapad Y500 i7 last week and installed Ubuntu 13.04. Everything worked like a charm.. no problem at all. I did not have any problem or any software crashing. My only wonder was that when I boot the machine I get few lines about the bios and no Ubuntu splash screen. I noticed that it takes a while ~ 1 min until Ubuntu is started. Having said that, the machine is very fast once logged in.


binaryplease, 2013/06/07 07:09

Would be intrested in more info about the second Nvidia. What drivers and configurations are needed to run them properly?

Ann, 2013/05/26 20:24

this is so very useful, I was about to buy this depending on ubuntu capabilities

why do you choose as boot device the entire SSD device? any problem with win8 then?
how to install drivers manually on ethernet?
can you explain the complications with second Nvidia card in Ultrabay?

I think that much swap memory is not necessary, considering this swap is used when ram is full and takes from HD, and I think will hardly use the 8GB in linux

I definitely will purchase this instead of E530 that was my 2nd choice

thank you so much

maximi89, 2013/08/14 02:38

SWAP it's very important, it needs to be double… because when you use the RAM entirely and you hibernate the computer it will write in the SWAP the used RAM and the programs who was using SWAP before hibernate…

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