Difference between revisions of "Lenovo IdeaPad U330p"

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(VGA output)
(VGA output)
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=== VGA output ===
=== VGA output ===
If you need to connect to an external monitor or projector through VGA, you can use an HDMI-to-VGA adapter such as [http://www.lindy.co.uk/audio-video-c2/converters-scalers-c105/video-c1511/hdmi-to-vga-converter-adapter-p6787 this one], which works quite well.
If you need to connect to an external monitor or projector through VGA, you can use an HDMI-to-VGA adapter such as [http://www.lindy-international.com/HDMI-to-VGA-Adapter.htm?websale8=ld0101.ld020102&pi=38191 this one], which works quite well.

Revision as of 19:43, 21 March 2014


There are no major issues with Lenovo U330p. Everything works.

This page contains just some comments that may be useful during installation or troubleshooting.


The unit used for testing contained the following hardware:

  • Intel Core i5-4200U Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter
  • A thin Seagate 500GB hybrid drive (i.e. 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD).


The best way to ensure that Arch Linux is correctly installed is to follow the Beginners' guide step by step.

Preparing the installation medium

Use another machine to download the latest image from the Download page and burn the ISO image into a USB stick by following the instructions in USB Installation Media.

BIOS setup

Before booting with the USB stick, enter the BIOS in order to prepare the machine for the new OS. For that purpose, press the small button on the side panel next to the HDMI port. A boot menu will appear. Select "BIOS Setup", and then:

  • In the "Security" menu, disable "Secure Boot" (although Arch Linux can be configured to work with secure boot, this will probably spare you a few issues during installation).
  • In the "Boot" menu, leave "Boot Mode" set to "UEFI", and "USB Boot" enabled.
  • In the "Exit" menu, set "OS Optimized Defaults" to "Other OS". Exit by saving changes.

Disable KMS

To avoid getting a blank screen during installation, you should disable KMS (Kernel mode setting). This can be done as follows: when booting from the USB stick, on the Arch Linux boot menu, press e and then type nomodeset. Finally, press enter to boot without KMS.

Disk partitions

Use cgdisk to create the disk partitions, as explained in the Beginners' guide.

If the machine will be running Arch Linux only, then:

  • Create a first partition of at least 100MB (specify size: 100M) for UEFI. The partition should be of type ef00.
  • Create a second partition that takes up all of the remaining disk space. The partition should be of type 8300.
  • There is no need for a separate swap partition. Instead, create a swap file as explained in Swap.

Format the partitions as explained in the Beginners' guide.

Sound card

Set the default sound card by creating an alsa-base.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d/:

# nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
options snd_hda_intel index=1

and then reboot.

Install alsa-utils and run alsamixer to unmute the channels, as described here.

Video driver

Use xf86-video-intel. This is the correct driver for the hardware and it is being developed with the support of Intel.

At the time of this writing (Dec. 2013), Intel has just released extensive information about this graphics hardware.


Install xf86-input-synaptics as explained in the Beginners' guide.

This will make sure that the touchpad works correctly and will also provide two-finger scrolling.

Desktop environment

Despite general criticism, GNOME 3 is an excellent choice. It can be installed smoothly (see GNOME) and provides a very productive work environment.

For example, the Windows key takes you to the dashboard, where you can type to search for applications and use scrolling to move across workspaces. You can also tile windows on the screen easily, either by moving them to an edge of the screen or by using a combination of the Windows key with an arrow key.

Useful GNOME extensions:

How to show date next to the clock:

  • Run dconf-editor and open org>gnome>desktop>interface. Select clock-show-date.

How to make thunderbird the default calendar:

  • Edit /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop and append text/calendar;text/x-vcard; to MimeType. Then run sudo update-desktop-database. Finally, open GNOME Settings > Details > Default Applications and change Calendar.


Use of headphones

If you use headphones often and you shutdown the machine with the headphones plugged in, it may happen that in the next reboots the sound is directed to the headphones by default, even when the headphones are not plugged in.

To fix this issue:

  • Plug the headphones in and out. The sound should now be directed to the speakers.
  • Install and run pavucontrol once (you don't have to do anything, just open it, browse through the different tabs, and close it).
  • Reboot the machine (ensuring that the headphones are not plugged in). The sound should now be directed back to the speakers by default.

Network connectivity/latency

When using NetworkManager, it appears that wireless networking is not as responsive as it could or should be. For example, there is a noticeable lag when trying to acess some websites that should open immediately (e.g. Google, YouTube, etc.)

On the Web, there are several reports of connectivity/latency problems with this particular hardware (Atheros AR9462). However, some testing with Wicd seems to indicate that the network adapter is working fine.

There are some things that can be tried to alleviate this problem:

  • Disable IPv6 in NetworkManager. Go to Wi-Fi settings and turn off IPv6 for each wireless network that you connect to.
  • Create an ath9k.conf file to specify the option nohwcrypt=1:
# sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k.conf
options ath9k nohwcrypt=1

and then reboot.

Wired networking

This model does not have an Ethernet port, but it is possible to use a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. One such adapter is ASUS USB Ethernet Cable, which works right out of the box.

VGA output

If you need to connect to an external monitor or projector through VGA, you can use an HDMI-to-VGA adapter such as this one, which works quite well.