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5 Posts

02-21-2021

France

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Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-21, 13:09 PM

I have installed Ubuntu 20.04 on this laptop. Provided you have the Hardware Enablement Stack installed, it works - mostly:

  • webcam : OK
  • sound : OK
  • video : OK, with 3D acceleration (games!)
  • volume and screen brightness work - actually, most hotkeys work properly
  • touchpad : OK
  • touch screen and stylus : OK
  • deactivate keyboard/touchpad when in tablet mode : OK
  • battery life : acceptable. It may get better with kernel 5.11 and some adjustments to the power settings.

So yeah, it's very usable.

Not working:

  • accelerometer (for screen orientation) : detected but reports nothing. Not a big deal (manual rotation works) but an annoyance
  • fingerprint sensor (ID 27c6:55b4 Shenzhen Goodix Technology Co.,Ltd. Fingerprint Reader) : detected but not managed. Hardware supplier (Goodix) declined to provide Linux support. Again, not critical but annoying.
  • BIOS updates : the only way to update BIOS is through Windows.

The latter IS CRINGEWORTHY (I'm trying to stay polite)! Why can't we get a binary file and a basic flash utility in BIOS/UEFI?!

 

Is there any way to get a BIOS update under Linux? Apart from reinstalling Windows 10 that is.

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5 Posts

02-21-2021

France

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Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-23, 14:01 PM

Is it because of my rant above? I got an Intel IME firmware update through Ubuntu yesterday. It's not as good as a BIOS update, but it's not BAD either.

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3055 Posts

01-08-2021

Philippines

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Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-24, 15:45 PM

Hello Mitch 74,

 

Welcome to the Community Forums.

 

You may check the compatibility matrix for Lenovo machines that are compatible to Linux.

 

If it is not listed then we cannot guarantee full features to be compatible. You can check out Linux Community boards for other Linux member that may share ideas too.

 

Regards.
Dex_Lenovo



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5 Posts

02-21-2021

France

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Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-26, 9:24 AM

I know that not all features are supported on Linux, it's not as if it was my first time running it on a laptop... I've been a Linux user since 1999, and it's my main OS since 2006 - I'm used to spotty support.

Actually, nowadays support isn't bad at all compared to when I had to patch then compile a kernel just to support a network adapter or have working sound. And all in all the Flex 5 is working rather well with Linux (it may get even better with kernel 5.12 and support for Lenovo-specific power plans).

But it IS the first time I can't update the BIOS of the machine I'm running Linux on! Even my Thinkpad A21m, back in the days when asking for Linux support was seen as an unreasonable hippie/commie request and big names only provided Linux support on some very select machines most people couldn't even hope to see one day, much less buy, I could get a bootable floppy and update the BIOS.

Nowadays most machines allow you to get into the BIOS/UEFI setup screen to start the flashing process or at the very least to put a BIOS image on a USB stick and flash your computer at boot...

Except this machine.

Is there an undocumented way of doing so on this Flex 5? If yes, where can I get the firmware image and what is the method for flashing?

Technically, this isn't even a Linux-specific request. What if your Windows 10 install won't boot anymore because the latest update broke on an ACPI problem with the machine's implementation? You can't boot to install an updated BIOS that would solve the problem, you would need to reinstall an older copy of Windows (losing your whole install in the process) just to update the BIOS...

And this is not a theoretical problem, I had that on Haswell-based machines in 2019 when the latest version of Windows 10 would hang right after POST (no "safe boot" nor system restore possible) as long as the machine was in UEFI mode, and would not be recognized as bootable when set to Legacy boot (GPT, duh).

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97 Posts

02-17-2021

Japan

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  • Message 5 of 8

Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-26, 10:30 AM

I agree.

 

Additonally I want Lenovo to deploy BIOS recovery mechanism. With it, we can save previous BIOS in another EEPROM space and install newer BIOS.

When newer BIOS has design fault or we failed to write newer BIOS, we can use previous one to boot PC.

 

(Honestly, I never want to update BIOS. It's must be stable from the beginning, have no serious fault. UEFI has to be used to extend BIOS functionality.)

 

Just a common IdeaPad Flex5 (14ARE05) user
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5 Posts

02-21-2021

France

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Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-02-26, 11:12 AM

Dual BIOS is a thing on some enthusiast motherboards and GPUs. On a laptop, it's a bit of a waste.

BUT, the ability to flash from an external media without use of an operating system should be mandatory.

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1 Posts

06-19-2021

India

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  • Message 7 of 8

Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-06-19, 12:55 PM

I have installed the same OS but for me, touch screen and fingerprint both are not working,

 

I you know the driver for the touch screen then please let me know it will be helpful for me.

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5 Posts

02-21-2021

France

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  • Message 8 of 8

Re:Linux on Ideapad Flex 5 (14ARE05) : mostly good, some bad

2021-06-21, 12:50 PM

As I mentioned at the top of the thread,

  • the Touch ID doesn't work - period. Hardware maker doesn't want to develop a Linux driver, nor is making the specs available a thing.
  • touch screen does work, provided you're using a recent enough kernel driver (I'm on 5.8 - 20.04 defaults to 5.4); you may want to install the HardWare Enablement stack for Ubuntu 20.04
  • screen rotation doesn't work (the sensor is detected, but its events aren't properly recognized nor interpreted)

Moreover, several power enhancements and better support for the Ryzen 4500U were added to kernels after 5.4, making it more stable, faster and less power guzzling.

 

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