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Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 11,283
Message 1 of 8

Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux


I wanted to start a thread about running Linux (Any distro) on the ideapd y470. Here is what I have discovered so far...


The NVidia GeForce GT 550M GPU ( cannot be accesed. X windows is using the discrete Intel GPU post install. There is  a project to switch on/off the discrete gpu in linux called acpi_call. There is another called byo-switcheroo but I gather the author does not have hardware to support Optimus NVidia GPUS. So I guess (?) acpi_call is the only hope for this make/model. I have uploaded DSDT files (which are a disassembly of DSDT.dat files) from a lenovo ideapd y470 to:


as suggested at:


If anyone is able to get NVidia X windows display to work on an ideapd y470 please post how you did it here? Did it work at full resolution? 1366x768?


I also tried bumblebee but it did not work since acpi_call didn't work. I belive bumblebee uses acpi_call internally so that makes sense. So... so far failure on three points... I could not get the nouveau driver to work either... bumblebee is like an optimus technology but for Linux in case you were wondering what that was.


Also, the 2 usb 3.0 ports on the left side of the ideapad y470 do not work "out of the box" with Red Hat Linux. (Either fedora or CentOS 6). To fix this in Red Hat:


create a file: /etc/sysconfig/modules/xhci_hcd.modules

echo -n "Loading xhci_hcd module..."
if /sbin/modprobe xhci_hcd
        echo "SUCCESS"
        echo "FAILURE"

chmod 755 /etc/sysconfig/modules/xhci_hcd.modules


This will load the module for usb 3.0 support at each boot in a red hat type OS. Not sure about other distros.


xhci_hcd is kind of experimental in Linux and it has some bugs. So sometimes you may to may need to rmmod it. Definately want to do that before hibernate or suspend operation. Then modprobe it again as you wake up. So with this hack the usb 3.0 ports are good to go. Smiley Happy


Wireless and bluetooth transmitter worked fine under CentOS 6.0 and fedora 14. Its a very nice laptop other than the GPU problems in Linux.


Hopefully we can figure out how to get the NVidia GPU to work. Either alone or with bumblebee. Its too bad it doesn't work as the ideapad y450 was a most excelent portable Linux gaming rig. But using the intel drivers with y470  you can't even play minecraft. Smiley Sad


I still have one working y450 so I can wait a few months before I give up completely and sell the y470. Cheers.

What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-04-2011
Location: USA
Views: 11,257
Message 2 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

I just want to chime in and report that I have not been able to get the Nvidia GT550M card that came with my Ideapad y470 to work in Ubuntu 11.04.


Seems to work really well in Windows, however.


I would love it if someone had detailed instructions for getting this working.



Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 9,985
Message 3 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

I am happy to say there has been some progress on the NVidia graphics issues. Information can be found at:


I just wanted people to know this machine  may yet work with hybrid graphics. It seems the ideapad y470 is a bit "different" then some other manufacturers makes / models with respect to optimus calls. This is why it has taken so long to get it working.


Ironhide for ubuntu is apperently a dead project and so bumblebee is the way to go for hybrid graphics on Linux. Unfortunately it only supports ubuntu or arch linux at the moment but fedora support is reported to be on the way soon.


acpi_call is still around but I gather its not as useful.


If people have sucess please post to let us know what you did and what distro you are using?



Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 9,552
Message 4 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

May be of interest to people following this issue...



Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 9,204
Message 5 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux



I wanted to post pack to this thread about this make/model of notebook. I guess I would say I am satisfied with this solution. I have ordered a second ideapad y470 laptop which should arive by mid march. I need to have a second notebook for my work.


Please see:


This solution works for the Lenovo Ideapad Y470/Y570 make model. So..


If you use ubuntu, debian, gentoo  or arch linux, you can install bumblebee packages and also bbswitch via your distro's packages.


You can "build" acpi_handle_hack (its not hard, really!) and you will have working a bumblebee setup.


If you use another distro like me, you can build it from source code. See:


Lastly, my thoughts about this system. See:


It took a while to get working but I am happy with my lenovo Y470 laptop. It has become my main Linux machine.


I am a Linux sysadmin so I run Centos 6 as my distro of choice. I need to have business type apps that work well such as google chrome for GMail, Firefox 10 for having another browser, and 3.3 for wordprocessor, calc, impress, etc. I use NXclient to connect to remote sessions and rdesktop to connect to a windows system we have at work. I use KVM on a laptop a lot. I use criKet wireless to connect to work when my pager goes off and I'm in the middle of nowhere... (usbmodeswitch library works well with cricKet usb modems)  I needed a powerful laptop with a good amout of RAM. I own a Y450 with NVidia Geforce that still works fine but that you can't order any longer...


The y470 seems like a much sturdier machine compared to the Y450. It also seems to run cooler or have better heat tolerences than the Y450 did. At least so far. I haven't tried to compile dolphin emulator yet which will be the ultimate test...


I have been using this laptop for about a month. I have been using bumblebee for about a week. I do not dual boot. So I wiped windows 7 off the laptop.


Besides using my system for development and work stuff I also like to do some "light" gaming in my spare time. Keyword here being light. also watching DVD movies. I have some games working on the new system with and without optirun depending on the game and so far things are going well with getting games working on the new system.




In some games, I tested "sauerbraten" a first person shooter, you will see warnings such as:

"Could not set gamma"

"sd: Gamma correction not supported on this visual"


Which is probbaly a side effect of VirtualGL:


"bumblebee" relies heavily on VirtualGL so that is just the way it goes.  "sauerbraten" looks pretty cool / nice visuals on my system and seems fast, like ~120 FPS but maybe if you were super picky you would nitpick that? For me bumblebee is an acceptable solution. I mainly play old school games through emuilators and minecraft. So I would recommend this system to a Linux person who knows what they doing and isn't afraid of doing a little compiling to get "hack-lenovo" working.


Using optirun with minecaft I go from 30 fps to about 60fps which I am happy with. I'm more happy with teh fact that using optirun gets rid of glitches in the intel driver that can be kind of bad with minecraft.


(/usr/bin/intel_reg_write 0x9404 0x00001800 at bootup (rc.local) helps a bit with this)


The USB 3.0 ports seem a slightly buggy but thats probbably my distro. I think I have a workaround I can try for that.


I will probbaly build build bumblebee rpm packages for fedora/ CentOS/ RHEL / scientific linux at some point but I'm not sure when. Perhaps by end of march.  I'll post here if I end up doing that before someone else does. Enjoy. I hope maybe this helped someone.Smiley Happy





Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 9,200
Message 6 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

One last thing, the VGA out and HDMI out both work fine in Linux in case you were wondering about that. Some hybrid graphics laptops evidently have issues with the HDMI ports but thankfully the Y470 is not one of them.

Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎08-13-2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Views: 9,195
Message 7 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

Sorry, one last thing today that is IMPORTANT...


DO NOT INSTALL "acpi_handle_hack" on ANY SYSTEM other than a LENOVO IDEAPAD Y470 / Y570. It can mess up your machine and could be dangerous. Read the warnings in my link above please. Smiley Surprised

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-15-2012
Location: India
Views: 7,873
Message 8 of 8

Re: Lenovo Ideapad Y470 + Nvidia GPU 100% + Any Linux

This is an old thread and so I am not sure whether the OP will see it. From the picture I see that you get a frame rate of 1100 fps. This is with Bumblebee and optirun.


I have a more than 5 years old laptop with GeForce Go 7300 with 256Mb video memory. Even that gives me  a frame rate of 3300 fps with glxgears.


As I have read, VirtualGL causes a drastic drop of framerate( compared to native framerates ). Is that why you have only a frame rate of 1100 fps with glxgears ?


I am intending to buy a Lenovo laptop with an Nvidia graphics card. But this Optimus thing really leaves Linux users only with a crippled graphics card.

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