Linux on the Lenovo 100s

Published 2020-12-12

Downloading Debian

The Lenovo 100s is a Intel Baytrail device. One of those strange machines which has a 64 bit processor but a 32 bit UEFI BIOS. This causes problems when trying to install Linux.

Fedora has supported 32 bit UEFI in their standard install image for a while, so any recent image should work without issue.

Ubuntu won't work, as they haven't included the 32 bit version of the bootloader. Its possible to add it in manually.

Debian has a multi-arch ISO variant, which works with both 32bit and 64bit systems.

I ended up using Debian, and there was a few tricks to downloading the right copy:

  • Make sure to download the multiarch CD
  • Make sure to download the image that includes non-free firmware, otherwise the Wifi chipset won't work.

I downloaded this image

Installing Debian

The Debian install process works is the same as usual, except I ran into one issue. I found that the laptop failed to connect to my Wifi when I choose the network in the installer, if I choose the "Specify SSID" option and manually type in the name of the network, it successfully connects.

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