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Enabling Tablet Mode on Ubuntu for Lenovo Yoga: A Solution

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Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution, is known for its versatility and compatibility with a wide range of devices. However, when it comes to hybrid devices like the Lenovo Yoga, which can function as both a laptop and a tablet, Ubuntu’s support can be a bit lacking. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on enabling tablet mode on Ubuntu for Lenovo Yoga.

Quick Answer

Enabling tablet mode on Ubuntu for Lenovo Yoga is possible by updating the BIOS, modifying kernel parameters, installing a newer kernel version, and using a script for screen rotation. Alternatively, Linux Mint with Cinnamon also supports tablet mode and touchscreen functionality.

Update Your BIOS

The first step in this process is to update your BIOS. BIOS, or Basic Input/Output System, is a firmware that is embedded on a small memory chip on the computer’s system board or motherboard. It acts as an intermediary between a computer’s hardware and its operating system. Updating your BIOS can sometimes improve the performance of your device and resolve any compatibility issues.

To update your BIOS, you will need to visit the Lenovo support website and download the latest BIOS update for your specific model of Lenovo Yoga. Follow the instructions provided by Lenovo to install the update.

Modify Kernel Parameters

If you encounter boot problems after updating your BIOS, it might be because ACPI, or Advanced Configuration and Power Interface, is disabled. ACPI is a standard that allows operating systems to discover and configure computer hardware components.

To solve this issue, you can add the kernel parameter modprobe.blacklist=hid_sensor_hub to your kernel parameters in the /etc/default/grub file. This command blacklists the hid_sensor_hub module, which is responsible for handling sensor events in the system.

Here is how you can add the parameter:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Type sudo nano /etc/default/grub and press Enter.
  3. Find the line that starts with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT.
  4. Add modprobe.blacklist=hid_sensor_hub to the end of the line, inside the quotes.
  5. Press Ctrl+X to exit, and press Y to save changes.
  6. Update GRUB with the command sudo update-grub.

Install a Newer Kernel Version

To make the gyroscope work, you will need to install a newer kernel version. The kernel is the core of the operating system. It interacts directly with the hardware of the computer and provides a platform for all other software to run on.

You can find a newer kernel from the Ubuntu mainline repository. After installing the kernel, you will also need to install the iio-sensor-proxy package. This package monitors your sensor and can be installed from the Ubuntu repositories using the command sudo apt install iio-sensor-proxy.

Screen Rotation with Gnome and Unity

If you are running Gnome 3.18 or newer, the gyroscope should be detected automatically, and the screen will adjust accordingly. However, if you are using Unity, you will need to add a script to handle the screen rotation.

You can find a modified script that handles screen rotation on Unity in this GitHub repository. Follow the instructions in the repository to implement the script.

Consider Using Linux Mint

It’s worth noting that Linux Mint with Cinnamon also supports touchscreen functionality and tablet mode. If you prefer Linux Mint, you can consider using it instead of Ubuntu. Linux Mint is another user-friendly Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu.

In conclusion, while Ubuntu does not have full tablet mode support for devices like the Lenovo Yoga, there are workarounds and alternative distributions like Linux Mint that offer touchscreen functionality. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy the flexibility of your Lenovo Yoga device on Ubuntu.

Can I enable tablet mode on Ubuntu for my Lenovo Yoga?

Yes, you can enable tablet mode on Ubuntu for your Lenovo Yoga by following the steps mentioned in this article.

Why is updating the BIOS necessary?

Updating the BIOS can improve the performance of your device and resolve any compatibility issues with Ubuntu.

Where can I find the latest BIOS update for my Lenovo Yoga?

You can find the latest BIOS update for your Lenovo Yoga on the Lenovo support website.

What should I do if I encounter boot problems after updating the BIOS?

If you encounter boot problems, you can try adding the kernel parameter modprobe.blacklist=hid_sensor_hub to your kernel parameters in the /etc/default/grub file, as explained in the article.

How can I install a newer kernel version?

You can find a newer kernel version from the Ubuntu mainline repository and install it. Additionally, you will need to install the iio-sensor-proxy package to make the gyroscope work.

Will screen rotation work automatically with Gnome?

Yes, if you are running Gnome 3.18 or newer, the gyroscope should be detected automatically, and the screen will adjust accordingly.

What if I am using Unity instead of Gnome?

If you are using Unity, you will need to add a script to handle screen rotation. You can find a modified script in the provided GitHub repository and follow the instructions to implement it.

Can I use Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu for tablet mode support?

Yes, Linux Mint with Cinnamon also supports touchscreen functionality and tablet mode. If you prefer Linux Mint, you can consider using it instead of Ubuntu.

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