Getting Ubuntu up and running on a Lenovo Miix 310

Published · 3min

Back in January, I picked up a Lenovo Miix 310 a while back to play with Windows. It was an interesting experience, but I really can’t see myself shifting my development over to Windows any time soon, so I figured I’d throw Xubuntu on it and see if it’d be good as something I could use when travelling.

My first attempt was with 16.04 LTS. That didn’t go too well. The biggest issue was with screen distortion: the graphics looked interlaced. HDMI out worked, however, but I couldn’t get much further with it.

I figured I’d try 17.10, which might have slightly better luck, and it did! While during boot, the same weird interlacing thing happened, I was able to get to the point where I had a login screen, albeit one that was rotated, along with the mouse pointer. To fix that, I made the following update to /etc/default/grub, running sudo update-grub afterwards:


I then edited /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf:


And created /etc/lightdm/, which I made executable:


# Fix screen rotation on login.
xrandr --output DSI-1 --rotate right
# Fix mouse.
xinput set-prop "FTSC1000:00 2808:1015" --type=float "Coordinate Transformation Matrix" 0 1 0 -1 0 1 0 0 1

Then I did my usual setup:

apt install git tig ansible most vim-gnome tmux meld
apt install debfoster zsh keepassx make openssh-server fonts-inconsolata
ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -f ~/.ssh/id_primary
chsh -s $(which zsh)
mkdir projects
cd projects
git checkout
cd dotfiles
make install

This would work in fits and start. Sometimes, I’d be able to boot it up without any issues, while other times I’d be presented with a black screen. At that point, I gave up, and the tablet was left sitting on a cupboard in my living room for a while. I suspected it was an issue with not being able to control the backlight, but didn’t know for sure, or how to solve it.

Recently, however, I came across this post on the Lenovo forums that gave me the missing part of the puzzle. I edited /etc/initramfs-tools/modules, adding pwm_lpss_platform, and ran sudo update-initramfs -k all -u.

A reboot later, and everything’s been working almost flawlessly! There are still a few issues, such as the SD card reader not working (which I believe won’t be an issue in 18.04), and the Bluetooth support being broken, but I can live without those. The other small issue is that sometimes the device will hang for seemingly no reason.