Quite a while ago, my wife bought an 11" Lenovo Ideapad S130, idea was to install Linux on this netbook. Removing Windows was no problem, but I knew that installing Linux would be a challenge with the Realtek RTL8821CE wifi card and de Intel N5000 processor. But after a lot of searching and trying out several Linux distro's I finally managed it.

First I tried a Linux Mint resping. Installing it was pretty straight forward, but battery indicator didn't work really good and I had some problems getting the wifi to work. After each update the wifi card got hard-blocked and it took some tinkering to release it again and get the driver to work. So I've tried several other distro's, like Debian, Linux Lite, Linux Mint XFCE, Fedora and OpenSuse. But every time I ran into a hard-block on the wifi card. So last Sunday I made a final attempt at installing linux with MX Linux which proved to be succesfull.

First I've downloaded MX Linux 18.3, made a live usb with the DD command and started up de Ideapad with the live medium. Touchpad, sound and battery indicator worked just fine. Thanks to a tip I found on a linux forum I knew I could install the Realtek drivers on de live usb, in a way that it would be active after each update.

Than came installing on the internal hard drive and hoping everything would work just fine...

Made an internet connection through tethering with my smartphone and started the install program on the live medium. I opted for manual drive partitioning and followed the advice on the wiki page of MX Linux to completely erase the hard drive and make a GPT partition table. After that I made a small (200 Mb) ESP partition and the 3 other partitions for the system: root, swap and home partition.

Than following the installation steps and entering info where needed (users and passwords), rebooting from hard drive and fingers crossed.

Rebooting went fine, but than that moment when wifi still doesn't work... yell
Yet again a hard-block on de wifi card. But, as MX Linux supports special funcion keys out of the box, pressing FN-F7 released the wifi card. Connecting to the network just fine!
So the wife now finally has a fully functional netbook, running on linux! cool

A nice sunday morning succes!


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