Part 2: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" 81x20005us

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" 81x20005us 


In the first part of my review I went over the good and bad I found using Ubuntu 20.04 on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" laptop. This laptop a a definite buy and all features of the laptop can be used with Ubuntu 20.04 (and probably any other distro).

I'll provide a quick update on the Good and the Bad list that I want to highlight. Then I'll add some of the steps needed to get the laptop fully working on Ubuntu 20.04.

Follow up

  • Battery life is well over 4 hours with heavy use. 
  • Fan blows out to the rear and under load it isn't noticeable
  • Brightness control works but requires Linux Kernel 5.7*
  • Brightness control keys are probably in need of some tuning but totally functional
  • 16GB RAM (Not Upgradeable)
  • NVME SSD 256GB (Single Slot Upgradeable)
  • WiFi Module/Card (Looks like a mini pcie slot and is Upgradeable)
  • Web Camera (works with boltgolt/howdy facial unlock tool but need a well lit area, no IR)
  • Stylus registers as a Wacom HID 5217 device 
  • HDMI port works with External Display (Registered as Device: AMD RENOIR)*
  • Fan can be noisy if you have the laptop in stand mode and under heavy load
  • Sleep is working now with the new Kernel*
  • More photos below of the Hardware
  • See Instructions for updating the Kernel


Installing 5.7 Kernel

Use the mainline tool to update the kernel. Originally described here
  1. sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:cappelikan/ppa
  2. sudo apt update
  3. sudo apt install mainline
  4. Open up the application mainline and select the 5.7 kernel

In order to boot into this kernel, you will need to set the Laptop to boot "Legacy Mode" because this kernel is not signed yet. 

Installing missing firmware, follow the instructions in this post.
You should be able to use all the features tagged with '*' from the follow up list.


RAM, NVME Slot, WiFi PCIe Slot

Hardware View

Top and Bottom Inside Shot

Separate Bottom Cover Carefully

Bios Version


Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" 81x20005us

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" 81x20005us 


I'll keep this short, this laptop is a buy.
At the time of this post, it goes for $599 on Amazon

Out of the box almost everything works. After installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, everything works except for the HDMI port. I think this has to do with the AMD AGPU and a driver is probably needed. I'll follow up with the fix once I have one if this is a software issue. 

Other than that, this laptop is a buy. I didn't bother booting up into windows. I booted Ubuntu from a USB stick and installed it with secure boot and updated the MOK without issues.


  • USB-C Charging 65W adapter included
  • 2 in 1 
  • Backlit Lenovo Keyboard
  • AMD Ryzen 4500U 6 Core CPU
  • 16GB RAM (Not Upgradeable)
  • NVME SSD 256GB (Upgradeable)
  • TouchScreen works out of the box in Ubuntu 20.04
  • Web Camera (works with boltgolt/howdy facial unlock tool, I don't think it's IR)
  • 2 X USB A 3.0 Ports
  • SD card slot
  • Glossy screen and bright enough for me
  • Comes with Stylus
  • Speakers are loud, good for YouTube Watching
  • Good amount of screen real estate
  • Fans quiet, near silent with Chrome open and playing YouTube in the backgroun
  • Plastic material has a rough feel and grips well to my wrist
  • Bezel around the screen is thin and not noticeable at all
  • Performance is great and 6 cores and 16GB of ram is plenty
  • 2 in 1 functionality works well
  • In Tablet Mode, keyboard and mouse automatically disable


  • USB C port does not support Video output must use HDMI)
  • SD Card slot is half (maybe 1/4) depth so you need an adapter if you want full time slotted SD card
  • .2lbs Heavier than a surface pro 4 with Keyboard, case, pen
  • Ubuntu Screen brightness not working, screen only turns on or off using brightness control
  • Stylus uses funky usb slot holder, just put the stylus in your bag.
  • Sound doesn't have enough bass
  • The keyboard is a good size but I noticed I my right index reaches a little more than usual for the 'Y' key, this could be due to using a Surface Pro 4 and Macbook 13" (or it's just in my head).
  • Trackpad feels cheap, it's large but the clicking is loud and has a cheap click feel to it
  • Fingerprint reader is a nice touch but it should just be on the power button or someplace above the function keys
  • CPU SMT would have been nice, getting this to 12 threads would make it the ultimate buy
  • Keyboard and trackpad do not disable when in tent or movie stand mode, this is probably an Ubuntu/Linux limitation. 
  • Screen won't rotate when in Tent mode, again probably an Ubuntu/Linux limitation. 
  • Screen does not rotate to portrait mode when converting to tablet mode, again probably an Ubuntu/Linux limitation. 
  • Webcam face detection using Howdy only works in well lit rooms.