Published on April 27th, 2020 📆 | 6522 Views ⚑0
Lenovo is joining Dell in the “OEM Linux Laptop” club
It looks like Lenovo may upstage Dell as the big name in OEM Linux laptops—not counting specialty retailers like System76, of course. Red Hat and Lenovo are announcing preinstalled and factory-supported Fedora Workstation on several models of ThinkPad laptops at Red Hat Summit this week.
Dell’s Linux support has generally been limited to one or two very specific laptops—first, the old Atom-powered netbooks, and more recently the XPS 13 Developer Edition line. Lenovo is planning a significantly broader Linux footprint in their lineup.
Fedora Workstation will be a selectable option during purchase for the Thinkpad P1 Gen2, Thinkpad P53, and Thinkpad X1 Gen8 laptops—and Lenovo may offer even broader model support in the future. Lenovo Senior Linux Developer Mark Pearson, who will be the featured guest in the May 2020 Fedora Council Video Meeting, expresses the company’s stance on forthcoming integration:
Lenovo is excited to become a part of the Fedora community. We want to ensure an optimal Linux experience on our products. We are committed to working with and learning from the open source community.
I’m happy to see that Lenovo is taking this step to offer pre-installed Linux support. Although I personally am a die-hard Ubuntu user, it’s also nice to see that Lenovo went with a different distro—while many in our community bemoan “fragmentation,” I personally believe that diversity is one of the Linux community’s greatest strengths.
Lenovo has committed to making the preinstalled experience functional only using software from the main Fedora repositories—no third-party repos will be necessary, and by default no proprietary drivers will be installed. Even if Fedora isn’t your personal distro of choice, an OEM Fedora Workstation Thinkpad will almost certainly be an excellent choice for most distros you might choose to replace it with.
Unfortunately, the upcoming Yoga Slim 7—powered with a Ryzen 7 4800U or Ryzen 5 4600U Zen laptop CPU—isn’t on Lenovo’s initial list of supported models. I’m still itching to get my hands on one for review—the dual-GPU Zephyrus G14 didn’t fare too well with Ubuntu, but I’m still hopeful that the more simply designed Slim 7 will do better.