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Portables Software Linux Hardware

Lenovo to Sell, Support Linux on ThinkPads 243

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the march-of-the-distributions dept.
Pengo writes "Lenovo has announced that they will begin selling T-series ThinkPads with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 pre-installed beginning sometime during the fourth quarter. In addition to supplying the hardware support, Lenovo will also handle OS support for ThinkPad customers, with Novell providing software updates. 'Unlike Dell, which has targeted its Linux offering primarily at the enthusiast community, Lenovo's SLED laptops are targeted at the enterprise. Whether they are running Ubuntu, SLED, or some other distribution, the availability of Linux pre-installation from mainstream vendors increases the visibility of the operating system and gives component makers an incentive to provide better Linux drivers and hardware support. If Lenovo is willing to collaborate with the Linux development community to improve the Linux laptop user experience, it will be a big win for all Linux users, not just the ones who buy laptops from Lenovo.'"
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Lenovo to Sell, Support Linux on ThinkPads

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  • Well (Score:2, Informative)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Monday August 06, 2007 @03:15PM (#20133157)
    I may be dense but why should I care about what OS a company is putting on their machines? Leaving the ideological reasons out, an OS is no more thatn a tool and only I should care about it. I will never understand people that get an orgasm because Linuzzz OSX, Solaris or whatever object of their desire is getting more exposure. Just use it and if you dont like it, uninstall it and istall whatever does it for yoy.

    After 10 years of driving an Open I am now driving a Nissan. I am pleasing with it, but I be damned if i care if Nissan is worldwide being adopted as the cure of cancer or not. I just drive my damn Nissan and don't care if my neighbor drive a Volvo or hate japanese cars....

  • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 06, 2007 @03:19PM (#20133223) Journal
    Driver support for Free Software operating systems on laptops is traditionally somewhat hit and miss. If a large manufacturer is providing Linux pre-installed, then this means that they are going to be building laptops out of components that have Linux drivers. This makes shopping for a laptop much easier for anyone planning on running Linux (or *BSD, for that matter).
  • by krgallagher (743575) on Monday August 06, 2007 @03:39PM (#20133497) Homepage
    "Let's hope they can de-complexify SUSE's YAST. Few things could make Linux look more complex to fresh eyes."

    I find that very interesting. I have been running Suse for many years now, and one of the reasons is YAST. I like the fact that I can use it in text mode and do remote administration without running X. I have always found it to be a very user friendly application. I was also very pleased that when Novel bought Suse, one of the first things they did was open YAST. I would like to see it included with more distributions.

  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Monday August 06, 2007 @04:08PM (#20133863) Journal
    I recently purchased an X61 and I've been happy running Linux on it. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who isn't very familiar with Linux already.

    First of all, Thinkpads don't come with install media. You can make your own, but that's sort of hard if you bought a slimline model like the X61 without a CD drive. The tech support people were ultimately not helpful. They were willing to waive the $40 media fee (Lenovo, WTF?) because my computer doesn't have a disk drive, but it was "too new" for my warranty to be in their database (WTF?) and they couldn't send me the disks.

    Still, as long as I didn't touch their initial partition, I reasoned, I could still get back to a factory install. Windows was only a last resort if I couldn't get Linux on there anyway.

    The SATA controller had to be put in compatibility mode, unsurprisingly. The wireless worked in Ubuntu when I backported the Gutsy kernel, but the screen brightness control stoped working with the Gutsy kernel. So I tried Fedora 7.

    In Fedora 7 (32 bit version), wireless worked out of the box once all the kernel updates were installed (mostly worked that is -- reboot and "modprobe -r iwl4965; modprobe iwl4965" often).

    I can't get sound working even with the CVS copy of the "patch_analog.c" from alsa cvs copied into the alsa driver source. Others have had more success with this.

    Suspend (often) works after following the instructions for a T61 linked from here []. Of course, 50% of the time the machine will crash coming out of suspend, so I'm going to try the instructions here [] and see how it goes.

    I haven't even tried to get all the keyboard function buttons working.
  • Re:Cheers (Score:5, Informative)

    by jc42 (318812) on Monday August 06, 2007 @04:56PM (#20134451) Homepage Journal
    Three cheers for Lenovo!

    Well, maybe one cheer.

    I did the obvious test, that I've done for a number of other such "Linux is available on FOO" announcements: I went to, and tried to configure a laptop that ran linux.

    I failed.

    Nowhere on any of the couple dozen pages that I looked at did the "linux" string appear. Nowhere was I even given a choice of operating system. The choice was "Windows Vista".

    I'll give three cheers when someone who wants a linux machine can easily configure it and order it. Until then, I'll consider such announcements to be PR aimed at quieting the linux crowd without intending to sell anything to them.

    It is sorta curious that a company would so blatantly violate the old "Give the customer what they want" rule. They don't have to force linux on Microsoft fans; all they have to do is make it available. That's not difficult. So why don't they do it?

    (I recently checked at, and I still couldn't figure out how to order a linux laptop from them, either. ;-)

  • Re:Cheers (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2007 @09:20PM (#20137075)

    I went to, and tried to configure a laptop that ran linux. I failed.

    No shit. They said they will start including SLED as an option "sometime during the fourth quarter", not immediately. It's in the first sentence of the summery for christsakes.
  • The fine print (Score:2, Informative)

    by revengebomber (1080189) on Monday August 06, 2007 @10:41PM (#20137771)
    Bottom of the page: []

    * Only Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is supported. The ThinkPad T60p Mobile Workstation does not come preloaded with SUSE Linux. Users must obtain SUSE Linux licenses from Novell. The ThinkPad T60p comes with DOS entitlement only and ships with a blank hard disk drive. SUSE Linux OS will be supported by Novell, while Lenovo will support Hardware, ThinkVantage Technologies, and drivers. ** Not all ThinkVantage Technologies available on other ThinkPad systems are supported under SUSE Linux.
    Wait, what? This seems like simply "we won't discard your warranty if you run SUSE", or maybe "If you know how, there's a way to get most of this hardware working."

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.