So, why are they reluctant to just issue their band-aid patch to the BIOS -- after all, it's really the path of least resistance here?
Yes, there has been some deflection of blame here. The argument that every single OS except Windows 10 is at fault for not supporting this CRAZY new super advanced hardware doesn't make much sense.
"Linux (and all other operating systems) don't support X on Z because of Y" doesn't really apply when "Z modified Y in a way that does not allow support for X."
To state it more plainly, this "CRAZY new super advanced hardware" has a trivial backwards compatible mode that works with everything just fine, but it is blocked by Lenovo's BIOS.
However shipping a new BIOS that opens the option to run with less than optimal drivers for the majority of their users (Windows users) it is not a good idea. There are costs to ship a BIOS with and without the "band-aid" and to support it.
There are also costs for all the support calls they think they'll get if their laptop doesn't work well on Windows (which is again probably 99% of their user base) and all the returned laptops they'll get because [battery|temperature|performance|stability] issues.
Also, come on, Linux is not that important nor threatening on the desktop market for anyone to try to actively block it. We think we're super smart for catching big corporations red-handed with their conspiracies, but realistically no one gives a shit about Linux on laptops. No one would go out of their way to specifically screw with Linux. Linux has lost the desktop wars, but not against Windows: Against Apple.
Seriously, this whole clusterfuck has apparently been done to avoid Windows using its own drivers; not even Windows 10 can be installed unless you get those drivers.
As a long time Linux user (disclosure: I pretty much use every major OS out there) I tell you this was called Tuesday not so long ago. There would be a new piece of hardware and you'd be screwed. No Linux for you on this or that laptop or with that graphics card or external gadget. Printers, scanners, anything you could plug on a PCI port. Man, that was hell.
These days you easily get supported hardware because companies have been much better at creating Linux drivers or making it easy for someone else to do it. The difference is that before we were more humble and brought decent arguments on the table to push the companies to be compatible with Linux.
It was a bad decision, but it might not be good to unblock it either.
Where did I say that Lenovo should change the default setting?
To be clear, I'm perfectly fine with a default setting of RAID -- but right now, they also lock you out of changing it back to AHCI.
What I think is reasonable is allowing users to change the setting back to AHCI (at their own risk, of course, as is the case with MOST settings in the BIOS). They should have done that all along, but instead, they artificially restricted it, locking us Linux users out by their own volition.
Maybe they could even have two separate builds (using an #ifdef on their end), where Linux users can download the "unlocked version" much like some permissive phone manufacturers have done with rooting (to draw a somewhat weak analogy).
You are right. No one's making excuses here :)
> Where did I say that Lenovo should change the default setting?
You didn't, I did.
I was walking on Lenovo's shoes and asking myself "What's good for the business right now?". I was considering my options, so to speak.
> What I think is reasonable is allowing users to change the setting back to AHCI (at their own risk, of course, as is the case with MOST settings in the BIOS). They should have done that all along, but instead, they artificially restricted it, locking us Linux users out by their own volition.
Why is it reasonable? Does it bring more money to Lenovo shareholders? What happens when all the Internet forums are full of people blindly recommending to change to AHCI so you can use your Windows 10 vanilla ISO to reinstall? I tell you what happens: You end up with hundreds of support cases and laptops returned because they [underperfom|get too hot|have shitty battery] and non-returning customers.
With the decision Lenovo made, they will have way less problems. Or so they thought! Maybe they were right, maybe they were wrong.
> Maybe they could even have two separate builds (using an #ifdef on their end), where Linux users can download the "unlocked version" much like some permissive phone manufacturers have done with rooting (to draw a somewhat weak analogy).
They could do that, but as I said in my previous comment this might not be as cheap as it sounds.
If they were to provide the unlocked BIOS version "at your own risk", would you use it? And if it bricks your laptop, would you or someone else sue Lenovo?
Those are the things at play here.
(Note: I agree with you on most things here, just playing Devil's advocate)
Dear god, am I supposed to care about the shareholders now? People don't buy products out of empathy for shareholders.
I don't consider "higher support costs" to be a valid pretext for trying to obstruct me from configuring my property as I please.
The idea that people may cluelessly mess around in the BIOS and render the machine unbootable is not a particularly sensible basis to argue about the configurability of AHCI mode. It is always going to be possible to render a machine unbootable via changing the BIOS configuration. A BIOS setup menu cannot serve its purpose if it doesn't allow you to change settings which could render the machine unbootable. (Most directly, a boot password you immediately forget.) If machine manufacturers aren't willing to offer options that may render the machine unbootable, they may as well not offer BIOS setup menus at all.
No. People buy Lenovo because many reasons, but not because of empathy... or because their friendliness to Linux.
And, by the way, you still don't get it. You're not the one to decide on behalf of Lenovo what's reasonable for them to do, unless you're their CEO. You can say this or that is reasonable, but ultimately they are the ones responsible to decide what's best for the business (I.e. for the shareholders).
> I don't consider "higher support costs" to be a valid pretext for trying to obstruct me from configuring my property as I please.
Nobody cares what you consider valid, unless you share opinion with a majority. That's, unfortunately, how the world works.
And actually you can run Linux on it. You just have to write the driver, or pay someone to do it. Or use an external HD, or live boot...
Ask Intel about why there's no driver. Ask Lenovo why they've used Intel hardware (this second one might be easier to answer).
> The idea that people may cluelessly mess around in the BIOS and render the machine unbootable is not a particularly sensible basis to argue about the configurability of AHCI mode. It is always going to be possible to render a machine unbootable via changing the BIOS configuration. A BIOS setup menu cannot serve its purpose if it doesn't allow you to change settings which could render the machine unbootable. (Most directly, a boot password you immediately forget.) If machine manufacturers aren't willing to offer options that may render the machine unbootable, they may as well not offer BIOS setup menus at all.
1- The problem is not rendering your machine unbootable by messing with the BIOS settings. The potential issue is running the wrong drivers for your local storage.
2- Surely BIOS would become less and less configurable, just look at Apple's. Look at your smartphone. Can you run Linux on your iPhone? Can you run iOS or Windows on your Android? That's where we're going I'm afraid :-(
I'm here just trying to explain why this is not a black and white thing, why there are more factors than the technicals and why this is not a conspiracy but a disdain for the non-Windows market.
I'm not sure why some of you think I'm defending Lenovo and get angry at me. Do you guys get so angry at your teacher in history class? :-)
Lenovo's Linux compatibility has been a selling point for Linux users from what I've gathered talking to people and reading forums (see for example ). It was one of the reasons I bought a Lenovo.
For all that, I'm not suggesting for a moment that I believe this is part of some grand conspiracy to persecute Linux users. This is just another dumb, short-sighted decision by Lenovo that results in them trying to sell semi-broken hardware.
In my opinion, if those sales were important, Lenovo wouldn't be screwing over non-Windows users like they did now.
How is this harder than the current procedure which requires users to sideload custom RAID drivers from USB that support the RAID at install time?
I can imagine the support calls coming from THAT.
Oh, and this is the Windows experience that is affected (ostensibly for some marginal increase in battery life).
"If they were to provide the unlocked BIOS version "at your own risk", would you use it? And if it bricks your laptop, would you or someone else sue Lenovo?"
When I think of risk associated with setting a BIOS to AHCI mode? I don't think of nuclear explosions...
It's not harder: It degrades the overall experience while using the laptop (battery, temperature, performance).
> I can imagine the support calls coming from THAT.
> Oh, and this is the Windows experience that is affected.
True, but I'm sure they plan on make money out of these calls. People will be more inclined to pay when "they" screwed up Windows than because "this piece of crap doesn't work well, even with Windows freshly installed".
Again, this is a guess of Lenovo's thinking.
> When I think of risk associated with setting a BIOS to AHCI mode? I don't think of nuclear explosions...
I mean flashing a non-supported BIOS :)
Except these are baseless claims that haven't been supported by any data yet; in fact, one user that posted on the Lenovo Community forums compared the "performance" of single-drive RAID (oxymoron) vs. AHCI for NVMe SSDs, and it's more or less the same.
"I mean flashing a non-supported BIOS :)"
Right, so do I -- currently, users have been attaching DIY chip clips and flashing a user-modded hacked BIOS themselves (much like modding Playstation game consoles to break the region locking back in the 90s).
Wouldn't it be better for these users to flash a Lenovo-supported BIOS instead?
I guess that's what factors into your "bottom line" calculations -- the overhead of uploading a 30 second fix from engineering.
EDIT: I really should have realized I have been getting trolled a bit sooner LOL
I agree that that wasn't civil, but there's nothing civil about this side-swipe either. Please don't do that.
Except when that CNSAH is holistically proprietary and black box, with no documentation, no announcement of it, no schematics or free drivers or anything. "We made this black box that you aren't allowed to know how it works but you aren't supporting it so you are in the wrong".
The fact that Intel's hardware is "CNSAH" (or even black box/proprietary/etc) is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.
I'm not saying that it is Lenovo's onus to ensure that Linux is forwards compatible at CNSAH at all -- it's actually their responsibility to make sure they don't break existing backwards compatible functionality; you're misrepresenting my actual argument.
I'm also _liberally_ and very generously using "backwards compatible" to describe AHCI, when I should be calling it "modus operandi."
I'm going down a new, yet unfortunately similar, path with Dell on a 5510. First unit I had would shut off if you picked it up. Dell decided to "upgrade" my purchase because they didn't have any more 5510 with FHD displays in stock. What I got back was a "better" machine with a 4k display. I've been arguing with Dell support since...
To each their own, I guess.
No, only their consumer-level ultrabooks -- specifically, Yoga series.
I bought a P50 as well, and I love it; MUCH better for my use case (mobile app development that is "mobile") than any of the Apple products I've used.
It was a shame to see the initial posts this morning hit the top of the page without any more evidence than a single customer support rep. who was unlikely to realistically have inside knowledge of some kind of "secret conspiracy" to block linux installs by Microsoft.
Now, there are two options. 1) to support this hardware correctly, you'd need to make complex changes to the driver. In this case, I cannot see how it is the Linux' developers' "fault" that this doesn't work. It would be great to have a driver, but it depends on information that Lenovo doesn't give out. Or 2), it is trivial to make a driver, e.g. you just have to look for a certain ID. In this case, I would also blame Lenovo or MS, for there would be no reason to bock AHCI to "ensure a good customer experience" etc.
Whether this situation has come from malice or not, I don't care very much. Anyway, I think it is up to Lenovo to provide a solution (a BIOS update, a Linux driver, or information neccessary to write a driver).
Now, is it a conspiracy or not? I'd say the most likely option is carelessness. Maybe this happenend: "Shall we set this to AHCI or RAID? Currently it is set to RAID and works fine." - "Do we need AHCI?" - "Nah, Windows 10 runs fine, maybe for some older OSes" - "We don't care about those, just leave it on RAID. And while you're at it, comment out the AHCI option."
Did MS give any instructions to Lenovo to block Linux installs? Maybe not specifically, but we have to remember this is a "Signature" edition laptop. (There was the accusation that this only effects the signature edition and not other editions, which would be particularly damning btw..) I wouldn't be surprized if there was an agreement like. "The partner (Lenovo) shall install any crapware on Signature edition laptops. They shall not not preinstall other OSes. And they shall not offer support on installing other OSes." -- Which would be entirely reasonable for a special "Windows Signature" edition laptop.
Or, alternatively, they removed a firmware setting that makes their hardware work less well and didn't think about Linux at all.
Writing a piece of code that resets that one particular variable on each boot?
Sorry, but that's just nasty. There is no reason to do that if the goal is just to provide best experience on supported OS.
Although I agree that it's unlikely this was targetted specifically against GNU/Linux and other OSes. The most important thing would be that Windows 7, 8 and older won't boot anymore.
I don't believe it's accurate to say there's "no real reason", it seems like enforcing this behaviour is very much aligned with the goal you've posited.
This is under the assumption that this was indeed done for the purpose of ensuring Intel specific drivers are used for power management purposes.
Hiding the option from BIOS menu is absolutely enough to "ensure Intel specific drivers are used for power management purposes". It would be annoying, but workaroundable. There is no real reason for anything more, aside of being able to get months of complains about not releasing a one line fix allowing your customers to use your hardware.
It absolutely is not enough, because I can come up with a single contrary case.
If this change was made in a BIOS update, simply hiding the option would leave some users stuck in the "wrong" setting forever. So one might write some code to flip it back at the same time.
This is the simplest way of fixing the problem. It doesn't need any assumption of maliciousness or incompetence. It's just unfortunate for Linux users, since they clearly didn't get any consideration when this fix was written, that's all.
Aside of that, this couldn't even be a change made in BIOS update, because every OS installed earlier, including preinstalled Windows, would stop booting without being provided with Intel driver.
I guess switching modes, a la progressive enhancement, is impossible with disk access then??
There's only so many ways you can slip and slide on this ;-).
Why should a commercial company be forced to provide support for a platform?
If they advertise the hardware as supporting Linux then sure they absolutely should be required to support it. If they don't, then why should they have to support it?
But then I reserve the right to be indignant about this. And I also think it is a bit stupid:
Lenovo had a reputation for having serious business Laptops. They cared about power-user customers who wanted to configure everything, and they had good Linux support.
Either they messed up technically - they did not know the effect this small change would have on Linux support. No problem, can happen, but is still a bit stupid. Or they messed up business-wise, by knowing this change would disable Linux, but not considering that important. I believe this is a much stupider screw-up.
It's like you buy one of these modern crossover trucks, and then find out you can't use it off-road in the desert. Of course, 99% of customers will use them in urban and light rural traffic, and only rarely will they be used off-road. But part of the allure of such a vehicle is that you could.
I don't believe that moustache-twirling executives are staging a conspiracy to kill Linux. But I do think Lenovo has lost their attention to detail that made them so special, and I can no longer recommend Lenovo products without hesitation, like I used to, which is a bit sad.
Their laptop brands are VERY distinct, and have been for a long while. Thinkpad is the brand that you should recommend for Linux users, not Lenovo in general.
Here's Debian: https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Asus/X205TA
Here's Ubuntu (this is a very long thread): https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2254322
There's a video on youtube of a school tech support guy who has a bunch (149) of ASUS X200 to image the drives from a USB drive, and that involves updating the "bios" and then editing the bios settings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yectQ5MeS_Y
tl;dr: it's not fun on any of these netbooks.
The only issue I've ever had with Thinkpad laptops was the Prime Nvidia/Intel video card switching... which is very similar to this in that it just wasn't supported by the drivers.
I see that Dell just had a big expansion of their Developer Editions... good for them! But it still appears that a fresh install of Ubuntu takes manual configuration of video drivers and power managment, meaning that they haven't figured out how to really make embracing Ubuntu smooth.
But that does not make it a conspiracy by MS or Lenovo.
it is a commercial decision. companies get to make those
consumers then get to choose whether to buy their stuff
but it's not a conspiracy.
I would hate to send him unprepared into the wild with a Lenovo.
Every OS they support costs money in developer time. It's a commercial trade-off what Operating Systems to support.
Put it this way, do you see lenovo or Dell or HP developing drivers for OpenBSD? there's no commercial ROI on that, so they don't
In this case it would appear that Lenovo don't think there's a commercial reason to help out with Linux drivers.
It would be interesting to see how this is achieved in other pc's in the signature edition range : https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/categor...
Because it's support for installing an OS, which is not the same as supporting an OS. The OS installation itself is unsupported.
Users running an unsupported OS is cheaper than users running a prescribed, supported OS, problems with which generate support calls.
Supporting Linux is part of what I'm doing here at my job, in a company that makes SoC's. The customers want a base platform (Linux-based) with board support, packages, a toolchain and so on. That's "Linux support".
"This is not locked down, so you may install Linux on it" is not Linux support.
I must have missed the post where somebody advocated having troops parachute into Lenovo's head office and round executives up at gunpoint. Could you let me know who was advocating the use of force?
Not being able to change the OS on a laptop severely reduces its aftermarket value too. My laptop originally ran Windows. I bought it second hand to run Linux on.
Unless you're under the age of about 25 I'm not sure how you've never once flashed a BIOS unless you aren't in tech. Pretty much every new server from Dell/HP/Cisco/IBM/name your vendor requires a BIOS flash at least once in it's lifetime. Usually at the time of acquisition for HBA compatibility.
I once bricked an X230 with BIOS flashing (through Thinkpad Update). Judging from the forums, I'm not alone.
Indeed you can't install linux on that machine, but that's a technical problem and a deficiency in Lenovo's setup, just not a conspiracy by Microsoft.
The actual reason, some technical firmware/driver minutiae, is exactly the kind of reason that both makes sense and I would not expect a PR rep to know or be able to explain.
That may even be what happened here. They were told "It's happening because we're using Windows X and this makes it runs better". That becomes "It was because that's what Windows needs" or "That's what Microsoft has us do".
The first one is accurate but misleading, the second inaccurate. But I could see either one resulting from that conversation.
Now if the Lenovo rep could cite the rule that MS (supposedly) gave that says "Do things way X" then I would believe them. But "because Windows" alone isn't very compelling.
I tend to not read commments on articles anymore, where Microsoft is blamed for something. Reminds me of Slahdot.
You honestly think that's more likely than, someone made a mistake or said something to close a support call???
We aren't talking about deep dark secrets we are talking about normal privileged company information.
The strange thing in fact is not the employee knowing things not shared with the world its the employee actually disclosing it.
For the CS rep. to know this, all Lenovo CS rep's would have to know.
And not one of them leaked this juicy info. to the press or reddit or anywhere else....
Just doesn't strike me as a likely course of events.
The customer rep gets a cryptic sticker on his desk: "Models 1234S, 3333S: Signature Windows Disk ONLY". If a customer calls asking for a restoration media, they get the correct one. If they call asking for Linux, sorry it is not supported according to my sticker.
I'm just making this up of course, but it is not entirely unplausible to me. In fact I find it more plausible then just an accident. Why would a customer rep just make stuff like that up?
Or Lenovo and MS have a vast conspiracy to use disk drivers to block linux install..
which is more likely.... you decide.
That's very likely.
That's not a vast conspiracy. That would be a pretty quotidian conspiracy. In fact, it would look a lot like the "Winmodems" that were a thing before (and maybe around?) the turn of the century.
Those existed because they made machines marginally cheaper by emulating the modem in software. Which only worked on Windows and caused much gnashing of teeth back when.
I believe Winmodems came to be solely because of cost savings. I also believe that the fact that it was functional exclusively on Win was a second-order effect that approximately nobody in Redmond took issue with.
...As an aside, I'm going to assume consistency on the part of all those who are being snide about customer support folks, and assume you make a point of never calling customer support (I'm not referring to the parent poster here). After all, you can't trust anything those idiots say, so why would you bother?
the customer support bit and wanting to move to the next call is based on my own experience of working in support many years ago, there was a strong temptation to tell the user something to get onto the next call as that was usually your performance metric....
And I'm pretty sure it became well known due to discussions just like this, over time. There was a ton of confusion about it at the time; I'm really not in the mood to attempt to search for 20 year old nerd-grousing, but I remember it from various Linux lists at the time.
And it wouldn't surprise me a bit if some CSR at Best Buy gave bad information about Winmodems, and people like me took the bad information at face value and then got in a discussion about it in some forum...
And the cycle of life is complete.
I'm actually surprised when I see people give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt despite years of building mistrust.
I guess a lot of people are just really naïve sheep. Also, notice how others saying stuff like this here on HN are downvoted into oblivion.
It's probably a tribal mentality: just like people become fans of some sports team (Giants vs. Red Sox) or car brands (Ford vs. Chevy) and develop a religious fanaticism about it, probably the same thing happens with Microsoft and Apple (we definitely see it a lot with the latter). Worse, with MS in particular, a lot of peoples' livelihoods are tied up in the whole MS ecosystem. So perhaps all the pro-MS downvoting and posting is coming from people who've bought into MS, especially for their careers (namely, legions of .NET programmers and MCSEs).
If you actually read the specifics about the situation, you'll learn that the SSD is set up in RAID mode, and the Intel hardware also supports AHCI mode.
Acronis and all other OSes do not have driver-level support for this new experimental RAID hardware at all; they do support AHCI, of course, like they have for years.
The BIOS normally has an option to revert the hardware back to normal AHCI mode, but Lenovo intentionally restricted the Advanced page in the BIOS containing this option (which is available and unrestricted by default in the BIOS code they received from the manufacturer) by adding a goto statement to the BIOS's code.
As far as why Lenovo restricted it, it's likely for the same reason Lenovo was prohibited from preinstalling software. Signature PCs claim to have the "best" performance settings, mandated by Microsoft. If NVMe is superior to AHCI, Microsoft would sensibly mandate NVMe.
That is not true, many users have tried using the very latest bleeding edge kernel. The drive is not detected at all by Linux when it is in RAID mode. The usual fix is to disable RAID mode and just use AHCI. On most sane systems (but not Lenovo), you can do this easily by changing a single BIOS setting.
Also, my understanding is that the benchmarks show no appreciable performance benefits of single-drive SSD RAID over AHCI.
They have behaved in negative ways for a long time they will need to behave differently for quite a long time before they are trusted again.
They have cleaned up many but not all of their behaviors. They are still abusing patents against smaller android distributors. If they care about their patents they would sue Google or the AOSP steering group (or whoever runs it). If they were actually with an open ecosystem they wouldn't be doing those lawsuits.
In the context of Microsoft's behavior, blaming them is not an unreasonable default stance. Though when evidence does come along to the contrary someone holding such a stance must be willing to change it or be wrong.
Most (80%) developer experiences these days are probably limited to their behavior from year ~2008 and onwards.
To be fair, they've responded to my tweets, but only because I have nearly 10k followers.
This sounds like post facto justification on your part. It's entirely reasonable to take the word of a customer support representative. It's also an egregious misrepresentation to paint it as "secret conspiracy", given the phrasing the representative used.
The wording of "secret conspiracy" was inspired by the original posts this morning on this exact subject which cast the matter as exactly that, and it was those posts to which that comment was referring.
The idea that a single customer support representative would know something which was previously unknown and unstated across the positions of two of the largest corp's around seemed unlikely.
What I've been trying to suggest to multiple posters here (and apologies if you think the arguments are circular but people seem to keep bringing the same points up repeatedly) is this.
which is more likely, a mistake from one low-level employee of Lenovo or a deliberate plan by two large corporates to secretly (the use of secret is justified by the fact that it's not their stated position) use the disk driver configuration of a laptop to block alternate OS installs.
really which do you think is more likely?
When you work at a company you have a funny way of finding things out, and you don't say things on forums or elsewhere that you don't mean to say :-).
When somebody tells me something clearly and directly, and why, I tend to believe them. But I'm just funny like that.
If it raises the issue of running Linux on laptops, it's fine IMO. And both Lenovo and Microsoft have a lot of accumulated badwill that does not play in their favor. Guilty until proven innocent seems fair here.
There is no good reason for this. Whatsoever.
Obviously vigilance implies some amount of false positives. It is easy to dismiss a problem once better information is available. It's great that this Lenovo situation is simply a misunderstanding about drivers, but that doesn't invalidate the initial concern about a suspicious situation.
The disturbing level of contempt is almost the sole property of the "Linux == Freedom" crowd. I mean seriously, the level of outrage about systemd alone is off the rails. Bring up Microsoft and I'm somehow complicit in oppressing people because I use their software? (But somehow the rare earth minerals in devices and the contributions to modern electronics of the defense budget don't somehow make us all culpable of far more. I mean, yeah the GPS in my phone was built for the military but how dare you not give me a compiler!)
I used to be such a hard core Linux fan when I was younger. Man I hope I wasn't as breathlessly shrill as the people I'm seeing today. There is so much wrong with the world that people complaining about this really make me think that we are all so isolated in our little worlds...
That's patently incorrect and you know it. FYI: You're showing that kind of contempt right now. My point isn't even related strongly to Free Software; it was an observation that a lot of people don't like early warning systems, which is bad for security. Shooting the messenger when they bring a warning of a possible threat is a terrible idea if you want to continue to receive warning messages. Deciding if that was the goal for some people is left as an exercise to the reader.
> I mean seriously, the level of outrage about systemd alone is off the rails.
Off topic and irrelevant, though if you actually read the real, substantive complaints against systemd they tend to focus on forced upgrades from unnecessary tight integration between components and disruption of working code. The contempt in these arguments is usually from the people that try to shut down any discussion that isn't blindly accepting systemd.
> Bring up Microsoft and I'm somehow complicit in oppressing people because I use their software?
I never said anything of the sort. Pretending to be a victim is unbecoming.
> [stuff about rare earth minerals, the defense budget, GPS]
If there is a point to this word salad, I am not parsing it. It seems off topic?
> I used to be such a hard core Linux fan when I was younger.
Some of us still believe it's a bad idea to sacrifice your principles for convenience and a few shiny baubles.
> people complaining about this really make me think that we are all so isolated in our little worlds
The future will be shaped by those that control computation and the internet. This means defending computation and communication that isn't controlled by one entity is one of the most important tasks of this generation. In the future, everything is a computer. Some of us think it's important to fight for freedom now, before that happens, because the problem is only going to get harder.
If you've given up that fight, that's fine. Just please stand aside because other people are still trying to fight for a free and open future.
You don't know me friend. That's not the kind of thing that I would ever say to someone lightly.
Your last line reads like some manifesto from the 90's. it's naïve in the extreme. The future will be controlled with force. Just like the past. How do you think the materials that make the computers are mined, extracted, and turned into the parts that make your shiny toy? Force.
The idea that you are a freedom fighter is so laughable. Jesus Christ, that's so pathetic that I'm having a hard time thinking that you aren't trolling.
That's your claim, not mine.
> Jesus Christ, that's so pathetic that I'm having a hard time thinking that you aren't trolling.
Ok, I'm done with you. You're either trolling or simply a naive apologist. Either way, I have better uses for my time.
Naïve apologist? I'm telling you that your efforts on "protecting freedom" are a way for you to feel superior about yourself while still participating in the same system as the rest of us. You put nothing on the line, and arguing with people who disagree isn't a sacrifice. (It's a privilege.) Believing this woo-woo is a trick that you play ON YOUR SELF to feel like you have some measure of influence on things that you know...and you do know, deep down...that you don't and this is all bullshit. VIM or EMACS don't make anyone actually more free. It's so fucking insulting that you think by being a shrill know-it-all on a message board that you are personally involved in the struggle for human freedom...AND I'M NAIVE?
The point I took from this is that people who believe they're fighting for freedom in and through software only care about freedom for rich (in a global measure) people who live in developed nations and are happy to ignore the much larger quantity of people worldwide who live under far more restrictive and harsh circumstances.
That's a very presumptuous statement.
Rather few software professionals care much one way or the other about the idea of Free Software, you know. It's really just a source of free-as-in-beer libraries & programs.
>"...it is prudent to be extra vigilant about anything strange that happens in the boot process."
As I pointed out in the previous thread, modern x86 PC architecture is defined by Microsoft's "Windows Hardware Compatibility Program" requirements; it is not and never was an open standard. Much like Apple or Google, if Microsoft chooses to close their boot process, there's not much that anyone else has a right to say about it.
We live in a time where likes and upvotes control what we see and informed criticism being censored away by downvotes and flagging. As someone who often goes against the grain, its god damn obvious our communication infrastructure has degenerated into something horrible where only echo chambers and groupthink rule. Stuff like this will continue to rise to the top until there's some kind of reform. I don't see reddit, HN, or Facebook changing how they rank items up to encourage dissenting opinions, because ultimately dissenting opinions aren't as profitable or 'community minded.'
Jonathan Swift (1710)
On the other hand, as Reddit has grown in popularity, the tyranny of the majority has reared its intolerant head. It truly is a hive mind. All the posts at the top are agreeing with each other (the dreaded circlejerk) or are a series of puns. Arguments are considered fallacious if there is a spelling or grammatical error, not ever considering that English may not be the posters first language. And when Reddit gets a hard-on for justice, it is so certain of its findings that it accuses innocent people of terrorism. (http://www.businessinsider.com/reddit-falsely-accuses-sunil-...). I don't know if this is due to its surge in popularity and/or that it became the site of choice for those who outgrew 4chan.
There was a TED talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_b...) that warned of the dangers of tailoring services to match our personal tastes. I hoped that the internet would expose people to ways of thinking that were just not available in their own localized social milieu. Instead, online filter bubbles/echo chambers promotes even more speculations, rumors, and lies even though there has never been an era where it's been easy, if one were so inclined to seek the truth. It's just sad that many of the social media sites encourage this behavior.
Companies with a solid engineering culture will look at the process and fix it without blaming an individual - regardless of if the data are recoverable or not.
- MS shouldn't be blamed based on what the CEO of Lenovo says, let alone what a tech or BB rep says.
- MS shouldn't be blamed for new crimes based on past behavior
Why care about MS or any other megacorp? Because this salem witch trial shit is toxic and should not be condoned against anyone.
Rush to suspicion and demanding answers is great. There is no downside to saving blame for after the facts are in.
Why would anyone buy their stuff?
Now I'm writing this on a Yoga Pro 2, which is nice in principle, but it's slowly starting to get wobbly, screws are falling out, the color is peeling off the keys, and I can't use Linux because the color yellow is replaced with fricking MUSTARD if you don't load a specific Windows only driver.
I actually poked a bit around in the drivers, and Lenovo fixes the problem by sending a few bytes to the Embedded Controller (a microcontroller on the motherboard). Lenovo doesn't give out the neccessary information, but I could reverse engineer it by kernel-debugging Windows. But the only way to do that on this Laptop would be via a special crossover USB3 debugger cable, which is out of sale. Before I soldered my own, I just gave up, and am now using Windows...
My next PC is going to be an Asus or a Dell (who would have thought a few years ago...).
The modder that flashed the custom BIOS was able to boot linux on his first try.
official comment from Lenovo denying it.
> Why not offer the option to disable it? A user who does would end up with a machine that doesn't boot
But the modder that flashed the custom BIOS was able to boot linux on the first attempt.
If not use the tech support you pay for.
With the driver, it doesn't matter if Lenovo did it to lock out older Windows versions, Linux users or just to screw with their customers for fun - because it would work.
However, it's still Lenovo who's playing bad here. Intel provides a mode in their controller that works with everything. It's Lenovo who deliberatelly made it almost impossible to access.
However, I don't agree with conclusion that Lenovo isn't to blame. They went out of their way to ensure that even power users playing with EFI shell won't be able to switch to AHCI mode.
I don't care about Microsoft here. Lenovo showed its bad side and I probably won't be buying their devices anymore - which is a pity, as I'm writing this on my Yoga 2 Pro, with my company's Yoga 900 (fortunately older, unblocked revision) nearby and I liked those devices.
How about we pay some attention to the second part of:
Lenovo's firmware defaults to "RAID" mode and
** doesn't allow you to change that **
Why not offer the option to disable it? A user who does would end up with a machine that doesn't boot, and if they managed to figure that out they'd have worse power management. That increases support costs. For a consumer device, why would you want to? The number of people buying these laptops to run anything other than Windows is miniscule
For everyone asking me what laptop they should buy, I'll be sure to let them know how disorganized and confused Lenovo support tends to be.
Second tech savvy users influence others.
Thirdly supposing you publish sufficient tech specs as to enable the kernel to support your hardware I'm guessing linux users actually require less not more tech support.
Windows users repeatedly trash their own machines with malware and pick up the phone to call their oem. Linux users google the error message and open a bug on the project that actually doesn't work's site.
I'm not even sure where your hostile attitude comes from. Lenovo just dropped the ball.
Magic windows bios raid modes have existed for the 13 years I've been using linux and I have never seen one that didn't include a switch in the bios to disable it.
What you are incorrectly framing as lenovo righteously dumping entitled linux fanboys is in fact just Lenovo not knowing how to design a computer which given repeated mistakes in recent years is hardly shocking.
.....and why do you suppose that is? Fake RAID drivers and hardware are shit that's why. It's an option that is hardly used, if ever, and I never thought I'd see the day when a system had it as its default.
Everyone's hardware supports communicating with drives in a standard fashion not providing a way to enable this given that the hardware already supports it is wholly and totally lenovos fault.
It sounds like the kernel just needs to learn about the new PCI ID.
For one thing, no benchmarks I've seen of nvme SSD has shown them to be significantly faster if the BIOS is set to RAID, but I've not heard any thing for or against the power savings benefits of it.
So it's not the RAID that saves power, it's the [use of the] driver.
What I think is reasonable is allowing users to change the setting back to AHCI (at their own risk, of course, as is the case with MOST settings in the BIOS). They should have done that all along, but instead, they artificially restricted it, locking us Linux users out by their own volition.
Because Internet forums. That's why. Search for "I can't install Windows 10 on my Lenovo Whatsyourface" and you'll get "Change this super secret setting to AHCI". And who's going to be doing those searches? Everyone, but specially people less computer savvy. The ones that know enough are here discussing Lenovo's decision.
Again, just to clarify: I'm not trying to defend Lenovo. What they did was a bad business decision, but maybe it was the lesser of two evils. Maybe they should've kept Intel accountable on this one - but who can argue with the only serious CPU manufacturer for laptops?
Lower performance for everyone or no drivers for Linux.
I take you know more than the article's author, in which case I'd be interested in reading your analysis as I'm not an expert.
There's a reason why that hasn't been done on any system in the past - because it's stupid and fake RAID drivers are notoriously buggy and require support from cloning and other low level software that gets used.
Yer, you're not an expert, or appear to know anything about hardware.
Also, the power saving stuff is bollocks. I never thought I would see the day when anyone would recommend using a bullshit fake RAID driver for power saving reasons.
I base my opinion on what experts call facts as I'm not a hardware expert myself.
I could be crazy, but HN's algos seem much too aggressive about hiding articles due to flags. It often feels like the most interesting articles are to be found 2-3 spots into the second page.
Until Lenovo issue a proper, detailed, official statement we need to keep the pressure on.
Self aggrandising posts like this don't help.
Recently, which models? (I was thinking of getting a new Thinkpad... but maybe I should look at HP or Samsung)
Storm in a teacup
Date: 2016-09-22 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cowbutt
Such patches are unnecessary, as mdadm already supports Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST - http://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/architecture-and-te... ) for simple RAID (e.g. levels 0, 1, 10) arrays, allowing them to be assembled as md or dmraid devices under Linux.
However, it would appear that the version of mdadm in shipping versions of Ubuntu (at least - maybe other distros too) doesn't support the Smart Response Technology (SRT - http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-tech... ) feature that's a part of RST and is used by Lenovo to build a hybrid one-stripe RAID0 device from the HDD with a cache on the SSD (I'm sure Lenovo have a good reason for not using a SSHD). Dan Williams of Intel submitted a series of patches to mdadm to support SRT back in April 2014: https://marc.info/?l=linux-raid&r=1&b=201404&w=2 . Perhaps now there's shipping hardware that requires them, there'll be the impetus for distro vendors to get them integrated into mdadm, and their auto-detection in their installers to use the functionality provided sanely.
I should add that mdadm is not present in Ubuntu live images by default - one has to pull it in by issuing "sudo apt[-get] install mdadm". BTW, I don't know if mdadm would detect the RAID controller/disk immediately upon installation, or it would require a reboot. In the latter case you may wish to use a USB key with enough spare room to save the system status and reboot. I'd use UNetBootin to prepare such a USB key.
The main issue here is, a user who doesn't even see a disk, probably wouldn't know to go as far as installing mdadm.
IMHO, given the broadening diffusion of NVMe and RAID devices, Debian, Canonical, REDHAT, Fedora etc. might wish to make mdadm part of their live images by default (and eventually strip it from the installed system if it's unnecessary).
The fact that Linux got caught in it is just collateral damage.
Garrett should be condemning Lenovo for not making a perfectly configurable chipset feature....configurable and defending Linux and freedom of choice on hardware that has always traditionally been that way. But, no, he doesn't. He defends stupidity as he always does.
Sorry to be that guy, but the elitism is pretty misplaced anymore...
No, it wasn't a bullshit statement from a rep - it was a very clear statement from a rep, in black and white, that has not been retracted or clarified by Lenovo in any way. It's always funny when people choose not to believe verbatim statements and explanations put right in front of them.
Literally nothing about this sentence is correct.
Support reps know nothing, and nameless support reps that throw out statements like that with no explanation or link to company policies are even less likely to have a clue what they're talking about. I can't believe I'm having to explain this on Hacker News. It's like people on /r/xboxone that post the dumbest crap from support reps and claim it as Microsoft canon.
And yes, Lenovo has clarified that... as everyone who is paying any attention already knows... no, it's not some bullshit conspiracy, and it is in fact the result of switching to faster storage technology that simply isn't supported by Linux today.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/lenovo-says-linux-is-not-bloc... (this includes the statement from Lenovo)
Plus, you know, you could read Matthew's blog post (the HN link that we're commenting on...) that explains this as well.
Sorry, but literally everything about it is correct. What a great adjective.
> Support reps know nothing, and nameless support reps that throw out statements like that with no explanation
Errrrr, no. Support reps do not throw out incredible specific, crystal clear and precise statements like that unless they're true. This doesn't come out of nowhere.
>I can't believe I'm having to explain this on Hacker News.
Your working life must be pretty interesting if that's you're attitude to every crystal clear, unequivocal and precise statement you read ;-).
> no, it's not some bullshit conspiracy
No, it's not. An extremely clear statements has been made that is not open to misinterpretation.
> Plus, you know, you could read Matthew's blog post (the HN link that we're commenting on...) that explains this as well.
I have, and true to form, it doesn't. As usual we get someone who wants to tell us that black is white and that a manufacturer miraculously using buggy fake RAID drivers is now the done thing. For performance. Or power management. Or whatever the reason happens to be.
What alternative reality do you live in? A short unsubstantiated single sentence-fragment from an unnamed, untitled support employee on a random fucking forum is not a "precise statement".
>"An extremely clear statements has been made that is not open to misinterpretation."
So let me get this straight... a nameless employee writing a single sentence with no explanation or justification... you'll accept as absolute truth. But the company issues AN ACTUAL PRESS RELEASE describing the technical reasoning... and you're just willing to completely dismiss and ignore that?
>"As usual we get someone who wants to tell us that black is white and that a manufacturer miraculously using buggy fake RAID drivers is now the done thing. For performance. Or power management. Or whatever the reason happens to be."
What the "buggy, fake drivers" are you talking about? Just making shit up now? Are you REALLY contending that the NVMe devices don't work better under RAID mode, despite the fact that it's a widely researched and accepted fact with whitepaper to boot?
Please stop, this is embarrassing. Go troll somewhere else. I won't be participating in this conversation further, it's clearly a complete waste of time.
Let me try again. New Microsoft is awesome! Old Microsoft never happened. Double plus good!
People often feel that their pro/anti MS views are being suppressed by the anti/pro members of the community, but really it's just that the community is divided. Accusations of abuse without evidence aren't allowed here, and someone merely holding an opposing view isn't evidence.
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12551876 and marked it off-topic.
Personal attacks (and that's an ugly one) are not allowed on HN. Nor is name-calling ("so stupid it isn't even funny, but Matthew likes defending stupid").
We ban accounts that do this, so please don't. You can easily make your point civilly and we'll all be better for it.
I don't know about Microsoft and Lenovo laptops. I do know that you have to follow the HN rules the same as everyone else does. I wouldn't call that 'censorship' any more than, say, traffic laws, but YMMV. The point is, if you can't or won't be civil then you can't comment here.
WTF is that URL by the way?
Many Skylake systems are like this today. You can boot Windows 7 but there are no USB 2.0 ports so you have no keyboard or mouse. You have to go through an incredibly tedious procedure of slipstreaming USB 3 drivers into the installation, and you don't always know whether you have the right ones from Intel's site.
Restricting disk access seems like a much more foolproof way of closing this off ;-). Businesses can't buy this laptop and use their volume license of Windows 7, which is entirely the point. They can also build in obsolescence in the future by removing driver support.
You might be able to get an OS they're not keen on installed, but if you can't see the disk you've got no chance of getting it installed ;-).
Since we've asked you before to comment civilly and substantively, we've banned this account. If you'd like to commit to doing so in the future, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can unban the account.
Realistically all corporates are out there to make money, this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
that said I don't think witch-hunts with inadequate factual backing help anyone. This would appear to be one of those cases. A single customer support rep. makes a statement and it hits the front of /r/linux and HN without anyone actually checking with the companies in question.
Not everything is a conspiracy theory....
Please don't comment like this here.
> WTH is wrong with you, people, really.
Please comment civilly and substantively or not at all.
The option in question wasn't cloaked under "security" or "encryption" as many lock-downs are, but instead an unsupported disk mode.
The evidence that it was a "secret conspiracy" was a quote from a low-level customer support rep. You really think that that kind of information is provided to the thousands of rep's at that level... It would leak instantly if that was the case.
So Occam's razor applies. By far the more likely explanation, in this case, is a hardware incompatibility between Linux and the Lenovo configuration.
do corp's (including Lenovo and Microsoft ) do shitty stuff to users, sure of course they do. Does that mean people should jump to conclusions without adequate evidence... no.
I was a Netware admin back when MS dirty tricks were at their height, I personally battled with the driver shenanigans they pulled on Windows 95...
This really didn't look like a conspiracy to me it looked like old-school, someone's done something funky with the hardware and not bothered thinking about linux support.
Thus my original comment, it was disappointing to see pople rush to judgement on this, not everything is a conspiracy and it doesn't help to see it as such.
Microsoft is only supporting the use of Linux within their business model and nowhere else AFAICT. So they support things like running Linux on their cloud platform (they're getting paid... looks good) or as a client under their desktop platform (they're getting paid... still fine).
But when they get cut out of the loop, that's where their behavior is still suspect. For example: locked bootloaders where Microsoft effectively controls the keys to the kingdom via certs. Yes, you can disable this functionality (for now) on x86 but I don't believe that bypassing is possible on ARM short of exploiting bugs/leaked keys. Why is that? Because they can get away with it. No doubt they'd go the total lockdown route on x86 if they thought they could get away with it. Why can't they? Because the Linux crowd (a VERY vocal 1%) would blow a fuse and raise such hell that it might wake up the DoJ.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. It's not strange, it's a long and storied tradition... Microsoft has just gotten better at spin.
Working on Linux is recognizing that Linux has more that a 0.1% share and by not working on Linux, your tools loose mind-share among developers.
So sure, if I was MS I'd want some (good) form of VS/C# to run on Linux, if only for devs to see that VS isn't the monstrosity of the 90s and maybe think about migrating back to Windows were you can get "the real VS/C#".
Would I want to let people uninstall Windows? No way
The only way to convince these folks it seems would be a smoking gun or even better a signed confession from satya and lenovo admitting to shady behavior.
Since that's not how shady behavior works in the real world presumably many here are supporters of the camel in the sand approach with a zero tolerance policy towards non conforming camels.
"For a consumer device, why would you want to? The number of people buying these laptops to run anything other than Windows is miniscule."
This is a really poor argument, and slightly disingenuous. Sometimes, people change their use for a device. Maybe they want to explore linux in the future, maybe they want to sell the laptop to someone who wants to use it for linux...
That the blame is being possibly misdirected ought not to detract from the fact that blame is necessary. If users don't vocally oppose measures like this, the industry will assume that this kind of restriction is reasonable. It's not. Yes, power management is important, but anyone who puts linux on their laptop will quickly learn there are limitations to the features of that device that were originally tailored to the OS the device shipped with. That's a good lesson, and a good opportunity for a community to develop around the device (if it's good enough) to mitigate those deficiencies and adapt them for the particular linux distro.
In short, Lenovo is at fault for not being up front about this limitation, for not explaining it, and for not devoting at least some resources to mitigating for their potential linux-inclined users.
Then again, perhaps a linux-inclined user might also be one of the many that don't trust Lenovo after their self-signed certificate scandal.
Lenovo doesn't have an interest in how people's use of a device changes, unless it changes they up front purchasing decision. They do have a very strong interest in making sure that reviews and writeups don't say that the battery life is rubbish because the laptop has been switched to AHCI mode. As such, they have a strong incentive to prevent this happening.
Given that the operating which 99.9% of their install base will use supports this, it's almost certainly a net win. They don't support running Linux on it - that's at the customers risk. Why would they devote any resource to this?
To claim you're going to get better battery life with a fake RAID driver is also one of the funniest things I've ever heard.