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Microsoft aren't forcing Lenovo to block free operating systems (mjg59.dreamwidth.org)
367 points by robin_reala 368 days ago | hide | past | web | 235 comments | favorite



Their spin that it is "our super advanced Intel RAID chipset" really plays in their favor, given that their BIOS uses a single goto statement to intentionally block access to the ability to set this chipset into the AHCI compatible mode that the hardware so readily supports, as evidenced by the REing work and the fact that other OSes detect the drive after the AHCI fix using the custom-flashed BIOS.

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.


This is not a good PR move for Lenovo and the whole meltdown has been terribly handled as we can clearly see.

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.


Just because something was shittier in the past, doesn't excuse the present for still being shitty.

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).


> Just because something was shittier in the past, doesn't excuse the present for still being shitty.

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)


>Why is it reasonable? Does it bring more money to Lenovo shareholders?

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.


> Dear god, am I supposed to care about the shareholders now? People don't buy products out of empathy for shareholders.

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? :-)


> People buy Lenovo because many reasons, but not because of empathy... or because their friendliness to Linux.

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 [0]). It was one of the reasons I bought a Lenovo.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11503951


Yup, along with the lovely trackpoint and generally high build quality, it's why I used to buy and recommend ThinkPads. But after all of their nonsense over the last year or so I'm done with Lenovo. It's going to take them a long time to win back my business.

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.


Yes, I know. The T series are pretty good, however those are marginal sales.

In my opinion, if those sales were important, Lenovo wouldn't be screwing over non-Windows users like they did now.


"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?"

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...


> 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?

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 :)


"It's not harder: It degrades the overall experience while using the laptop (battery, temperature, performance)."

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


[flagged]


> And please, keep it civil. There's no need to call me troll just because you don't understand business.

I agree that that wasn't civil, but there's nothing civil about this side-swipe either. Please don't do that.


You are 100% right, my apologies to Hydraulix989, HN users that had to read that and yourself.


No worries, it takes a lot to offend me! :-)


Its actually no problem not to be backwards compatible with your "crazy new super advanced hardware".

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".


I'm confused. Lenovo is claiming that the problem is Linux's fault because Linux isn't "forwards compatible"with the CNSAH -- except the CNSAH is actually backwards compatible with Linux, except Intel's usually enabled/unrestricted backwards compatible functionality is intentionally blocked by Lenovo by two lines of code in their BIOS.

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."


from what has been shown to be a reversed engineer of the bios... a simple goto statement to skip menu config code muddies the water here... Why would a professional company do this? It certainly doesn't look accidental when seen from this angle.


Yes, as I say (I'm a software engineer), the proof is in the pudding; it's one thing to read a sugar-coated damage control PR press release; it's another to look at the code.


Is this really true of all Lenovo systems? I recently bought a P50 (new workstation class laptop) and I could switch the BIOS to AHCI from what I recall. That being said the crap Lenovo pulled with other hardware made me ditch the laptop (of which I tried to return and Lenovo would not take it since I installed an alternative OS and I had to sell it outright for a loss). Things such as disabling the ability for the integrated Intel GPU from driving more than one display at a time was a deal breaker along with downright horrible performance.

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...


I would buy it in a heartbeat if they didnt insist on selling it with the numpad. I find it upsetting that it is virtually impossible to find a 15 inch laptop now that doesnt have the numpad (macbook pro and dell xps15 are the notable exceptions). Not having the spacebar centered and having the numeric keys off center is hard for me to adjust to.


Personally, I haven't had nearly of a hard time adjusting to off-centered keys/touchpad as I've had trying to move to Apple-esque chiclet keys (or the resultant cheap inferior copy-cats on all of the Windows 8 touch screen ultrabooks).

To each their own, I guess.


No, it's true for some of their newest ultrabooks, like Yoga 900S, Yoga 900 Business Edition, Yoga 710 and newer revisions of Yoga 900 marked as 13ISK2.


"Is this really true of all Lenovo systems? I recently bought a P50 (new workstation class laptop) and I could switch the BIOS to AHCI from what I recall."

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.


Usually when I plan on replacing the factory OS, I'll buy a replacement drive/ssd, and install directly on that, leaving the factory drive ready to be re-inserted on resale/return.


You mean UEFI. Not BIOS.


Almost everyone uses BIOS as a metonymy for UEFI, even the people like @djpohly and the bios-mods.com community (the URL here is telling) who recently reverse engineered Lenovo's UEFI for us to mod and hack AHCI into working again.


I'm just going to update the BIOS on my Smartphone then.


Interestingly enough, it's somehow okay to say that GBA and PSX consoles have "BIOSes" (a dumped "BIOS" is required for emulating both), but smartphones only have bootloaders and "recoveries."


Also worth noting Lenovo's official statment on the matter http://www.techrepublic.com/article/lenovo-denies-deliberate... confirming that they have not blocked the installation of alternate operating systems.

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.


That's just nitpicking. They blocked the enabling of a setting which allows Linux to see the hard disk. They went out of their way to make a firmware change that has the effect that you cannot run Linux - unless you flash your BIOS or you write a driver. In my book, they effectively blocked the installation of Linux.

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.


> They blocked the enabling of a setting which allows Linux to see the hard disk.

Or, alternatively, they removed a firmware setting that makes their hardware work less well and didn't think about Linux at all.


Removed the option from BIOS menu? Okay, stupid and annoying, but well, there's always EFI shell where you can edit variables by yourself...

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.


> There is no reason to do that if the goal is just to provide best experience on supported OS.

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.


There is no real reason to write code that goes out of its way to prevent you from switching into AHCI mode even if you know what you're doing (like in EFI shell).

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.


> Hiding the option from BIOS menu is absolutely enough to "ensure Intel specific drivers are used for power management purposes".

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.


The change wasn't made in BIOS update, only newer physical models had this change applied and they shipped right away being blocked.

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.


Well really you need to say "didn't think users would install any operating system ever" to fit with the information here. Pre-installed Win10 being the only option doesn't seem to fit with the idea that Lenovo would want to sell more PCs.

I guess switching modes, a la progressive enhancement, is impossible with disk access then??


There a lots of settings in a typical BIOS menu that will make a system misbehave or outright not boot. If they were so concerned, they could have added a warning.


I suspect this is the real answer. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out that they only tested Windows internally.


[flagged]


Hardware that works better = better sales, more money, less support cost?

There's only so many ways you can slip and slide on this ;-).


Should Lenovo provide a driver. Let's be honest, that's a commercial decision and entirely up to them if they want to support Linux installs on this hardware.

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?


It's the old distinction between "should do legally" and just "should do". Of course I don't believe they should be forced to do anything.

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.


You can still install Linux on all of their 'serious business laptops'... including the Thinkpad Yoga. The only reason this is a "screw-up" is because someone posted it here and the tech media got outraged... there are MANY other Ideapad/Y-series laptops that have very poor Linux support.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Lenovo_Thinkpad_Yoga_26...

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.


Even Thinkpads are getting crappy. I couldn't replace my Wifi card because the signature didn't match or some such crap.


It's kind of sad that the less tweaked options for laptops seem to be asus and acer... neither of which are my top choice, but seem to be much better than what's coming out of HP or Lenovo in the low-mid range.


The low end of ASUS includes things like the X205TA.

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.


oh I agree with you I absolutely think they should support Linux, personally it's my OS of choice for technical work and their lack of support here makes me less likely to buy their stuff in the future (my next laptop will likely be a Dell XPS 13 Developer edition, precisely because of their linux support)


This is their consumer-focused Yoga. Their Thinkpad Yoga does not have any issues running Linux.

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.


I do wonder if Dell's trackpoints are going to suddenly improve now that IBM's old patents are expiring. If so maybe I'll get one too.


I don't think anyone is saying they HAVE to support linux. Think of it like freedom of speech. Lenovo is free to put themselves out of business however they want and their consumers are free to call it a big ass mistake and call them idiots and not buy their blackbox crap.


Abosutely people are totally free not to buy their stuff.

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.


It may not be a conspiracy but it is certainly newsworthy. I've got a son who is getting to be about the age where a young man is ready for his spirit journey and will be sent to his room with an old laptop, his father's slackware disks, and a static IP and he will not be let out until www.youreamannow.com reads, "please bring me snacks."

I would hate to send him unprepared into the wild with a Lenovo.


Slackware, you're being kind there, surely http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ is the only way to experience your first linux install (although it's still a bit easy seeing as how people can use flash drives rather than Floppy disks for the install)


I admit I spoil the boy... Perhaps he is ready...


Seems to me like they are well within their rights to do this (in at least some markets), but that when asked about it they should be able to stand by that decision and say why.


What conceivable commercial purpose of Lenovo is served by making it difficult for people to install operating systems other than Windows 10 on their laptops?


that's easy, they don't spend money on developing drivers for Linux.

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.


[flagged]


timed comments seem to increase with thread depth. Apologies if you think things are circular, I've just been responding where people replied to me with points that I felt warranted a response, which seemed like a reasonable thing to do in a discussion thread.


I would surmise the signature edition contract with Microsoft probably requires Lenovo to have their laptops at optimal performance. Suboptimal performance must not occur, hence the blocking of other non-RAID options.

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...


> Why should a commercial company be forced to provide support for a platform?

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.


> Why should a commercial company be forced to provide support for a platform?

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?


If you're going so far as to install Linux on a laptop that shipped Windows, flashing the BIOS isn't a big deal at all. The real problem is that it took a third-party to fix the BIOS rather than Lenovo releasing a "BIOS for Linux" directly. I get not wanting to expose it from the factory to keep a user from screwing themselves, but there's no reason not to provide it to the power user.


I disagree. I'm happy to install Linux from a USB stick. I'm not happy reflashing a BIOS. Have installed many, many laptops with Linux (ironically, my all time favorites are older Lenovos like the X220). I've not once flashed a BIOS.

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.


Flashing a BIOS takes about 1/10th the time and effort of installing Linux.

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.


Flashing Lenovo BIOS can be dangerous.

I once bricked an X230 with BIOS flashing (through Thinkpad Update). Judging from the forums, I'm not alone.


I've been in tech for 35 years and never flashed a pc bios. My MP3 player, sure. You think tech means installing servers?


What about other big customers of Lenovo ? Those that use Linux for Java development but are not Microsoft for example. I don't see this as carelessness, and how much money would a market leader make from such a corrupt request?


Why should someone not consider the reply from a lenovo rep as legitimate (although absurd)? There was a problem and lenovo said that the problem was because of the signature edition windows. Your comment about requiring more evidence is valid but rebuttal requires some time, and here we have it. I doubt lenovo would have cared about it had it not hit media. Note that the problem is still not solved. You cannot install linux on that machine.


A low level rep. from a company is very unlikely to be party to something considered "secret" at a corporate level. So given that it wasn't a stated policy, that side of the story just didn't seem likely.

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.


and those low level employees at Wells Fargo committed fraud on their own without any direction from management.


A circle is a shape. A square is a shape. Thus a circle is a square. This is the logic you applied.


that's a non-sequiteur, in the case of wells fargo the fact of the secret conspiracies absolutely leaked, just like I'm suggesting it would if Lenovo and MS had some pact.


What the Lenovo rep said wasn't accurate, and I'm not that surprised. So I wouldn't really trust them either.

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.


It was fascinating how quickly people condemned Microsoft without applying any critical thinking to the issue.

I tend to not read commments on articles anymore, where Microsoft is blamed for something. Reminds me of Slahdot.


Well, when a Lenovo rep says: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft," it doesn't exactly require a bomb-throwing partisan to reach the conclusion.


But the idea that a random customer service rep. would have information about something that was not a public position of either Lenovo or Microsoft, to me, seemed unlikely.


Why wouldn't they? You find out all sorts of things when you work for a company, strangely enough.


what and then blow your companies secret position on a response to a user query, knowing that if found it would very likely endanger your continued employment with that company....

You honestly think that's more likely than, someone made a mistake or said something to close a support call???


The statement is there in black and white and it is as crystal clear and unequivocal as you can get.


Ive frequently as a complete peon been privileged to know non public info about the inner workings and policies that was not only non public but that I was forbidden to share with the world as a matter of course. Far from being unusual this is the norm.

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.


Well we'd be talking about a secret conspiracy (secret as it's not publicly known) by one of the largest companies in the world (Microsoft) to block installation of Linux on Lenovo's systems.

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.


What if Lenovo and MS have an agreement what to preinstall on those Laptops - which is very common. Furthermore, Lenovo agreed not to offer ways to install specific other software - no bundled Antivirus CD, no downloadable Lenovo Picks app - and maybe or maybe not - don't prepare customer support to answer "how to install Linux".

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?


customer support person made stuff up 'cause he wanted to seem to know the answer, so he could close the call and get on with his job?

Or Lenovo and MS have a vast conspiracy to use disk drivers to block linux install..

which is more likely.... you decide.


They are using disk drivers to restrict what gets installed - not just Linux both other Windows - Windows 7 or future versions of Windows which they want to build hardware obsolescence into and force you into throwing good hardware away.

That's very likely.


> Or Lenovo and MS have a vast conspiracy to use disk drivers to block linux install..

That's not a vast conspiracy. That would be a pretty quotidian conspiracy. In fact, it would look a lot like the "Winmodems[1]" 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?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softmodem


Sure I remember the old winmodem days well, but that was a well known (and very frustrating) problem, which was a stated position of the companies in question.

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....


> but that was a well known (and very frustrating) problem, which was a stated position of the companies in question.

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.


That statement is not by a "Lenovo rep" but by a "Lenovo Product Expert" at Best Buy. If I am not mistaken, those "experts" work for Best Buy, not the company whose products they are experts in.


Sometimes they do work for the company whose products they are "experts" in. Best Buy gets a "free" employee (the hardware company pays the salary), and the company gets a dedicated person in a store for their products. They're still more Best Buy employee than <company> employee.


Microsofts track record for open solutions over the past 20 years naturally makes a lot of people distrustful.

I'm actually surprised when I see people give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt despite years of building mistrust.


I'm not surprised at all, though I personally don't understand the mentality. I see it all the time: "Microsoft has changed their ways! Look, they've released Powershell for Linux!" etc., completely ignoring 30 years of history plus all the very recent user-hostile moves in Windows 10.

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).


Moment I saw it this morning I was like "probably one of those SSDs with a really weird driver setup". My Surface Pro 4 has one too, and Acronis didn't initially work with it either.


Except that's an inaccurate assumption.

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.


My understanding is that experimental support for the new RAID mode in Linux already exists. AFAIK, Acronis boots a Linux-based OS, and they were able to get it to support the Surface Pro 4 when it's using that mode, so presumably, they figured it out.

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.


"My understanding is that experimental support for the new RAID mode in Linux already exists."

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.


[flagged]


I came here to say this. I am not sure why you got downvoted so much.

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.


This industry runs on young people. Old people are far and between. (In this context, old means anyone who actually experienced Microsoft's behavior between mid 80s and late 90s.)

Most (80%) developer experiences these days are probably limited to their behavior from year ~2008 and onwards.



I don't see it having much impact. People were attacking Microsoft, not Lenovo.


To be fair, signing an agreement like that wouldn't look good for Lenovo too. Considering Microsoft's history, it's also not that outlandish.


The fact that it took a blow up in the media for Lenovo to comment justifies the tactics used by commenters in the forums.


that's a view, but did anyone actually ask Lenovo for official comment before posting the story as gospel truth? From what I've read, I saw no evidence that they had. I'd just suggesting a slightly more measured approach might have worked just as well....


Users don't have any other channel to ask Lenovo besides the forums and (apparently more effectively) leaving poor reviews on Best Buy and Amazon.


No? There's no way to contact Lenovo corporate? No customer support? Just that forum?


If you read that forum thread you would know, that many of them already went past various ways to contact Lenovo and even got a "it's been escalated to dev team, but nothing more to say about it" reply there after a few months of complaining (that changed nothing of course).


Lenovo's customer support is a bunch of script-readers.

To be fair, they've responded to my tweets, but only because I have nearly 10k followers.


yep that's not an unreasonable point, but do you not think that a more reasonable position would have been to ask Lenovo/MS and wait some time for a response before assuming that it was a conspiracy on MS' part?


Is several months long enough?


> without any more evidence than a single customer support rep

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.


It's not post facto justification at all I would suggest.

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?


> The idea that a single customer support representative would know something

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.


"It was a shame to see the initial posts this morning hit the top of the page..."

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.


They enabled something by default that I have not seen on any other system and disabled a way of changing it, which virtually every other system supports.

There is no good reason for this. Whatsoever.


There has been a disturbing level of contempt for the people that were concerned about the future of Free Software. There has been a major shift towards more locked down platforms for years ever since iOS was accepted by the developer community. With Microsoft locking down Secure Boot on ARM and requiring it for Windows 10, it is prudent to be extra vigilant about anything strange that happens in the boot process. The alternative is to ignore potential problems until they grow into much larger problems that are harder to deal with.

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.


Wow. Man, come on.

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...


> The disturbing level of contempt is almost the sole property of the "Linux == Freedom" crowd.

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.


Some of us believe its a bad idea to sacrifice your principles...

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 not the kind of thing that I would ever say to someone lightly

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.


Riddle me this Morpheus...in your dystopian cypherpunk future, how are the employees of Foxconn or the miners of rare earth minerals in Africa going to compute their way out of their conditions?

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?


>If there is a point to this word salad, I am not parsing it. It seems off topic?

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 pretty much exactly it. Thanks for that.


re: the interpretation

That's a very presumptuous statement.


>There has been a disturbing level of contempt for the people that were concerned about the future of Free Software.

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[0]; 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.

[0] https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/hardware/dn922588...


The moral of the story is that you shouldn't trust a low-level support engineer as a source for official company policy.


Or the uncritical tech press or the rubes on reddit, etc. Its obvious to me that we're living in a time where rumors, falsehoods, and purposeful misdirection are easily monetized and that's what our tech press has degenerated into. Critical voices just get downvoted away for being "shills" or somesuch.

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.'


"Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…"

Jonathan Swift (1710)


As far as forums go, I find that HackerNews has one of the most civil and thought provoking discussions on the internet. This is most likely due to responsible moderation where differences of opinion are not only accepted, but respected. In fact, this forum practically moderates itself as I've seen many times a post gets downvoted into oblivion for making personal attacks or ad-hominem arguments. Perhaps this has to do with our (HackerNews users) disposition as engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. I may be blowing smoke here, but my perceptions has been that to be successful in those professions, one needs to accept failures/imperfect solutions and admit their mistakes more than others. For example, when I graduated from uni and entered my first developer gig, I completely wiped out a production database that hadn't had a backup run in over 2 years. I almost cried because I thought I was going to blow a great opportunity my first week on the job. After the wave of emotion finally washed over me, I realized that other departments had the data. It was just up to me to analyze the business processes, figure out where we fit into the flow, and work backwards to restore all the data. Most of us have been humbled by a superior dev at one point or another in our career and if we look back at code we wrote two years ago we realize just how much there is to learn. In addition, I've found that many brilliant engineers have impostor syndrome and there are far fewer in STEM fields that succumb to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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.


The sane perspective on the db drop experience that you described is that you were simply the innocent victim of a major organizational failure.

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.


Why not? They're always generally the most truthful.


There was way too much rush to judgement here. Suspicion and skepticism are great, let those fires burn. But let's not condemn or blame until the issue has been aired out from all parties.

- 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.


Wasn't Lenovo the company that shipped unremovable malware with laptops? Considering the almost impossible to disable Intel management stuff is also there, I can only imagine the kind of parasite living on these machines.

Why would anyone buy their stuff?


One of the parts of the MS Signature Series agreement is that there is no crapware, that what you get is pretty much the same if you installed a direct from microsoft copy of Windows. The signature series is probably the only line I would get from lenovo, because it's guaranteed not to need hours of futzing to get it working decently.


So get a vanilla install disk from Microsoft's site, install and reuse the license.


For what it's worth, I've had issues with Intel RST under Windows as well in mixed-mode configs. My boot device is an SSD configured for AHCI and I've a 3 drive RAID array. On a soft reset of my PC, the BIOS won't see the SSD. The completely nonobvious solution? Make the SSD hot swappable. Not a Lenovo PC, either. Been going on for years. Had to do a hard reset every time I had to restart for years before I found a solution to this.


Also have this on an older Lenovo. I use it as a small server now.


> Rather than be angry at Lenovo, let's put pressure on Intel to provide support for their hardware.



Which won't work.


Standard culture of outrage before actually taking more than 5 seconds to think about something and consider other possibilities.


What is crazy to me is that Lenovo is usually the brand that people recommend for Linux laptops. They are shooting themselves in the foot here. They may think that the number of people on Linux is too small, but I bet it is bigger than they think. It is just that there is no easy way to accurately census the amount of Linux users on their HW.


I used to recommend Lenovo (and before that, IBM) unconditionally for both Windows and Linux use. We called them the "Volvo of computers" because of their longevity, their performance, and their repairability.

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...).


I have heard nothing but rave reviews for the XPS laptops which come officially supported with Ubuntu out of the box.


oh wow. That sounds horrible. I am sorry man!


I was thinking that too. I write this on a Lenovo Thinkpad, and was just looking at buying a new machine from them. I've been using Thinkpads for more than decade. I guess if they want me to look elsewhere, I'm willing. Anybody have recommendations?


> Why not offer the option to disable it? A user who does would end up with a machine that doesn't boot

The modder that flashed the custom BIOS was able to boot linux on his first try.


But which wouldn't have run the pre-installed OS any more


It would run Windows though ;-).


Without any comment from Lenovo or Microsoft this guy is speculating the same as everybody else.


http://www.techrepublic.com/article/lenovo-denies-deliberate...

official comment from Lenovo denying it.


"This guy" is relatively known for hacking on Linux laptop drivers and a long relationship with Intel hardware and power management in particular, so I'll stop short of appealing to authority and just say I value his speculation even if it is that. (Which I don't think it is.)


This guy is so knowledgable that he says

> 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.


That comment was clearly referring to the common case of ordinary Windows users, who could easily render their existing systems unbootable by changing the driver mode after Windows was already installed.


Random joe user should probably not be messing around with his bios or should at least be smart enough to know what he changed or at worst reset his bios to default.

If not use the tech support you pay for.


Then obviously Intel providing the drivers is what he'd like to see happening, regardless of what and why Lenovo did here.

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.


He also seems to have a severe hardon for EFI...


Pushing Intel to provide the drivers or at least documentation would be the best solution - the BIOS lock would become irrelevant.

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.


I'm surprised at the incredulity expressed here, given MS's history of dealing with OEMs. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundling_of_Microsoft_Window...


Somebody should notify the guys who went really deep condemning Microsoft of cutting shady deals.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12545878


Yeah, sure, Microsoft is now all white and fluffy. Best friends forever.

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 **
Power savings or not, but locking down storage controller to a mode that just happens to be supported by exactly one OS has NO obvious rational explanation. Either Lenovo does that or Windows does. This has nothing to do with Intel.


Quote from the article:

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


Well, the minuscule group they just shat on is the same group of people who make purchasing decisions and recommendations for a ton of consumers. Even if someone doesn't run Linux, laptops that support it have often proven to be more reliable and have a higher resell value.

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.


If 1% of your customers cause 10% of support tickets, it might be profitable to stop selling to those customers. Lenovo has no obligation to you or anyone else.


Firstly, companies spend a pretty penny to associate their brand with vague positive platitudes. In the first place being associated with something negative even if their populace doesn't understand the technicalities can be worth more than 1% of your business.

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.


Since when is it firmware's business to care about dumb users well-being and, more specifically, to disallow switching perfectly capable storage controller into standard AHCI mode?


Why doesn't Linux support it? Is "RAID" mode based on some spec that was only provided to Microsoft and kept secret from everyone else?


Windows only supports it if you use the Intel storage driver - even Microsoft don't ship a driver that supports it.


> even Microsoft don't ship a driver that supports it.

.....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.


Yay, so supporting completely non-standard and inevitably more buggy drivers is the correct option?


Linux has its own methodology for providing raid and the raid modes provided by motherboard makers are in general terrible junk that nobody including windows users should use. Even if the information necessary to implement support were available which it generally is not it would be worth less than nothing.

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.


MS doesn't write a lot of drivers for hardware. Even the stuff they provide on disk has a lot of drivers written by a third party. Intel's RAID mode is something that's not supported by default on Windows 10 even, which means you have to have the special RAID driver for even Windows to work on it. Intel has the driver info and isn't even releasing it to any OS makers as far as I can tell.


> "RAID" mode is typically just changing the PCI IDs so that the normal drivers won't bind, ensuring that drivers that support the software RAID mode are used.

It sounds like the kernel just needs to learn about the new PCI ID.


I doubt Microsoft knows the spec to it, all they care about is that the manufacturer provides a working driver.


Lenovo may have set power saving standards for the laptop based on what they want to market. It's Intel that dropped the ball here. They need to submit patches for RAID to upstream Linux. Or it could just be a firmware bug.


Wait, does RAID actually save power over AHCI (single-drive RAID)? If so, how?

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.


You misread it. RAID forces the use of the Intel driver vs the Microsoft one. The Intel provided driver enables power saving.

So it's not the RAID that saves power, it's the [use of the] driver.


Okay, then make the default setting RAID in the BIOS, don't proactively prevent (or should I say, restrict) that setting from being changed at all.


Why? Why should Lenovo let 99% of their users use sub-par drivers when they reinstall Windows?


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.


I think the RAID setting can be the default. But they should provide the option to change if users want to install linux. Most linux users are BIOS friendly anyway.


Answering you and Hydraulix989:

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?


Every other chipset and motherboard in existence has had that option and it hasn't affected anyone adversely. There is no less of two evils. There isn't any evils here.


That's not what the article claims. Apparently there are indeed two evils here:

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 is no way that using a fake RAID set of drivers and a completely incompatible and more complex on-disk RAID format is going to increase performance in any way.

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.


Because providing that option doesn't give anyone sub-par drivers?

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.


Please refer to my other response to you. It would be awesome to read your analysis of the drivers and the underlying hardware.

I base my opinion on what experts call facts as I'm not a hardware expert myself.


It would be awesome if you knew what you were talking about ;-).


We're all just waiting for you to enlighten us. Go ahead, show us what you've got :-)


There's actually some interesting OSS politics at hand (it appears that this new ultrabook BIOS may have been "copied" over from the Lenovo server BIOS):

http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/linux/kernel/2352338


Its amazing that Linux can so thoroughly have won in the device world and yet MS is still every fan boys favorite boogeyman. This is such a non event.


Meta: It seems really odd that this has been relegated to page two, considering that "MS and Lenovo secret agreement" headlines sat on the top page most of yesterday, largely unsubstantiated.

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.


It sounds to me like it would be quite trivial to run Linux on this laptop, just by treating the "RAID" mode PCI ID like AHCI and employing the regular driver. I believe Linux supports forcing the use of a driver for a PCI device.


Click bait. It's one interpretation masquerading as the truth while decrying the other interpretation.

Until Lenovo issue a proper, detailed, official statement we need to keep the pressure on.

Self aggrandising posts like this don't help.


Why would anyone ever buy Lenovo? It's malware, spyware, and harmful to users. I buy HP or Samsung laptops to run Fedora. Just accept that Lenovo is not IBM hardware, and that it is lost to us.


> I buy HP or Samsung laptops to run Fedora.

Recently, which models? (I was thinking of getting a new Thinkpad... but maybe I should look at HP or Samsung)


Currently, I run on a pair of Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus with 8G mem. It looks like they've moved on from the Ativ line. The 3200 x 1800 display works well with awesome+gnome. It also drives an external 1440p display simultaneously (at 30fps).


I repost here the 39th comment, which gives a possible explanation of the issue:

  Storm in a teacup
  Date: 2016-09-22 09:17 am (UTC)
  From: [personal profile] cowbutt
"Intel have not submitted any patches to Linux to support the "RAID" mode."

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).

Edit: clarified


Of course they aren't but how can I feel morally superior with that fact?


The setting is almost certainly because of Microsoft. It is almost certainly part of their license agreement to block installation of anything older than Windows 10.

The fact that Linux got caught in it is just collateral damage.


So why i can't install Ubuntu on my Lenovo laptop?


Have you opened up a bug with the new new PCI ID so they can be added to the kernel?


isn't


Seeing a manufacturer use fake RAID, by default, on a single disk system, then unfathomably hardwiring this into the firmware so it can't be changed, then have a Lenovo rep actually admit the reason with the forum thread censored and then see this kind of defence is downright hilarious.

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.


Yes, I wholly disagree with Garrett's attempts to redirect (or should I say, deflect) blame to Intel instead of Lenovo in this case. I've succinctly outlined my argument in most of my other posts in this thread.


Garrett has a history of stonewalling and misdirection on these matters. It was the same with UEFI, Secure Boot and when he and Red Hat tried to casually shoehorn support for PE binaries into the Linux kernel, hoping no one would notice.


Why is PE binary support a bad thing? Wine gets us mostly there already. Very interesting...


Leading to Torvalds making a comment about Red Hat going down on MS no less...


Oh it's funny to see the comments in this thread talking down about people on reddit when the misplaced outrage was just as loud here. In fact, I got buried here for pointing out that the claim was BS and unrelated to SecureBoot where at least Reddit took it thoughtfully and realized it was probably just a bullshit statement from a nobody rep that got blown out of proportion.

Sorry to be that guy, but the elitism is pretty misplaced anymore...


It's not Secure Boot - yet. But this is what you're going to find - obsolescence depending on built-in hardware driver support. Not only are you not getting Linux installed on here but Windows 7, or any future version of Windows that does not have this driver built for it. You'll then have to throw the hardware away.

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.


>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.


> Literally nothing about this sentence is correct.

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.


>"Support reps do not throw out incredible specific, crystal clear and precise statements like that unless they're true."

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.


You've broken the site guidelines badly in this thread. We ban accounts that do that. Please (re-)read the following, and either post civilly and substantively, or not at all.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html


[dead]


We've banned this account for repeatedly breaking the HN guidelines and ignoring our requests to stop.


It's so sad to see this. (This entire thread, and its comments are down-voted.)

Let me try again. New Microsoft is awesome! Old Microsoft never happened. Double plus good!


Please don't post unsubstantive comments. Also, please don't post comments complaining about downvotes; that's explicitly against the site guidelines (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html).

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.


[flagged]


> I wondered when Matthew Garrett would pipe up and deepthroat Microsoft again. He duly obliges.

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.


[flagged]


Not being first hardly makes it ok.

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.


I haven't looked but I also very much doubt there is a Windows 7 driver for this.......... ;-).


....and indeed, there are only Windows 10 drivers.

http://support.lenovo.com/gb/en/products/Laptops-and-netbook...

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 ;-).


That should be you might be able to get an OS they're not keen on booted, of course.


[flagged]


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12551433 and marked it off-topic. You didn't need to edit-away your comments in this thread, which is another way of abusing the community by vandalizing the discussion.

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 hn@ycombinator.com and we can unban the account.


That's a view, but realistically Microsoft's Anti-Trust lawsuit days are now long ago, far further than say... Google's (http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/20/technology/google-android-la...)

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....


It isn't hard to figure out what's happening if you read everything that went on. Windows itself doesn't install on these computers unless you have special drivers in the boot medium that aren't included with Windows 10. Why would Microsoft sabotage their own OS like that if this were something done to stymie other OSes?


[flagged]


> So be it, I hope y'all enjoy burning in hell.

Please don't comment like this here.


[flagged]


> No idea who are the dolts who have downvoted you into light gray...

> WTH is wrong with you, people, really.

Please comment civilly and substantively or not at all.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Critical thinking led me to believe this story was false.

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.


[dead]


lol relatively new (hmm first PC I built myself was 1992, started work professionally in IT in 1995, first ran Desktop linux with (pre FC) Redhat 9, s'that long enough ago for you?)

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.


Selective memory is disregarding all other areas where MS is actually encouring or trying to make their products work on Linux. The future of Microsoft is not Windows. I am also not disregarding the fact that I might be wrong, but as a Windows and Linux user, it seems strange to possibly alienate potential users with a Linux blocking move.


You're not seeing the big picture...

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 isn't the same as allowing someone to run Linux on their computer.

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


Some commentators seem to be more keen on labelling others conspiracy theorists than consider the possibility that MS and Lenovo could be up to no good.

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.


FTA:

"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.


I think you are missing that the 'you' in that argument is Lenovo, not the consumer.

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?


Correction, they only support on version of that OS - which is the point here.

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.




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