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Top Ten Lenovo Laptops Built for Linux

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Allegations that new Lenovo laptops—Yoga 900 ISK2m, Yoga 900s and Yoga 710s among them—lock out Linux installation on the manufacturer-installed SSD stirred up a storm in a teacup. Eventually the truth about the Lenovo hardware came out. The Linux drivers for the NVMe SSD in those Lenovo laptop models did not yet exist, and nothing was stopping anyone from developing the drivers.

All in all, a fairly standard situation for open source software and new hardware.

But damage control proved inelegant. A tech retailer (not Newegg) used less-than-accurate language explaining the situation; and Lenovo partook in its own unsavory behavior by deleting related discussion board threads on its support site. Both the vendor and retailer succumb to a fair amount of blowback, with the Microsoft Signature PC Program caught in the middle of a spurting geyser of misinformation.

This was the vibe in the Linux community this week.

'Notorious Life of John Lambe' (1628)

Execution scene from ‘Notorious Life of John Lambe’ (1628)

 

Now an appeal for sanity—everyone just settle down and R-E-L-A-X. Lenovo laptops have traditionally been Linux-friendly. If history is any indicator, the SSD in the Lenovo Yoga models in question will eventually support some flavor of the famous open source OS. I don’t gamble but I bet someday soon you won’t need to hardware flash the BIOS using hand-made clips to run Linux on a Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2.

I got soul but I'm not a solderer

Photo credit to Imgur user bownairo—a next-level warranty-voiding madman. See more

If you are intent on running Linux on a new Lenovo laptop right now, here are 10 models that are *Linux-certified by the manufacturer.

Lenovo IdeaPad 510

Lenovo IdeaPad 510

Lenovo IdeaPad 510

  • Linux ED 5, Ubuntu 10.04, SLED 11
  • Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
  • 15.6″ – 1920 x 1080

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
  • 13.3″ – 1920 x 1080

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E555

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E555

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E555

  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • AMD A10-Series A10-7300 (1.90 GHz)
  • 4 GB Memory 500 GB HDD
  • AMD Radeon R7 M260DX
  • 1366 x 768

 

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E440

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E440

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E440

  • Ubuntu 12.03.2
  • Intel Core 1.5
  • 4 GB Memory 500 GB HDD
  • 14″ – 1366 x 768

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431

  • RHEL 7.0
  • Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60 GHz)
  • 4 GB Memory 500 GB HDD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 1366 x 768

Lenovo ThinkPad T430

Lenovo ThinkPad T430

Lenovo ThinkPad T430

  • Ubuntu 11.10
  • Intel Core i5 3320M (2.60GHz)
  • 4GB Memory 320GB HDD
  • NVIDIA NVS 5400M
  • 14″ – 1600 x 900

Lenovo ThinkPad L420

Lenovo ThinkPad L420

Lenovo ThinkPad L420

  • Ubuntu 10.10
  • Intel Core i3-2310U (2.10 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory 512 GB SSD
  • 14″ – 1366 x 768

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Lenovo ThinkPad T640s

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

  • RHEL7.2, Ubuntu 14.04
  • Intel Core i7-6600U (3.4 GHz)
  • 8GB DDR4  512 SSD
  • 14″ – 1920 x 1080

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz)
  • 8 GB Memory 256 GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 12.5″ Touchscreen 1920 x 1080

Lenovo ThinkPad X260

Lenovo ThinkPad X260

Lenovo ThinkPad X260

  • RHEL 7.2 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7 6600U (2.60 GHz)
  • 16 GB Memory 256 GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 1366 x 768

*Linux certification for Lenovo laptops is officially spelled out by the manufacturer here. See the manufacturer site for the complete list of Lenovo laptops that are Linux certified.

 

Summary
Top Ten Lenovo Laptops Built for Linux
Article Name
Top Ten Lenovo Laptops Built for Linux
Description
Allegations of Lenovo laptops locking out Linux stirred up a storm in some tech circles, but look at Lenovo's Linux-friendly legacy for the real story.
Author
Adam Lovinus

Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

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