[clug] Lenovo to ship laptops pre-installed with Fedora

Chris Smart clug at csmart.io
Wed Apr 29 00:47:29 UTC 2020

On Wed, 29 Apr 2020, at 07:04, Lindsay Steele wrote:
> I am a little torn on this one, as a Fedora user on my desktop and 
> laptops I think it is great in some ways that there are Fedora options 
> but the support aspect might be problematic for the average user. Then 
> again maybe the average user is not the market here.

I dunno, I don't think regular users will buy a Linux version expecting it to be Windows. Also, from the initial reports, it looks like Lenovo is actually going to provide support for Fedora, too. Whatever that means.

Pretty cool that Lenovo has agreed to Fedora's principles and won't ship with proprietary software. Firmware updates (although proprietary) will also be provided via Fedora's regular (Linux Vendor Firmware Service) updates, like they already are for a number of devices.

Of course it could be an absolute disaster, I guess we'll see. But, hopefully it's a success and will cause Dell to lift their game, too.

> Although Fedora is good for (at a minimum) semi experienced Linux users 
> who want to be part of the Redhat way of doing things, it is not 
> exactly the first distribution I would give to someone else that I have 
> to support considering the leading edge nature of the distro and it's 
> constant stream of updates. You also run into the fact that the 
> life-cycle of the distro is six months between releases and about 
> thirteen months before updates cease. This compares to the Ubuntu 
> two/five year releases. 

Yeah, I get that, it's why Korora existed for a long time. However, I think Fedora really has closed the gap and are making great strides in the desktop space. Even small issues like third party repos are easily managed now and there's FlatHub for third party Flatpak apps, etc. Packages, repos, updates are all GUI driven and I think even Ubuntu is using GNOME Software now instead of rolling their own. It's so good now that I saw no reason to continue with Korora.

As for the constant stream of updates, I think that actually makes for a better desktop. Personally, I've found regular Fedora releases really stable and reliable. I think this is to do with the way Fedora always works to upstream first and doesn't carry as many local patches themselves, compared to other distros. The Workstation release is based on a specific release of GNOME and all related GTK libs, etc. Kernels follow the stable release. It's leading edge, not bleeding edge ;-)

This provides a base system which is really stable. To me, this is the right way to do a general Linux distro. Rather than rolling their own and focusing on integrating proprietary software, they've focused on the long-game by getting these things running in upstream open source instead. And now I think that's paying dividends.

I think the main area where Fedora falls down in comparison is with support for proprietary video card drivers, although I can understand why, Fedora sticks to free software principles.

Of course, people will have their prejudices and people will hate on RPM, etc and refuse to give it a try (I do love Gentoo, Arch and Debian, BTW). If they're happy using another distro, then great.

> I wish them all the best, maybe it will encourage Fedora to consider an 
> LTS release for these kinds of things. They are also maybe aiming it at 
> those people who are happy to self support and do the major upgrades 
> every six months.

I honestly see no value in an LTS release of Fedora Workstation, I think they are doing Linux distro pretty right. You can of do major updates every 12 months if you want to, doesn't have to be with every release.

As an aside, Fedora's Silverblue[1] release is interesting. Brings an immutable operating system (like ChromeOS and Android) to Linux which further increases stability and testability, as every base install is the same (they differ in overlays, flatpaks and containers). Cool stuff.

[1] https://blog.christophersmart.com/2020/04/11/fedora-silverblue-is-an-amazing-immutable-desktop/


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