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It's Becoming Possible To Run Linux Distributions On The HP/ASUS/Lenovo ARM Laptops

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  • It's Becoming Possible To Run Linux Distributions On The HP/ASUS/Lenovo ARM Laptops

    Phoronix: It's Becoming Possible To Run Linux Distributions On The HP/ASUS/Lenovo ARM Laptops

    We've been looking forward to the possibility of having a nice 64-bit ARM Linux laptop with decent power and nice build quality. Several major vendors having been rolling out Windows ARM laptops powered by Qualcomm chips and the like with decent specs and quality, unlike some of the cheap ARM Linux laptop efforts we've seen. For those Windows ARM laptops, headway is being made in being able to run Linux on them...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...in-Arm-Laptops

  • #2
    Ugh, I'd thought we would get past the point of device specific image files.

    Since these laptops support UEFI on ARM, aren't dtb files redundant ?

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    • #3
      Wow, this is extremely exciting! If the gaps in the hardware support start to be filled in, I'll absolutely pick up a NovaGo to replace my aging Thinkpad X230. Even better if Snap850 support eventually materializes - at that point, I'd look very hard at the Galaxy Book2.

      To clarify, right now this appears to be only booting from USB, right? No support for installation on the internal storage?

      EDITED TO ADD: Looks like it can, in fact, access the local UFS storage.

      https://github.com/aarch64-laptops/prebuilt/issues/6

      Cool!
      Last edited by Dawn; 02-11-2019, 08:50 AM.

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      • #4
        I can't believe that it took Microsoft to kickstart this. Somebody please explain me why this has not become a thing 5 or even more years ago. We could have gotten Linux ARM laptop 5 years ago easily because Linux distros aren't so architecture dependent as Windows is, as long as you don't use prorietary software.
        Also, I'm going to assume these Laptops are all Android tablet-y, as in the storage, memory, etc. are all soldered? I'd like to see some of these with normal storage ie. M.2 or SATA and slotted RAM. Just to future proof and have the piece of mind that I can remove the storage and pop it in another machine to read data.
        Another thing I'm woried about is that the Infrastructure around ARM isn't as flexible as x86. Like, as far as I know I can't just pop a CD into an ARM laptop and boot from it and install the system like that. :'( Maybe that's why ARM hasn't catched on..

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mattia_98 View Post
          Another thing I'm woried about is that the Infrastructure around ARM isn't as flexible as x86. Like, as far as I know I can't just pop a CD into an ARM laptop and boot from it and install the system like that. :'( Maybe that's why ARM hasn't catched on..
          In theory you should be able to do that with Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) and ARM UEFI.

          It hasn't really been pushed well in Linux afaik, because Android doesn't use it, where as Windows used it in Windows Phone 8-10 (you can boot Windows 10 on ARM on those things).

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          • #6
            This is really cool. I've been very interested in these laptops but never bothered since I wasn't sure it was possible to install Linux on them at all. I know in theory it should work, but I've had a real bad experience with Asus laptops in the past, and HP's quality doesn't impress me. The Lenovo is nice but seems like it'd make for a crappy laptop. It basically just seems like a portable ARM system meant to be used on a desk or otherwise as a tablet, neither of which interest me.
            Last edited by schmidtbag; 02-11-2019, 09:44 AM.

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            • #7
              https://github.com/aarch64-laptops/prebuilt/issues

              Would like to try these as soon as basic stuff get fixed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mattia_98 View Post
                I can't believe that it took Microsoft to kickstart this. Somebody please explain me why this has not become a thing 5 or even more years ago......
                There has to be demand for it to happen. And if we buy Windows laptops and install Linux, then the producers of laptops have no idea the market exists. So... Please by your next Linux laptop from System76/Purism/Entroware etc.

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                • #9
                  Booting from and compiling for ARM is one (important) stepbut how's the state of driver support, e.g., graphics at least for hardware accelerated compositing, power management, USB-connectivity from the SoC etc.? For such systems to be actually useful, booting is just the very first step.
                  Last edited by GruenSein; 02-11-2019, 10:56 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pracedru View Post
                    There has to be demand for it to happen. And if we buy Windows laptops and install Linux, then the producers of laptops have no idea the market exists. So... Please by your next Linux laptop from System76/Purism/Entroware etc.
                    That's a chicken and egg situation: the devices won't exist without knowing the market, but the market has no devices to choose from. I'm sure ARM would be much more popular among Linux users if there was a decent device for a decent price with decent drivers that work on a modern kernel. Nvidia makes good stuff but it's so expensive. RPi mostly has everything we need except the hardware is crappy for anything beyond fixed-purpose functionality. The Odriods are pretty good but the GPU drivers usually aren't.

                    I will gladly buy from Linux vendors and even pay the higher premium if they manage to sell a competent ARM laptop.

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