LG Gram Laptops To Be Better Supported By The Next Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 19 October 2018 at 01:43 PM EDT. 5 Comments
While LG isn't often thought of as a laptop manufacturer, their Gram laptop line-up has recently been making some waves. The LG Gram laptops are powered by Intel Core CPUs and are designed to be slim and sleek yet durable. With the next Linux kernel (4.20~5.0), they should be better supported should you want to wipe the default Microsoft Windows installation.

The LG Gram comes in a range of sizes and colors, with some model from afar not looking that different from a MacBook Pro:

The latest LG Gram laptops feature Intel Core 8th Gen processors, UHD graphics, and ship with Windows 10. While LG may not be a popular laptop manufacturer at least in the US, these lightweight laptops are available from the likes of NewEgg.

Coming to the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel is a new LG laptop driver (can be toggled at build time via LG_LAPTOP Kconfig switch). This driver adds support for several Fn keys that otherwise don't see events generated on Linux, support for controlling the keyboard backlight and touchpad LED, and support for other features like the USB charging mode / cooling mode / Fn lock / reader mode.

Basically this LG laptop x86 platform driver is like those x86 platform drivers from the various other laptop manufacturers with quirky or non-standard ACPI/WMI functionality for enabling it on Linux. Unfortunately it's not LG themselves contributing this driver to the Linux kernel but was developed by an independent developer.

This new driver is queued into the platform-drivers-x86 Git tree ahead of the upcoming kernel merge window.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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