Laptop Improvements With Linux 5.14 Benefit Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft Surface Devices

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 June 2021 at 03:45 PM EDT. 3 Comments
The x86 platform driver updates have been submitted for the in-development Linux 5.14 kernel. This area of the kernel principally benefits x86 laptop support on Linux but also has other drivers like around the Intel Speed Select Technology and more.

This cycle there are some exciting additions to the Lenovo ThinkPad and Dell device support as well as continuing to improve the open-source (community-driven) Microsoft Surface support:

- The Think-LMI driver has been queued for changing BIOS settings from within Linux using the firmware-attributes sysfs area on newer Lenovo systems including ThinkPad laptops. This is a fun addition and the sysfs firmware-attributes support and initial driver for controlling BIOS settings from within Linux having been spearheaded recently by Dell.

- Dell Hardware Privacy support was merged for dealing with hardware-based kill switches on new Dell laptops for the microphone and web camera shutter assembly. They are hardware-based kill switches with the new Linux support being for exposing the state to user-space for informational purposes.

- The intel_skl_int3472 driver has been merged for handling of camera sensors on Intel devices with IPU3-attached MIPI cameras.

- Continued work improving the Microsoft Surface hardware support on Linux.

- A fix in the ISST SpeedSelect driver where its overhead was hurting some HPC benchmarks.

- Supporting controlling the second fan on the Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen9 laptop.

- The ASUS-NB-WMI driver support for the newer ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 and G15 laptops that was previously added have been removed. The quirks were determined to be wrong.

The full list of platform-drivers-x86 changes this cycle can be found via this PR.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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