The Two Year Journey Funded By Arm/Qualcomm For Improving ARM Linux Laptop Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 14 June 2024 at 07:06 AM EDT. 14 Comments
Kernel developer and consultant Johan Hovold spent the last two years working on improving ARM Linux laptop support with a particular focus on the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s powered Qualcomm SoC. Arm funded this Linaro effort and as a result the ThinkPad X13s enjoys pleasant upstream kernel support now. This Arm Linux laptop project has now concluded but sets a nice base for further ARM Linux laptop improvements moving forward.

Johan Hovold presented at last month's Linaro Connect conference around the conclusion of this Arm laptop project. In the end all of the main pieces of the ThinkPad X13s support have been upstreamed into the Linux kernel. Since Linux 6.5 the ThinkPad X13 is is "fully usable" on the mainline kernel builds.

ThinkPad X13s

Both Arm and Qualcomm provided the funding for this ARM Linux laptop support effort. This work has panned out quite well with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC powered ThinkPad X13s proving quite popular in some circles. Over the course of the Linux 6.x kernel releases all of the key features have been enabled, up through audio and GPU support being among the toughest challenges and landing in Linux 6.5. There is though some bits of support still outstanding such as around the web camera, DisplayPort audio, eDP PSR, video acceleration, and performance/power optimizations.

ThinkPad X13s Linaro presentation

Other areas to potentially explore in the future include system hibernation, the lowest power states, Trusted Platform Module enablement, thermal throttling, keyboard hotkeys, and more.

ThinkPad X13s Linaro presentation summary

Those curious about this two year effort for enabling the ThinkPad X13s on the mainline Linux kernel and boosting the ARM Linux laptop ecosystem as a whole can see the Linaro Connect presentation from Madrid. Johan Hovold also has a GitHub Wiki for those interested in more details around the X13s support.
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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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