Microsoft And Lenovo Deny Reports That Signature Edition PCs Intentionally Block Linux Installs

Are Microsoft and Lenovo conspiring to keep Linux off Signature Edition PCs? Not so says both companies. The issue came to light after one user bought a Lenovo Yoga 900 Signature Edition convertible with the intention of installing Linux on it. However, his efforts were thwarted, as the machine refused to install Linux.

Yesterday, Lenovo confirmed that Linux cannot be installed on the machine because there are no OS-specific drivers for the device’s proprietary RAID configuration. Given that this machine has been designed to work with Windows 10, it should come as no surprise that Lenovo probably didn’t want to devote too much of its resources to developing alternative drivers for this particular model.

Lenovo Yoga 900

To be more specific, Lenovo had this to say:

To support our Yoga products and our industry-leading 360-hinge design in the best way possible we have used a storage controller mode that is unfortunately not supported by Linux and as a result, does not allow Linux to be installed. Beyond the controller setup limitation, other advanced capabilities of the Yoga design would likely not work with current Linux offerings.

Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems such as Linux on Yoga or any of its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of suitable products.

In a statement provided to The Register, Lenovo further clarified its position on RAID support in Linux for the Yoga 900, writing, "Unsupported models will rely on Linux operating system vendors releasing new kernel and drivers to support features such as RAID on SSD.”

In other words, Lenovo is wiping its hands clean of this issue and is passing the buck. For its part, Microsoft has also weighed in to state that no foul play is going on, releasing this statement:

Lenovo recently adopted RAID on SSDs in certain product configurations, which require additional steps to support all system features. Recent claims about software installation issues related to Microsoft Signature are inaccurate.

So there you have it. There’s no conspiracy against Linux users with regards to the Yoga 900, and Lenovo actually supports Linux on a wide range of its PCs (see here). While it may be disappointing to some that Lenovo has designed the Yoga 900 to so closely align with Windows 10, we also can’t really fault the company either.