Microsoft Signature PC Program Allegedly Blocks Installation Of Linux, Or Does It?
If you're a Linux fan who's on the hunt for a new notebook, you have plenty of options. As weird as it might sound, even Microsoft's own "Signature" line of machines could prove tempting, as the requirements a notebook needs to obtain that status are very strict. However, as a reddit post highlights, Linux users need to exercise extreme caution when considering to take this route.
reddit user BaronHK purchased a Yoga 900 ultrabook from Lenovo with full intention to install Linux on it. When the time came to make the move, it didn't work, and so he decided to leave some feedback about it. Some of that feedback was on Lenovo's own forums, and after accusing the user of being "disruptive", the forum's moderator removed the thread (it has since been returned in a locked state).
So what's the story? Ultimately, Lenovo admits that no one can install Linux on this particular notebook, and while that sounds like good enough fuel for a good ol' digital riot, there are a couple of different angles to view this from.
Based on what we know, the reason Linux can't be installed on this notebook is because of its proprietary RAID configuration. In a nutshell, hardware needs drivers, and if a notebook is designed entirely around Windows, it doesn't seem reasonable to expect that a Linux driver is going to be made available, at least not directly or as a standard offering with the machine. Some notebook manufacturers have come out with specific Linux-targeted machines but this is not one of them.
For Lenovo, that's sound reasoning, because it doesn't shine it in a bad light. However, is there a reason that the EFI can't be used to disable that RAID controller, and revert to something a little friendlier towards all OSes? Again, Lenovo is not obligated to do any of this since the notebook is specifically designed for Windows, but some could argue that it's just an excuse to let Microsoft lock out OS options.
What do you think? Should Lenovo create Linux drivers for its proprietary hardware, or is it off the hook because this particular series notebook is strictly designed for Windows? What about other non-Signature series PCs?