Objective Review: Fedora Linux is available pre-installed on more systems from more vendors

We’re working on Fedora Strategy 2028 — our next five-year plan. We are now reviewing those Objectives and their associated Impact. Read this guide for details on the current planning phase.

This Objective is part of the Theme “Fedora is for everyone” and the Focus Area Reaching the World. For general discussion of this focus area, please see the topic Fedora Strategy 2028: Focus area review (Reaching the World) - Fedora Discussion.

Objective and Impact

Objective: Fedora Linux is available pre-installed on more systems from more vendors.
Impact: Reduced barrier to entry lets more people try Fedora.

We know that installation is one of the biggest barriers to user adoption. No matter how nice we make the installer, the step of getting Fedora Linux running is a bar. It is full of problems like partitioning, dual-booting, secure boot, hardware support, and more. The very act seems intimidating to many people, so we lose many potential users who never even try. Those who do try often hit real problems, which can’t always be solved with documentation or even a better software approach.

So, we believe that having more systems with Fedora Linux preinstalled — from existing friends like Lenovo and Slimbook, and new ones as well! — will make a significant impact in our user base, and we expect that growth to translate into new contributors as well.

This extends beyond desktop and laptop hardware — small systems like the Raspberry Pi are notoriously painful (and since the Pi itself comes with its own Linux distro, we need an extra-compelling case to convince people to even try). We’d like new ARM and RISC-V systems to include Fedora IoT out of the box.

Our goal now

For this Objective and related Impact, validate that:

  1. If the Impact is achieved, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in active Fedora contributors.
  2. Success in the Objective logically results in the intended Impact.
  3. That link is reasonably sufficient — that is, it represents everything needed to have the Impact.
  4. While there might be other ways to have similar Impact, the chosen Objective is the right one for Fedora right now.
  5. The wording is precise and clear. The Objective is concrete, and the Impact is (at least a little bit) inspirational. Together, they fit into this Focus Area.

Bonus. If you can improve the longer explanatory paragraphs at the top of this post, that’s helpful too!

As outlined in the roadmap, this post will close in one month.


A sub-thread has been split into a new topic: Please drop Fedora IoT from “Fedora Linux is available pre-installed…” Objective

The problem IMO here is that, while the upstream-first model of development at Fedora is excellent, it limits its adoption by 3rd parties. The Fedora team doesn’t do any sort of OEM certification or hardware enablement patches for specific hardware like Canonical does, and not being an LTS (such as CentOS, Debian or Ubuntu LTS), maintaining it requires constant work on the OEM’s side. The lack of propietary drivers and codecs is a big issue as well. The OEM would have to rely on someone performing these services to adapt Fedora to their hardware and provide support for whatever packages that computer might need.

Is the Fedora team trying to overcome the issues? In case you are, what are the plans for doing that? Otherwise I don’t think this objective is feasible.

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We have Lenovo shipping laptops with Fedora Workstation pre-installed, so it’s clearly possible. In Lenovo’s case, they’re pushing on their own suppliers to make drivers open source. Admittedly, Nvidia may take more pushing.

The specific plans will follow next, but as a general approach, we’ll need two things: a communities where hardware vendors are willing to work with us and customer demand.

The first one we have, but there’s probably room to make the process easier.

The second one will involve some marketing work on our part. Working together with peer distributions will help, too. Hardware vendors will follow customer demand, so we need to build that.


When you say we need marketing help, what specifically do you mean?

One thing that I have noticed could use help is marketing the Fedora hardware through official Fedora channels, as well as helping to build the hype and get more insight into consumer demand. But I know that with us not even wanting to go as far as referring to Fedora as a product that there would be some reluctance at the idea that the Fedora Project helps to sell things.

This post can be taken to a separate thread if needed. If we don’t invest in marketing, I don’t think that necessarily keeps us from shooting for this objective and seeing success, but it would help. And there’s probably a way to help with marketing tastefully without going extreme and becoming an extension of the marketing teams for these OEM brands (not that we would get anywhere close to that).

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Full ad takeovers on Ars Technica! (kidding)

I’m thinking of activities like

  • Helping write and promote case studies
  • Presenting/demoing the benefits of Fedora Linux at relevant conferences, etc
  • promoting (on social, Magazine, etc) projects that build on Fedora Linux
  • General building of mindshare

When I was in marketing, we’d give cloud credits to people who had strategic workloads that we wanted to attract. For Fedora, we could potentially offer dedicated help getting applications/libraries packaged or carve out some infrastructure support.


We should also provide a first-class intake path from the Fedora website to IHVs providing systems preloaded with Fedora Linux so that people who visit our site know that purchasing a computer with Fedora Linux preinstalled is an easy option.

This will require some rejiggering though:

  • Fedora-side, we should make the flow for finding a computer to buy and downloading the ISO effectively equivalent with top billing on the brochure page for Workstation. A simple way to do that is to change “Download Now” on the Workstation page to “Get Fedora Workstation”, which takes you to a page with two front and center paths: download or buy.
  • IHV-side, we should ask them to make it easy to provide links to desktop/laptop configurations where Fedora Linux is the OS that will be preloaded on the machine. That could be through specific “Fedora Edition” (made-up term here) SKUs or configurator links for build-to-order (BTO) products that have Fedora Linux pre-selected as the OS.

If we can pull it off, we may be able to drive considerable growth for sales for systems with Fedora Linux preloaded.


This sounds like a great idea. We should also link the current “Explore Fedora Laptops” button to maybe a wiki page? Or showcase them there? Download Fedora Workstation 37 | The Fedora Project


Well, it’s cool that more devices are being sold with Fedora pre-installed around the “world”.

Is this “world” a more “global” one or is it just restricted to North America and Europe, as those kind of things usually are?

Any chance in the near future of being able to buy a computer with Fedora pre-installed in Latin America, for example?

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That’s always been a goal — and I think worth making explicit here, even if “Reaching the World” implies it.

Lenovo was very optimistic about their program being global, but it turns out due to corporate structure each region has a lot of autonomy, driven by local perception of customer demand.

We will do what we can to influence manufacturers, but grassroots demand is always going to be the strongest force here.

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For what it’s worth, I’ve been repeatedly told that EMEA buyers of Lenovo machines have better options for Fedora laptops than all the other regions because that team is more enthused about it than everyone else. So Americans get stiffed on this. :wink:

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Something to consider alongside the idea of linking back to Fedora machines is how well supported those machines are. By linking to them we are kind of endorsing the product, so we have an interest in reducing the number of issues there. That could mean extra support for them or listing some kind of criteria.

However, even saying that also feels like we would be giving special treatment to certain machines over others, and I don’t like that vibe. So maybe we should just list any computers that can be bought with Fedora preinstalled to keep it simple. :sweat_smile:

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I believe it should make sense to mention S0ix here because, since it’s about pre-installed Fedora, it should be possible to assume good hardware support with fully functional sleep.

So, this is the thread I created previously about that:

Oh, I think we should give special treatment — not arbitrarily, but vendors who go out of their way to work with us, and who do significant work at making sure their hardware works should be recognized for that.

And we should promote hardware where users get a “just works!” experience — no “oh yeah, you’ll need to fix the audio…” or “get broadcom drivers somewhere for wifi”.


Agreed. Everyone benefits with that. Users benefit because they get a working system out of the box. We benefit because vendors have an incentive to work upstream. Vendors benefit because they get promoted. etc etc etc


I love how bought in the community is on this. I had no idea there was this much support for making this happen!

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Oh, yeah, now that I remember I believe there was also a Fedora Contributor discount at Lenovo, does it still apply? Does it work internationallly?
Does the device running Fedora Linux affect how big the discount is?

To answer your questions in order: Yes; Yes; No. :smiley:

@mpearson or @mattdm can explain in detail. :wink:

It actually is available internationally, although not everywhere. Here are the links I have:

… and logging in with a fedoraproject.org email address should be sufficient. In the US, the link is https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/linux (and AFAIK currently that doesn’t even have a portal link… it just works).

In the US, at least, the discount amount varies widely over time and by product (and individual configuration). I assume that this is complex inventory management at work, but as far as I know it’s completely possible that it is also the decree of a capricious forest sprite that has taken control of Lenovo’s pricing. (Which is to say, I have no idea.)

At this moment, base price of the X1 Carbon Gen 10 is $1,141.21 via the portal, a savings of $23.29 — apparently the “regular” portal currently on sale for 50% off and the discount brings it down exactly one more percentage point. And if I bring that up to 16GB RAM (and the i7 CPU that requires) and a performance SSD, the higher-density screen, and 3-year on-site repair, it’s $1,615.48 with the discount, and, um, $1,607.50 without.

Good news, at least: similarly-spec’d Windows 11 Home system was about $50 more expensive.

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it’s completely possible that it is also the decree of a capricious forest sprite that has taken control of Lenovo’s pricing

I think this is completely true. At least in the US this year it’s more of a capricious forest goblin with an attitude problem and haemorrhoids…

Neal’s answers are good :slight_smile: As Matthew points out - do check the regular site though - the discount is best when there aren’t any sales on; and there seems to be a lot of sales right now.

What I’m seeing (more in Europe, because of the aforementioned US goblin) is that finally the price difference between the ready-to-ship and the config-to-order models are gone. So the main difference is shipping time (and that’s down to much shorter now because there are almost no inventory problems). Hopefully that makes Linux more appealing.

The discount applies regardless - doesn’t matter what you buy (the program isn’t very subtle). So yeah, you get a discount on Windows and even on platforms that don’t support Linux. Use it to buy what you want!

I will add it is massively appreciated that people buy the Linux preloads. If you can’t get the system you want - leave feedback on the website that you wanted Linux. It goes to the web teams and it helps.