What do you think about Fedora Workstation on an ARM-based Lenovo laptop?

With Lenovo launching the ThinkPad X13s, I’ve gotten a number of people asking me whether there will be a Fedora Linux version. My candid answer is: I don’t know, but there is potential if there is genuinely enough purchasing interest (as opposed to sideline enthusiasm). I know this won’t be scientific or anything, but let’s talk honestly about that interest here.

  • I would definitely purchase an ARM-based Lenovo ThinkPad with Fedora Workstation
  • My company would definitely purchase an ARM-based Lenovo ThinkPad with Fedora Workstation
  • I’d love to, but I don’t have money for it
  • I think it’s cool but not really something I’m planning on spending on
  • I’m not interested in an ARM laptop with Fedora Workstation
  • I have no opinion but I like to vote

0 voters

(Note that I’ve made this poll not show who voted, unlike my usual practice. So, give your honest reactions!)

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I voted. FWIW, I think I very well might have purchased such a laptop if I hadn’t just bought a new one earlier in the pandemic.

For the vast majority, ARM-based devices with a longer battery life will be expected.

ARM is expected to be a major segment of mid-power, long-battery-life everyday use laptops. There are already other threads in the forum asking about fedora on ARM.

Currently Windows is not very useful on this type of hardware and I would expect to be able to use fedora on a device like the new ThinkPad or another device that includes ARM. Currently, for example, I prefer ThinkPads with AMD Ryzen instead of Intel.

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How far has ARM support come on the Linux desktop? To me it sounds like it’s doable, but that certain things would be outright missing or broken because of the nature behind ARM hardware (licensed off to various vendors, different drivers, firmware, etc). But even in that case I don’t know. Will the laptop have UEFI, or will it be some in-house FastBoot replacement? If it was CoreBoot: sign me up.

I very much doubt that it will have Coreboot.

That said, were Lenovo to do such a thing:

  1. Everything (with the possible exception of WWAN, which has regulatory problems) will work out-of-the-box with Fedora Linux
  2. Everything will be open source (with the normal exception of redistributable firmwares)
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My work computer still has more than a year left, but I’d love an ARM thinkpad with Fedora to replace it with. Lots of my mac using colleagues get some great battery life and performance out of their M1 macbook pros, and from what I can see on reviews the X13s seems to at least have great battery life.