If you purchase a non-Apple desktop PC or laptop, chances are it’s going to be running Windows 10 with very few exceptions. Lenovo is expanding on the available alternatives, though, by introducing support and certification for Linux on some of its Think-branded hardware this summer.
Lenovo has committed to offering the complete line-up of ThinkStation and ThinkPad P Series models with the option of Linux coming pre-installed. More specifically, a choice of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) will be offered. Alongside that, Lenovo is promising “full end-to-end support,” which means these models will continue to receive security patches and software updates, firmware and BIOS updates, and drivers. In fact, Lenovo intends to produce drivers which can then be integrated into the Linux kernel.
So why is Lenovo choosing to support Linux now? The company points out that of the 250 million computers sold each year, 7.2 million run Linux, which while niche is quite a sizeable user base. Lenovo wants to support the “data scientists, developers, application engineers, scientists” and other users for whom Linux is actually an essential operating system. The company also sees a gap in the market for offering hardware running Linux without the uncertainty surrounding “system stability, restricted performance, compatibility, end-user productivity and even IT support” that comes with trying to switch a Windows 10 device over to running the alternative OS.
Dell has been offering Developer Editions of its XPS laptops for years running Ubuntu, but Lenovo is looking to make a stronger, more long-term commitment to Linux. And if you don’t like either Ubuntu or Red Hat, or don’t want a P Series device, there’s also the option of Fedora on the ThinkPad X1 arriving this summer.