Submitted by dele_ted in freeAsInFreedom (edited )

My old laptop broke recently, and i finally got hands on a new one. It's a really neat little Lenovo beast. It came preinstalled with Windows, where everything worked as it should (camera, microphone, speakers, fingerprint reader and all the other fancy). After making sure everything worked as it should, i of course installed KDE Neon.

The microphone stopped working. The speakers degraded in quality. The fans went amock. The fingerprint reader broke. The camera started lagging. Bluetooth started crapping. The trackpad went to shit. All the usual that often comes along with installing a new OS.

Usually, a few apt-get's and some research is all it takes to fix this stuff. I spent five hours yesterday on this, and things are still broken. I decided to say fuck it, I'll try a new distro. Who knows, maybe that'll work better. Writing this on Elementary OS, things are still broken. And, it seems, unfixable. These devices require drivers, and there is nothing available outside of Windows.

How was i supposed to know that Lenovo went out of their way to make their machines incompatible with anything but Windows? I just want fucking Linux, don't care if it is debian-based or ubuntu-based or fucking Arch, as long as the basic necessities work. A laptop needs a microphone, a pair of speakers, a usable trackpad and bluetooth. I dont give a shit about a fingerprint reader, but this is basic stuff, and it DOES NOT WORK, and WILL NOT WORK in Linux.

I am now contemplating to just pirate Windows and say fuck it. I hate it, but i need my laptop to work, and it doesn't in its current state. I am forced to pick between two poisons; one is sweet and lovely, but cripples me for life, the other is bitter and shit-stained, but only gives me some inner bleedings.

That's it. Rant over. Fuck proprietary drivers, and fuck manufacturers of products that will not work without them.

e: Ubuntu MATE fixed almost everything. There's still some minor issues here and there, but I'm satisfied and will stick with UM from now on. Thanks for the recommendations!



You must log in or register to comment.

kore wrote

I just buy old computers. problem solved.


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I find that to be more viable with desktops than laptops, since desktops routinely last ten years. With a laptop, there's a risk of buying something four years old and having Linux work wonderfully for a year and a half before the screen fails or the motherboard shorts out. If you're pretty handy with hardware you can fix it, but most people can't and repairs are expensive.


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I've had similar headaches. I've had the best luck with hardware support with Xubuntu and Ubuntu MATE, so if you're in the mood to try again you might tackle those. Maybe 17.10 or 18.04 (which is in beta) will have the best hardware support. I don't know about KDE Neon, but Elementary is currently based on Ubuntu 16.04 so I think its kernel is a year or two old. A slightly newer kernel might have the drivers you need.

But I understand completely if you've had enough. You've already probably put a day or two of work into it.

You probably figured this out already, but unfortunately it's best to do a lot of research about Linux support before buying a laptop.


dele_ted OP wrote

Thanks for the recommendation. I do have a little bit of patience left, so I'll cook together a quick Ubuntu MATE live USB, always wanted to try it anyways.


[deleted] wrote


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I don't think they do it on purpose, Linux support just isn't big enough to be worth the investment.

It's a terrible shame, but not an intentional evil.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

That sucks! I hate the slog of trying to get things to work like that. Good luck with it!


Mullvaden wrote

I feel for you <insert pronoun>, you spent your hard-earned on some new sweet shit and it's broken by design. Major bummer :(


libre_hackerman wrote

New hardware usually has bad compatibility with GNU/Linux due to propietary firmware, so it's always a good idea to check that before buying. Consider returning the laptop and buy other you know is compatible. If you can't, try using a recent kernel and check if your hardware works better.
Something similar happened to me some time ago with a Nvidia GPU. I got another laptop. And that laptop didn't have a Nvidia inside.
You can choose between surrender and go to Windows, or resist and keep fighting.


ziq wrote

Or use an arch-based distro like Manjaro so the kernel is up to date.


techlos wrote

Gentoo is another good choice, assuming you don't mind waiting for the compile times.


dele_ted OP wrote

I gave Ubuntu MATE a try, and things are working almost perfectly now. The minor incompatibilities is something i can live with, such as a non-working fingerprint reader and a somewhat unreliable microphone.


nijntje wrote

Hm, KDE neon is the distro that's meant to offer cutting edge KDE though, so it might be a bit borked. Have you tried kubuntu for a more stable option? or debian+kde?


Slick wrote

Ubuntu MATE is with best hardware support. I'm just an old geezer with Debian or Fedora on a dated laptop. If you have problems with new hardware due to OEM just switch back to old shit.


DokiDokiLove wrote

I don't see the issue with using windows.

It's good software, especially with the creators update.

There are programmes and other things you can do to provide you with privacy where you need it. Linux isn't that much more secure if you are really up against someone serious.

You can cuss me for using windows, but I'm fucking around with augmented reality, while OP Linux can't even get the mic to work :p


dele_ted OP wrote

The issue isn't security from external threats (although that is also significantly improved in Linux), it's the fact that Windows is proprietary (closed source, corporate license etc). You have no clue what's going on with your PC; and it's been proven time and time agani that Microsoft is doing plenty of unethical things. Nothing executed in the frame of a corrupt OS can protect you against that same OS, and as long as the software is not open source or FOSS, it can be considered corrupt.

Then there's also the whole concept of FOSS, that i really like, and want to support.

Here's an introduction to Free and Open Source Software: Why FOSS?