Lenovo is Bringing Linux to ThinkPad, ThinkStation

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile with 19 Comments

In a surprising development, Lenovo announced today that it will offer Ubuntu Linux preinstalled on ThinkPad laptops and ThinkStation desktop PCs.

“Lenovo’s vision of enabling smarter technology for all really does mean ‘for all’,” said Lenovo vice president Igor Bergman said. “Our goal is to remove the complexity and provide the Linux community with the premium experience that our customers know us for. This is why we have taken this next step to offer Linux-ready devices right out of the box.”

Lenovo announced that it was bringing Linux to its workstation products in June, but this expansion brings the open-source platform to the firm’s mainstream business PCs. That said, Lenovo is targeting developers with this support, not traditional business users.

The following Lenovo PCs will support Ubuntu Linux preinstalls sometime between now and early 2021: ThinkPad T14 (Intel and AMD), ThinkPad P15v, ThinkPad T14s (Intel and AMD), ThinkPad P15, ThinkPad T15p, ThinkPad P17, ThinkPad T15, ThinkPad P14s, ThinkPad X13 (Intel and AMD), ThinkPad P1 Gen 3, ThinkPad X13 Yoga, ThinkStation P340, ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3, ThinkStation P340 Tiny, ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8, ThinkStation P520c, ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5, ThinkStation P520, ThinkPad L14, ThinkStation P720, ThinkPad L15, ThinkStation P920, ThinkPad P15s, and ThinkStation P620.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Lenovo is Bringing Linux to ThinkPad, ThinkStation”

  1. jumpingjackflash5

    Maybe Microsoft will finally wake up. Or not, and we'll see Office for Linux just as we see Office for Android now. And then maybe they can decide they do not need Windows anymore, and will make Surface with Linux, just ad we see Surface Duo with Android now. It is sad, but if they will not save Windows, nobody else can.

    • erichk

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:

      MS Office on Linux seemed unthinkable years ago. I guess not so much anymore.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to ErichK:

        From a different perspective than you mean, given all the stuff Office for Mac can't do that Office for Windows can, a Mac-like Office for Linux is unthinkable as something I'd pay to use.

        Even with all the stuff that's been added to Excel in the last few years, I still rely on the Windows Script Host DLL's Dictionary class. Now if Excel had built-in associative arrays, . . .

      • Truffles

        In reply to ErichK:


        Microsoft destroyed the market for Windows application development by dominating every application category that makes money. Remember the days when computer magazines were full of comparison shootouts and feature tables for a raft of competing word processors, databases and spreadsheets etc? Those articles are pointless now because it's all about compatibility with the MS ecosystem, and only MS can do that efficiently.

        A consequence of MS's application dominance is that it becomes financially sensible for MS to simply relegate Windows to maintenance mode (and pocket the savings) and just port MS applications to 3rd party operating systems.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Truffles:

          . . . computer magazines were full of comparison shootouts and feature tables for a raft of competing . . .

          Yup. No monopolies here. Nothing to see. Move along, folks.

          OTOH, it also means that aside from Office, MSFT's compilers, Adobe's offerings, maybe also everything from Intuit, Rosetta Stone and a few other niches, what little is left of 3rd party Windows software usually has Linux and macOS alternatives. That and most portable Windows software runs fine under wine, even Notepad++ (as an editor, not as an IDE).

        • jumpingjackflash5

          In reply to Truffles:

          Well, the problem is, that when Office for Linux is widely available, then there is not much reasons to stay with Windows 10, nostalgia and being accustomed to it aside ......

          I wish that Microsoft rescues Windows, but I am not sure they want to ...

  2. red.radar

    That is quite the array of models. I wonder if this is a strategic move as certain markets look to reduce dependence on western technology

  3. curtisspendlove

    Apparently the Ubuntu peeps have been working on several such partnerships this year and are close to unveiling a series of this sort of thing with major manufacturers.

    I think it is great. But I don’t think we will ever see a huge, wide scale adoption of Linux on the desktop. It just has too huge of an uphill battle.

    While there are several distros making great strides it just isn’t ever going to be as friendly as the proprietary commercial offerings from Microsoft and Apple.

    I believe it would still take a massive fumbling of Windows by Microsoft to gain major traction in the consumer or business space.

    And if you take into consideration the proliferation of “mobile” style technology and operating systems fewer and fewer people even need access to a traditional computing platform anyway.

    Linux is still a niche use case. An awesome one, but niche nonetheless.

  4. wright_is

    enabling smarter technology for all really does mean ‘for all’

    So, where is the macOS version? GD&R

  5. proftheory

    I need to put Fedora back on my Yoga 730. I had to take it off because Windows wouldn't upgrade with the NVME in BIOS mode only EUFI.

  6. winbookxl2

    This is great!

    • jrzoomer

      In reply to winbookxl2:

      Agreed this is great. I love Thinkpads and never wanted to bother with configuring drivers on a linux install. In the past I used to buy from LAC Portland, a small company that would preload https://shop.lacpdx.com/.

      My only sticking point was I always buy Thinkpads with LTE, heres hoping that Lenovo can ship with working LTE and Linux.

  7. jchampeau

    It's finally the year of Linux on the desktop! </sarcasm>

  8. F4IL

    This will inevitably nudge other companies towards providing similar solutions.

  9. nhs

    This is interesting especially since Lenovo just introduced a line of higher-end Thinkpads preinstalled with Fedora as an option. They didn't do it half-measured, but specifically integrated all their driver stuff for peripherals into the kernel. Much of the general plumbing of that certainly applies to Ubuntu as well. No more "Yeah, it sorta works. The fingerprint scanner doesn't react and our intern just got basic fan control to work" on those machines.

    Reading these and a few other statements by Lenovo employees over the last months, they seem to aim at becoming the prime pre-installed Linux vendor.

  10. robinpersaud

    While I am a “Windows Guy”, I can’t ignore the strides Linux on the desktop has made - especially in light of recent Windows 10 update debacles.

    Story from me: I have two Dell PCs (an OptiPlex desktop and Inspiron laptop) that I purchased from an old employer. Each are at least 9 years old, but have been upgraded to SSD storage and are being used as HTPCs (to stream my owned DVDs and Blu-ray discs, ripped with MakeMKV) via Kodi and Plex.

    Some time ago, Windows 10 *insisted* on pushing video and audio driver updates, even when I specifically removed them after the fact (due to video issues, sound issues, etc). This happened, like clockwork, once per month.

    For security reasons, disabling Windows Update was not an option.

    I got fed up and moved both to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The computers have been running BEAUTIFULLY and FAST ever since.

  11. hrlngrv

    Dell's been giving the option of Linux instead of Windows on some of its PCs for years. Still Good to see Lenovo doing so too.

    That said, if I want Linux, I want to partition drives myself. Then again, as long as one doesn't fubar grub, one can move kernels, /boot, /bin, anything around as much as one wants.

    Now if only Google Chrome worked with /tmp mounted noexec . . .