Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, TechRepublic may earn a commission.

Linux laptops: You can now buy the first Lenovo ThinkPad preloaded with Fedora

Lenovo's premium business laptop now comes in Fedora 32 Workstation flavor.

With major PC OEMs supporting Linux, is this the year of the Linux laptop?

The first Lenovo ThinkPad preinstalled with Fedora 32 Workstation is now available to buy.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is the first laptop in Lenovo's ThinkPad series to get the Fedora treatment, coming four months after the manufacturer teamed up with the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project to pilot a new series of Linux community edition devices.

Fedora editions of the ThinkPad P1 Gen2 and ThinkPad P53 will also be available, though for the time being only Lenovo's premium X1 Gen8 business laptop is available to buy with Fedora 32 Workstation preloaded.

SEE: Linux commands for user management (TechRepublic Premium)

The base edition of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 features a 10th generation, 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i5-10210U Processor with 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and a 256GB SSD. Starting at $1,249.99 (more if you throw in customizations), the X1 Carbon also sports a 14-inch screen that's available in both 1080p and 4K display options; a 51Wh battery that delivers up to 19.5 hours of battery life; integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics and Wi-Fi 6.

Christian Schaller, a senior software engineering manager for Red Hat who has been working on the project, labelled the launch of the first Fedora ThinkPad "a concerted effort to evolve Linux as a laptop operating system". 

Beyond simply slapping a Linux sticker on Lenovo devices, Schaller said that tweaks were being made under the the hood to optimize Fedora for ThinkPad devices, including a high-performance mode that will allow laptops to run faster when plugged into a power source, as well as a low-power mode to help maximize battery life.

Fedora and Red Hat are also working on "lap detection" that will prevent laptops from running hot when they are sitting in users' laps.

In a blog post, Schaller wrote: "This is the culmination of our work over the past few years, creating the LVFS, adding Thunderbolt support to Linux, improving fingerprint reader support in Linux, supporting HiDPI screens, supporting hidpi mice, creating the possibility of a secure desktop with Wayland, working with NVidia to ensure that Mesa and Nvidia driver can co-exist through glvnd, creating Flatpak to ensure we can bring the advantages of containers to the desktop space and at the same way do it in a vendor neutral way."

Lenovo promised to go big on Linux this year. As well as selling Fedora-infused ThinkPads, the company has committed to providing end-to-end support for Ubuntu LTS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) workstations.

Starting with ThinkPad P series workstations before rolling out to Lenovo's ThinkStation series, Lenovo will offer full certification for Ubuntu and RHEL workstations, spanning everything from security patches and updates to hardware drivers, firmware and bios optimizations.

SEE: Desktop Linux: Why open source is heading for a new breakthrough (TechRepublic)

Speaking to TechRepublic at the time, Rob Herman, general manager and executive director of the Workstation & Client AI Group, said Lenovo wanted to do more to target specialist end users, particularly those working in the burgeoning fields of data science, content creation and artificial intelligence.

Linux distros as a preinstalled option are somewhat in vogue, with Dell offering Ubuntu as a preloaded option for its XPS 13: Developer Edition.

Also see