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Lenovo Yoga 900 And 900S Can't Boot Linux, And It's Not Because Of Microsoft

22 September 2016, 8:25 am EDT By Chris Loterina Tech Times
Lenovo confirms that its Yoga 900 and 900S laptops, which boast 360-degree hinges, do not support Linux. This issue is attributed to the computers' very specific, complex and unique drivers that are optimized for Windows 10 touch functionality.  ( Lenovo )

The latest Lenovo Yoga 900 and 900S will stubbornly reject any attempt to install a Linux operating system. Many users immediately turn to Microsoft as the culprit behind the issue and took to Reddit as well as Lenovo's forum to vent their ire, complaints and speculations that collectively reinforced the claim.

It turned out, however, that Microsoft does not have anything to do with the issue.

The problem seemed to have started when a Reddit post by BaronHK lamented the seeming impossibility of installing Linux onto the latest Lenovo Yoga Book. It was said to blocked by a locked solid state drive (SSD), which Linux cannot understand. This became the basis of the argument linking Microsoft to a nefarious plot that purportedly seek to exclude non-Windows platform into the new Lenovo laptops.

The problem was further aggravated when a so-called Lenovo product expert posted a reply to a query in Best Buy saying that the Yoga 900 is locked based on a partnership entered into by Lenovo with Microsoft. Naturally, it has stoked the furor, which seemed to have recently reached critical proportions, prompting Lenovo to issue an official response.

"To support our Yoga products and our industry-leading 360-hinge design in the best way possible we have used a storage controller mode that is unfortunately not supported by Linux and as a result, does not allow Linux to be installed," Lenovo said. "Beyond the controller setup limitation, other advanced capabilities of the Yoga design would likely not work with current Linux offerings."

Lenovo maintained that it does not intentionally keep customers from installing the system or platform that they want. More details about compatibility and hardware specifications were further cited to exonerate Microsoft.

Microsoft has so far refrained from commenting on the issue.

Third party experts have failed to find any trace of Microsoft's involvement (or guilt), particularly in the way the hardware of the Lenovo Yoga 900/900S and even the Ideapad 710S are configured. There also no damning evidence that indicates the company is forcing manufacturers, such as Lenovo, to lock their devices to Windows or exclude Linux and other platforms.

The recent Lenovo snafu has highlighted a growing concern among Linux as well as PC users in general. There is the perception that manufacturers are increasingly encroaching on the freedom to install the system that they prefer. It also seems that, today, consumers need to conduct additional research when buying computers in order to determine whether a prebuilt laptop or a desktop computer allows the installation of Linux or other operating systems.

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