Things Are Looking Up for Linux on ARM Laptops

I have something of a soft spot for Red Hat, specifically their commitment to improving Linux hardware support.

I also have a soft spot for ARM laptops. Yeah, they tend to suffer from performance issues, but I’m ever the optimist: ARM laptops feel like they’re the cusp of greatness.

With this in mind you’ll understand how stoked I am to learn that Red Hat devs be rollin’ up their sleeves to bring Fedora up and running on such devices, specifically those Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 based devices:

That tease of “very soon” has me “very excited”.

Anyhow, Red Hat’s efforts will build on work done by the terrific “aarch64-laptops project”. They’ve already managed get Ubuntu running on Windows ARM laptops using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.

ARM Laptops Need a Hand

The Lenovo Miix 630 Laptop

Laptops based on (mainly mobile-orientated) ARM chips tend to tout epic battery life, and deliver comparable performance to entry-level Intel laptops.

Linux support tends to be roughly okay once up and running, but is someway off a fuss-free installation experience.

Red Hat’s efforts in this area could help change that.

Well-known devices using the Snapdragon 850 chip Red Hat plans to focus on include Lenovo Yoga C630 and the Lenovo Miix 630 (trivia: the latter of these boasts a 22 hour battery life under Windows 10).

The idea of one of these devices running a full desktop Linux stack is pretty cool.

Not that desktop Linux is a stranger to ARM-based laptops, of course.

Back in the dust of the current decade, Ubuntu shipped on a little-known ARM netbook called the ‘eCafe’, and supported the Android-based Toshiba AC100 laptop.

But while early efforts in this area floundered due to mix of poor performance and low adoption, the future of modern ARM devices is looking pretty healthy.

Single board computers like the Raspberry Pi go from strength-to-strength; there’s the Pinebook Pro Linux laptop on the way; and an ample assortment of ARM-based Chromebooks just waiting to run a proper desktop operating system.

Heck, even Apple appears to be mulling a switch away from Intel

What about you: would you like to switch to an ARM laptop running Linux? Let us know in the comments!

Original Article

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