Linux 5.10 To Bring Some Improvements For Newer Lenovo Laptops
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 14 September 2020 at 07:09 AM EDT. 17 Comments
HARDWARE --
With Lenovo working to expand their Linux line-up and already Fedora being offered on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8, more Linux support improvements are on the way.

As part of offering Fedora and other distributions on more of their products, Lenovo said they will be working more with ensuring good Linux hardware support on their behalf as well as better engaging their hardware partners along with getting involved with the likes of LVFS/Fwupd support. Red Hat engineers in particular have been working quite a bit on polishing up the Linux hardware support and more enhancements are on the way for Linux 5.10.

With the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen8 being the first shipping with Fedora Workstation, to little surprise there are improvements there. Hans de Goede of Red Hat who has worked quite a bit on different desktop/laptop hardware issues has an improvement to the ThinkPad ACPI driver.

With a patch slated to go into Linux 5.10 by way of input-next, there is support for new hotkeys on the X1 Carbon Gen8 as well as the likes of the T14 Gen1 models. The new ThinkPads have hotkeys on the F9/F10/F11 keys intended for showing the notification center and answering/declining calls. With Linux 5.10 those hotkeys will be wired up.

Meanwhile over in the sound land for Linux 5.10 is a more pressing change by SUSE's Takasi Iwai who oversees the kernel's sound subsystem. That patch provides improved routing for the ThinkPad X1 Gen8 and Gen7 laptops.

This stems from regression reports on the newer Lenovo ThinkPad X1 laptops that on kernel releases after November 2019 the volume is limited to about 65% the previous level. Via experimenting, there is now improved routing for these laptops with workarounds added to the Realtek HDA driver. Besides being in the "-next" branch for Linux 5.10, it's also marked for back-porting to stable kernel releases in the series over the past year since this regression was first introduced.

I'm on the lookout for any other Lenovo Linux laptop improvements as well. It should be interesting to see how Lenovo's relationship with Linux evolves over the next year.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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