Lenovo responds to Linux blocking issue, issues non-denial denial

Kip Kniskern

Lenovo Yoga 900S

Some Lenovo owners are up in arms because their new Yoga devices are apparently blocked from installing Linux on the devices, and were told by a “Lenovo Product Expert” that the supposed lockout is due to an agreement between Microsoft and Lenovo.

Now, a Lenovo spokesperson has denied claims that Linux users are being locked out, explaining to TechRepublic:

“To improve performance, the industry is moving to RAID on the SSDs and Lenovo is leading with this change,” he said.

“Lenovo does not block customers using other operating systems on its devices but relies on the alternative operating system vendors to release appropriate drivers.”

When the appropriate drivers and kernel support are in place for Linux-based operating systems, he said, “users will be able to install the operating system on an SSD with RAID”.

What is blocked, however, is the ability to for users to switch these devices from using RAID mode to AHCI mode, a capability that’s standard in almost all modern motherboard/BIOS systems. Without the ability to switch from RAID, Linux users are effectively blocked from installing anything but Windows (or other operating systems with RAID support) on the machines.

Lenovo claims above that this is a change to “improve performance,” but it’s also a non-standard way to deal with choosing between RAID and AHCI, one that shuts out Linux users, at least for now.

Microsoft is looking into the situation for us, and we’ll report back as soon as we hear back again from them.