Updated: May 22, 2017
More Linux testing, more distributions that don't like my hardware. Welcome to the fourth report on failed attempts to enjoy Linux on my UEFI-powered G50 laptop. This has been my main test box in the last two years, and still, being able to boot from it is not a given.
True, there were more issues early on. For example, openSUSE and Red Hat distros didn't like this box at all, but a few releases and a few firmware updates, things seem to be in a slightly better shape. And yet, occasionally, I am forced to write these sad compilations, telling of those gloomy afternoons where I expected to have some fun, and ended up frustrated, angry and abandoned. Fourth report, here we go.
If my reading skills serve me well, BunsenLabs Linux is the successor to Crunchbang. In other words, it's nerdy, it's minimalistic, it uses Openbox, and it doth not love my Lenovo. At first, I had a wee struggle of finding the download option, it's sneakily hidden on the official site, but then, the distro just wouldn't work. I tried a few USB writing methods, it simply does not show in the list of EFI devices in the boot menu. I guess it does not support UEFI, and if so, that's very bad indeed. The year is 2017.
A virtual machine screenshot; no auto-detection, no auto-resolution re-scale.
This Chinese distribution is a very interesting piece of software. Very unique, and a refreshing departure from what you normally get. I was truly and deeply [sic] amazed by how well it was stitched together, when I last tested it, back in my Lenovo T61 days. It had its own presentation layer, its own applications, and it seemed to be doing well. Unfortunately, I was not able to get it running on my G50 box. Neither the official 15.3 release, nor 15.4 RC2. It does support UEFI, and you actually see the boot menu, and there's the lovely Deepin splash screen, which features the effect of the distro name/logo getting filled with water. But then, when it's time to reach the actual installation screen, which offers language selection, you only end up with a black screen. Oops. So close.
Such a shame, this looks like a superbly interesting product.
Feast thy eyes and wash off thy tears:
I find it very disheartening that Linux still struggles with the basics of such a simple, mainstream device like my Lenovo G50, especially since it's been around for at least two years, if not longer. There's nothing out of ordinary in this box. Intel graphics and an innocent Realtek Wireless card. And yet, you cannot believe how much Linux woe this hardware has generated.
I will probably conduct additional distro tests on my other systems, the LG RD510 and HP Pavilion notebooks, but even so, patience goes hand in hand with disappointment. There comes a time when you simply stop caring, for your own sake. Goodwill is a finite quantity, and if distros can't do basics in 2017, then perhaps, it's not meant to be. Anyway, if you have a reasonably modern box, and you want Linux, plan accordingly.