Fedora 23 finally running on Lenovo G50-70! Results.


Updated: April 1, 2016

I've done something I really really hate. No, I've not worn Crocs. I flashed the BIOS, or rather UEFI, on my Lenovo G50, which happens to be my test box de jour for most Linux distros out there. Except, as I've reported a while back, it's not fully supported by all operating systems.

The RH family was the most notorious among the bunch, and so I never got the chance to try Fedora on the laptop, which is a shame, because I really liked it, and I found it quite fun to use and play and whatnot. Only it never would boot. Just hang there like a frozen toad. But that has changed recently.

Teaser

Captain Flashheart

BIOS a day keeps the nerds away. The things I'll do for love. I hate flashing systems, but this was the one thing I haven't tried, and indeed, it unclogged Fedora's proverbial chakras, even though it was still misbehaving some. No USB boot, only DVD.

However, with the slow neep-neep of the external optical tray working, Fedora 23 eventually reached the live session, and I had the pleasure of formatting some of my partitions to accommodate for the new system. Half a dozen Ubuntus, a lonely Leap, and let's not forget Windows 10.

The partition selection and format step was a little frightening. You get labels, which is good, but not for all distros. For instance, Manjaro, which started beautifully but then seized after a while, is marked as unknown. There are probably 25 entries for openSUSE, which actually correspond to directories under its BTRFS root, and then there are still more unknown entries, covering the NTFS and FAT partitions on the disk.

Partitions, what

Unknown Linux entry

This is not the ideal state for working safely and smartly, but luckily, I was able to narrow down on the right partition. Again, much like Manjaro, Fedora is fussy about having its own /boot/efi mount point, eh, pointing to the EFI partition. Why not auto-configure this? Why Ubuntu can do this, and Fedora needs manual assistance from the user? Ah well.

EFI warning

Final config

The installation completed without any problems. Fedora was now in charge of GRUB, all the other entries were properly showing in the menu, and I had a functional and pleasing Gnome 3 system at my disposal, on a new and modern system rather than my super-aged LG box, which is ever so gently approaching its seventh birthday.

Pimping up

Now, how does Fedora 23 cope with this laptop? First things first. Some normal use stuff, like codecs, extra software and such. The initial round of Fedora updates ate 770M worth of data, but it completed quite quickly. Another 300 MB went away after setting up easyLife, and downloading fonts, Skype, Steam, VLC, GIMP, Google Chrome, and some other programs.

Codecs setup

Apps

Desktop

Hardware compatibility

Interesting, to say the least. The Realtek problem? Yes, it STILL affects Linux, and it goes beyond the Ubuntu family. Fedora 23 also had a hiccup about half an hour into the session, and I was forced to create the modprobe conf file and then reboot. No issues since, but this is so bloody annoying. Fix this stupid thing already!

Bluetooth wise, things started looking cheerful, but then the connection started flickering on and off, and I was never quite able to send or receive any files from my Ubuntu Phone. 'Tis a two-way street, sure, but the problem seems to be on the laptop side.

BT setup

Webcam works, all the Fn keys work, suspend & resume works. There's no screen autodim on battery. Touchpad is set up without tapping, which is awesome. I couldn't find any other hardware related issues, but the support level isn't any better than most Ubuntu distributions, even the LTS release with its much older kernel. It would appear that Year 2015 was one of regressions only.

Resource usage & battery life

Fedora is a moderate to high guzzler, eating 1GB worth of memory, just for the sake of it. CPU isn't too noisy, and it will normally tick around 2-3%. We've seen much better results, of course, and consequently, battery life is a meager 2 hours only. This is further affected by the lack of brightness control, for some reason.

Resources

Battery life

Conclusion

I'm pleased that Fedora 23 runs on my G50 laptop now. It's a good thing, and I'm pleased with the system and its behavior. Hardware compatibility is decent, but it isn't stellar, and there's more to be done, including better Bluetooth, better battery life, and of course, normal and sane network. C'mon! Performance and responsiveness are just okay, not as sharp as Xfce desktops, though.

Apart from that, all the goodies we had in the original review still work. Media, smartphone support, apps, and such. Oh, I couldn't install Gnome extensions this time, but I believe this is a temporary glitch with the online system, and not a Fedora problem. At the end of the day, Fedora comes with its mixed bag of chaos, state-of-art technology, weird issues and surprising stability, and with Gnome 3, it delivers a fair compromise between speed and aesthetics and raw functionality. No mind-splitting conclusions here, no ugly twists. Solid, dependable, just as it should be. And now, on modern technology, too. Once again, Fedora 23 proves itself, and its availability on my Lenovo box means there ought to be some great stuff coming out soon. Have fun.

Cheers.

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