OFFICIAL - Linux and Framework Support - PLEASE READ

Hello friends,

We’re excited that so many of you have chosen Framework over others in this very crowded laptop space. We’re also excited that we have a very vibrant Linux community that have rallied around Framework and the Framework Laptop. With the explosion of interest and folks joining our community, we’ve also seen quite a bit of misinformation on the web and in our community around Linux version support and what should just, “work”. We’re seeing a pretty significant spike in customers contacting Framework Support frustrated that they can’t get Framework hardware to function on their favorite version of Linux. As we’ve stated in our support articles and publicly, we have only verified that the hardware in the Framework Laptop is working without issue in Ubuntu 21.04.3+ (NOT 20.04.3) and Fedora 35. Yes, it’s entirely possible that other versions/flavors of Linux work too! That said, some require technical expertise and deeper Linux knowledge to fidget with drivers and perform some advanced troubleshooting to get the hardware working. If you are on a version of Linux that is on an older kernel, you just won’t be able to get the WiFi or Fingerprint Reader working, it’s not possible as it’s newer tech that requires a newer kernel to function. Asking kindly, if you are attempting to install a version of Linux outside of the above listed versions and run into compatibility problems, we ask that you troubleshoot with our Linux community instead of contacting Framework Support frustrated that things aren’t working as intended. Linux compatibility is, and will always be, a challenge given the sheer number of flavors to choose from, kernel they are based on, etc. While we understand and sympathize with your frustration, our agents are unable to solve problems that are not within their power to solve and/or troubleshoot.

Thank you for your understanding and we hope that you enjoy your Framework Laptop however you choose to enjoy it. Happy Holidays.

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Just to clarify, if someone is running Ubuntu 21.04.3+ and/or Fedora 35, they can still contact Framework Support, and will be supported by Framework, correct?

(trying to determine, explicitly, if verified implies supported in this instance)

…and whether peripherals compatibility issues are also supported by Framework under these OSes? e.g. eGPUs, multi-display hot plug (via DP/HDMI expansion cards), bluetooh audio…etc.

Hi RandomUser,

We can troubleshoot general laptop usage issues while on a supported OS, but we are unable to troubleshoot OS-related problems not specifically related laptop functionality.

We do not officially support eGPUs so we are unable to troubleshoot issues that could arise due to compatibility issues with our hardware. It’s best that troubleshooting of non-standard peripherals be done through the community until we as a company have declared official support.

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Thanks for the clarification. It’s good to have that expectation set.

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We can troubleshoot general laptop usage issues while on a supported OS, but we are unable to troubleshoot OS-related problems not specifically related laptop functionality.

I agree. It reminds me my past comment that is about system design of Travis CI vs GitHub Actions to support.

I definitely feel that something like this should be pinned, or at least placed somewhere with high visibility.

I think it’s incredible that Framework embraces Linux from the get-go, and I certainly feel that Framework and Linux go hand-in-hand, both in terms of vision and in exposure. Unfortunately, a lot of people have only a partial understanding or a complete misunderstanding of what makes things “work”, in the case of Linux and laptops.

Maybe it would be helpful if a member of the community/a Framework team member made a “quick tips” on helping people understand how Linux and Framework work together? For example, a small snippet on how a newer kernel is necessary for drivers, security patches, functionality, etc., and that questions regarding distros/Linux issues should be directed towards those distros, rather than Framework?

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@Twistgibber

@nrp

You should get the Framework certified for Ubuntu with Canonical for Ubuntu 22.04. Then you can always tell customers that the machine is certified for use with Ubuntu 22.04 if whatever distro or version they tried didn’t work. You could also tell users up-front that the Framework works with Ubuntu 22.04 as a part of the spec sheet, no guessing. I don’t know if RedHat has a similar program for RHEL but if they do that’ll probably be the other one do get. That said Ubuntu certification would catch most users that would have a problem they can’t resolve themselves. Finally, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS has 5-year runway so even if you don’t keep up with newer versions, you’ll have lots of time to evaluate if you want to certify another version and which one.

Lenovo has done this for their ThinkPad line and so has Dell for some models. I imagine it shouldn’t be an impossible task to do at least until your motherboard matrix is still as small as it is. According to my anecdata as a professional Linux user, myself and colleagues buy those models and run Ubuntu LTS for trouble-free operation. Framework is now the obvious choice replacing ThinkPads, Latitudes and XPSes, as far as the hardware but it would be amazing if the software is just as obvious. Of course maybe 22.04 would “just work” anyway so you could get away without doing any official testing work for certification, but if that’s the case, you should at least test that and make it clear in some front page material that - yes the Framework has been tested for and works with Ubuntu 22.04.

Also in case it isn’t obvious, you have a pretty good chance of cornering the professional Linux market. And that 1-2% of laptop users is still a shit ton of computers. It’s also a lasting one by virtue of the type of users.

This can’t be done for any rolling distribution since there’s no stable target with reasonably long lifespan to test and/or certify against.

[Some copy-pasta from my reply on Reddit]

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I added this announcement to the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_Computer#Linux_support. Related thread: Framework Wikipedia pages .

From the wiki entry, the wording of “their verified” is slightly ambiguous as to whether it’s referring to Framework or the users.

Could you suggest a better English sentence? I am not a native English speaker.

Neither am I…LoL…

Here’s my feeble attempt:
In December 2021, the company released a statement asking users who are not using Ubuntu 21.04.3+ or Fedora 35 to troubleshoot with Framework’s Linux community instead of contacting Framework Support as no other Linux distribution has been verified by Framework for hardware compatibility.

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OK. Thanks! I basically updated with your sentence. I replaced “Framework Support” with “Framwork support”, as I believe “Framework Support” is not proprietary noun. and replaced “by Framework” with “by the company”, as “Framework” is not the official name of the company.

RHEL9, which has kernel 5.14, is currently in Beta.
RHEL8.5 has kernel 4.18, and this is the version current as of November 2021. Kernel is from 2018.

Yeah, no. Just no. Don’t use an enterprise server OS like RHEL on a (new) laptop. Yes, Red Hat can backport things into it, but odds of them spending time to backport fingerprint readers and so on for laptops in their extremely Enterprise Server/Cloud-oriented OS product?

Fedora 35 is on the list. Use that for desktop, and if you need an RHEL environment then use a VM or, better yet, a detatched development environment that you can work on from your Fedora laptop. Supporting newest laptops is basically the anthisesis of what RHEL exists to do, and what Fedora exists for.

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As far as my understanding goes, Arch works well on the Framework. At the moment of writing, the latest stable linux package in Arch official repositories is 5.16.0, while linux-lts is 5.15.14, and both seem to support all the hardware installed in the Framework laptop. Arch has even a dedicated entry for the Framework laptop in its wiki, so it may be even mistaken as a “supported” distro; but it is not, and I can understand why: the typical Arch user (me) tends to customise the OS a lot, and most of the issues become OS related, rather than hardware ones. Nevertheless, I think that certifying the Framework for one, or even two widespread Linux distros can only be a good thing!