Status of Official Linux Distribution Support

If you’re referring to the whole OS, then far from it. :slight_smile: The kernel is probably the easiest component to swap out without side effects due to its well defined interfaces. The collection of libraries and services running on top are not nearly as easy to interchange without breakage. Take this to an extreme and you have Android. You’ll find it difficult to run a lot of stuff that runs on Ubuntu or Fedora.

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I think I addressed this in my last post, and I am not going to slide into a case of arguing semantics. If you build from source you can essentially circumvent/rebuild any distro. Different package managers, different breakdown of what is actually in a package of a particular utility, different flags on the the kernel, but ultimately they all use the same damn kernel and everything else can in fact be broken apart and made to work. I did not say it was a drop in replacement.

PopOS does not work well, because frankly it is running a year behind real updates at this point. When it comes to new hardware which Framework is going to roll out every year. Essentially any stale linux distro is going to be a pain. However solutions in one distro will 90% apply nearly identically, or very closely in any other distro. Otherwise the Archwiki would not be quoted nearly as often as it is.

Ultimately the linux kernel essentially defaults to promoting structures around it that ensure a degree of commonality that will aid any knowledgeable user in deducing what needs to be done to a solution to make it work on another distro.

In short if you need the support, and you need exact instructions, use the supported distros.

For newer users reading this. Just to make sure lesser familiar users get what it all comes down to at a higher level.

Intermediate and advanced users, carry on. :slight_smile:

Yes, to a varied degree “Linux is Linux” as in ice-cream is ice-cream. Shared ingredients, but different flavors and often things added that one distro may have that others may not.

Users relying on community support are welcome to run whichever distro suits them - I think that’s great.

Users relying Framework for OS/software support will want to consider running those distros we actively test with. Yes, different distros with similar kernels absolutely can behave differently (differing init systems, desktop environments (even versions there of), grub vs systemd-boot, the list goes on and on.

I agree about 88% of the time on this. Paths, custom configs, etc, can differ and do. But this does hold true for tweaks and some general advice. However, I have also witnessed countless times when users blinding apply stuff from forums and wikis having no idea what it does - always best to check with the community first to make sure it’s appropriate, then try it. :slight_smile:

And yes, while I don’t actively run it (no pun intended) at the moment, VOID continues to have a warm place in my heart.


Yup, I have seen it as well. Another me would say RTFM and don’t do anything until you understand what you will be doing and why you will be doing it…oh wait this me would still say that :slight_smile: I have had plenty of users break things by blindly applying a command from something they found online without understanding what it does.

Void is still one of my favorite non mainline distros, unfortunately I don’t have the itme to run it. Pun intended.

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Boy we agree there. So important for newbies to ask if they don’t understand before applying commands. And I suspect we could compare notes on some doozies out there. :slight_smile:

VOID is just fun to run. So pun accepted.

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Void is the only distro I got my external AMD GPU to work on the framework laptop without any hassle at all. I couldn’t get it to work in other distros no matter what I did.

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12 posts were split to a new topic: Linux: Xorg vs. Wayland

It’s a shame, as I am, and have been using Pop OS on my FW13. This post actually spurred me on to try Fedora 38 Workstation to see what it would be like and unfortunately it seems to be more work out of the box to get it near as feature complete as my Pop OS install. Though it does support things a little better like actually having wireguard in the network management tool GUI.

The issues I had with Fedora 38 install is that there’s actually a ton more to do after install and following the guides put up by Framework. I still had to disable the PSR due to graphical glitching at the top of the screen, a fix that is included in the F37 post install steps, but not F38.

Also Fedora no long ships with non-free repos, and also has limited codec support, so I had to follow this guide: GitHub - devangshekhawat/Fedora-38-Post-Install-Guide: Things to do after installing Fedora 38 to get video playback working.

I will probably return to Pop OS (I took an image before switching) as it’s something I am more used to experience wise.

These are my experiences of course, for others, F38 should be a painless experience as following the guide is does work out of the box.

Honestly, having daily driven Fedora for a few months now, this. Fedora was in kind of a Goldilocks zone for Framework when it released, but the direction may have shifted a bit to make it just as much of a pain to set up as other unsupported distros. Admittedly not a lot of hassle, but more than a beginner should have to deal with to get a working computer. That’s fine for an advanced user, but an advanced user is going to install whatever they damn well please, so the officially supported distros are really there for newcomers.

I’d like to at least see discussion about why Fedora should or should not be replaced (it would be like herding cats to change the subject to “replace it with !!!” though)

To be fair, I think Fedora gets package management, Software installs, and the DE user experience right. It’s why I’m a GNOME diehard. There’s just not that much else going for it out of the box (ie what a beginner would be concerned about, because anyone with experience can hack a distro into pieces). Being Wayland by default has similar workaround concerns. Yes, an advanced user can set up a profile alias to electron with their required arguments or just edit desktop files. A beginner shouldn’t have to.

I don’t think there’s a single distro that’s a better option though hahaha…

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As much as I dislike it, Ubuntu is easier to set up on the framework, so it’s admittedly supported for a reason. The issue is that because of how Fedora’s gone, Ubuntu is in a class by itself.

I get it Fedora does not offer everything out of the box, but it is constantly updated…it is as close to a rolling distro as you can get on a point release distro. Why is this more important than pure convenience for beginners? Pure simple compatibility. Getting Fedora setup takes very little in the way of command-line-fu where as building a custom kernel so the laptop actually works is a much heavier lift. At this point I have been using Fedora for 5 years exclusively. Why? It simply works. It is actually very easy to set up, and it is very secure out of the box. Also you can get everything working on it very easily GitHub - devangshekhawat/Fedora-38-Post-Install-Guide: Things to do after installing Fedora 38 is just what one user does to customize their install and is pretty much directly lifted from the Fedora System Administrators Handbook and the RPMFusion website.

Ubuntu is a nightmare of PPA’s, snaps, file systems which will never be accepted into the mainline kernel, and one off projects that die on the vine one or two years down the road because no one else wants to use them, after which you are left holding the bag. Ubuntu based distros naturally inherit these issues, and PopOS is no exception, no matter how much it tries to bill itself as being so. It’s popularity stems from convenience alone, but it is in actuality a horrible, glitchy distro.

As to why Fedora? If you are Framework and want to break into the Enterprise Laptop market, you are goinng to have to support Redhat at some point. Fedora is simply Redhat upstream, so it is a damn good place to start. Same goes with Ubuntu, though why anyone would use this abomination of an OS for mission critical items is beyond me. Yes I have plenty of experience with both, and Ubuntu is the squeaky wheel that never just works. Easier to set up sure, but then the problems begin, and they never end until you burn it with fire.


I think the biggest reason why fedora is the choice right now is that the support team has a relationship with the Fedora Devs, meaning that Framework can ask them directly for help with support issues.


Hi all, appreciate everyone’s thoughts and feedback - be it some of it rather passionate at times. I also realize that the Linux community runs on passion. So as I go through this, know that I understand you’re all passionate about choice.

Consider this an expansion onto this post:

Going to post this last message then put this to bed because this is getting silly.

1. You may run whatever OS you like, hence the value of Framework laptops.

I want #1 to be crystal clear.

  1. When seeking support from Framework staff, we will have you doing testing in Fedora 37/38 or Ubuntu 22.04.

  2. As Twist expressed about Pop in the first post, we have run into a large number of tickets and forum posts dealing with Pop not seen with our other officially supported distros and the other community supported distros. Full stop. It was a decision of metrics and commonsense in terms of where support hours were invested.

Therefore, we still have oodles of users running Pop despite this change. At no time did anything change for these users.

What did change is when these users have issues, we will be asking for replication on supported distros - that’s it.

So since this change was implemented, users needing help are asked to try a support distros for troubleshooting.

And despite this, the community still provides assistance on Pop issues in the forums.

In other instances, a thread may have posts from users seeing a common issue affecting Pop, Ubuntu and other distros. Those on Pop are actively engaging and are responded to with general tips from myself and my staff.

No one is being blacklisted or ignored. But if we respond with “please try this on Ubuntu/Fedora” and op decides they wish to remain testing with Pop, we duck out from further help there and rely on the community at that point.

And that, as they say, is that… I will be closing this thread as this isn’t a discussion. But I wanted to be clear on how we handle official support.

Thank you everyone.