OK Lenovo, we need to talk! | Haiku Project

I’ve been wanting to publicly comment on Lenovo’s statement on Linux support for a while, as there’s much to say about it, and my failing attempt at finding a suitable replacement for my venerable T510 gave me an excuse to document my love-hate relationship with Lenovo all at once.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.haiku-os.org/blog/mmu_man/2021-10-04_ok_lenovo_we_need_to_talk/

That’s like saying “JS/Google Docs”, yes, Linux may some GNU utilities but that doesn’t mean it’s name should be inserted right into the name, nobody at the FSF took any part in making Linux and people shouldn’t be so elitist about what name we call an operating system.

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Actually, Linux is only the kernel. Saying the OS is Linux would be like instead of calling Google Docs you’re calling it Chrome because it’s what it runs on.
It’s not “some GNU utilities”, it’s the whole of glibc (the C library), all of the GNU coreutils, bash, … and up to GCC which also comes from GNU. So yeah, there are also other things in a Linux distro, but it’s not a “small contribution”.


I’ll admit that I should’ve been a bit more rational about the amount of GNU utilities in the kernel, but my point still stands, why all of the sudden we should all start calling it a different name? And yes, Linux is just a kernel, there are Linux distros that don’t include any GNU software at all and since Linux is just a kernel, most mentions relating to it should be generally broad. Lenovo was trying to say they were working to make their devices compatible with all Linux systems, not just Linux systems with GNU software. I also worry about Linux being referred to differently because most consumers would probably view it as a totally different family of operating systems or a totally new distribution, which sounds dumb when I say it but people do actually think that way and saying Linux is a lot more straightforward than saying “GNU/Linux”. I also never called Linux as OS and was saying that it was how people referred to an OS, such as calling them Linux distributions.

Also some people like to say it’s referred to as “GNU/Linux” because its compiled with GCC, but if Windows was compiled with GCC does that mean it would be “GNU/Windows”?

No it has nothing to do with the compiler, RMS insisted on this because on his point of view Linux was the last piece to add to the GNU project to have a working OS. (They are still hoping to get Hurd to work someday :smiley:)
Honestly I don’t care as much about the name as I care about the philosophy that underpins both projects, and since the GNU stuff is actually a large part of it, the ethics it defends should be taken into accounts. My point was not about the name, but about providing a rationale behind defending access to documentation and the rest.


Re:Lenovo ThinkPad
I think IBM was wrong to sell the ThinkPad design to Lenovo in the first place.

Re:GNU and Linux
I use the Manjaro distribution of GNU/Linux all the time but I don’t call it anything special, I call it my Linux installation. In fact, I run VMWare from it to run Haiku.

Re:Chinese Government
Is there no electronics company that doesn’t depend on China for something!? The RK3399 RockChip SoC in my PineBook Pro comes from China exclusively. The RK3399S for the PinePhone Pro will be no different. At least the Pine64 products include “kill switches” for anything that the Chinese government could use to spy on us with. I hope Haiku never has any dependency that has a hard requirement that it come from China until the next regime change. Lenovo is one of those Chinese companies and I am not for it.

IBM was wrong about OS / 2 too …


I can still remember my youngest daughter (not yet in school) once said (after I left my computer unattended):
“Dad, OS / 2 is awesome - it does exactly what I want!”
She had absolutely no experience with computers!


If OS/2 Warp was still around when Amiga was bought out by Gateway in 1998, I’d probably be using it instead of AmigaOS, MorphOS and Haiku.


Together with my son Dirk (CityStates Medieval), we got games to run under OS / 2-DOS (at a very acceptable speed) that could not be run under proprietary DOS!

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About Chinese hardware vs one from US or EU vendors, since they are all manufactured at the same place, if I was cynical I’d say I’d rather be spied upon by one government only than by two.

Out of curiosity, do you have any particular reason why? I have a ThinkPad W700 and I think it’s all right. :stuck_out_tongue:

Then again, from what I’ve seen, most ThinkPads newer than ~2012 aren’t really worth messing with (just like MacBooks newer than mid-2012)…

A lot of these apply to Haiku as well, right? Would it also be GNU/Haiku?

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No, Haiku is the name of the OS itself, while the kernel doesn’t really have a separate name. I actually asked RMS once, and he said jokingly “well you can call your kernel Limerick so you can say GNU/Limerick.” :smiley:


I realize this is a bit off topic, but isn’t the Haiku kernel based off Travis Geiselbrecht’s “NewOS”?

That utilities are not really important and there are non-GNU alternatives to them. By following that logic, Haiku should also be called “GNU/Haiku” because it have GNU utilities preinstalled and some parts of libroot.so are based on glibc code. When working on RISC-V port, I managed to run Haiku GUI without Bash and any command utilities. Terminal run Lua instead of Bash.

Today Linux is much more than original GNU project and Richard Stallman have small influence to it (sonsidering by code contributions).

Also there are no such thing as “GNU/Linux” I can’t download it anywhere. It is abstract and vague thing that not exist i reality.

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Actually this hasn’t come on suddenly, RMS first started talking about it in the early 90s when the Linux kernel was first created. It just hasn’t gained much traction. But it’s a fair point when you think about it… Linux needs ld-linux to load applications… and all the low level C programs require glibc, and many of those programs themselves are also made by the FSF/GNU etc etc. The OS is essentially a GNU UNIX stack with a Linux kernel, and then other stuff like a GUI on top of that. And if you look at the set of essential Linux software maintained by FSF it’s a volume of code that rivals the kernel itself.

Personally I don’t call it GNU/Linux because it’s just too much of a mouthful, but it’s good to appreciate the reasoning and understand that the efforts of FSF/GNU are also responsible for the OS being what it is today.

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This is a fair point too… but personally I wouldn’t want to run Linux without access to proper set of shell utilities. I guess there are several other lib C implementations now too, but most are not using them. If Linux had appeared without all this stuff available already, would it have gone anywhere at all?

100%. I feel like Lenovo have forgotten why we used to blab to everyone about them.

I still use a first gen X1 carbon (that is, 2012), and I have so many times wanted an excuse to upgrade. In the meantime, the only interaction I’ve had with them involved them attempting to charge me over $600 to send me a replacement keycap and scissor back in 2014. That’s not quite the excuse to give them my money I was looking for.

Certifying their high-end laptops as supported was just to motivate people to buy more expensive models. I understand this to some extent: motivating people to pay more is fine, I just want to get the right laptop if I’m paying more. For me, the right laptop is a hackable thin and light that does not require any binary blobs and has a solid keyboard (centered with no numpad please, hello system76?). I may have coughed up for a P series anyway if I hadn’t had such dismal experiences with lenovo support australia.

Who are buying these things anyway, if not programmers and IT teams?

Your essay makes reference to the Framework laptop and FairPhone, which are excellent attempts to disrupt the status-quo.

I have started a thread on the Framework Discourse forum to look at how Haiku might be installed on this interesting computer. I think Haiku would compliment the current Framework model very well as it is a smaller machine for casual usage that would benefit from the speed and efficiency of Haiku.