Linux "lockout" tangle snarls Lenovo

After failing to install Linux on a recent Lenovo laptop, a Reddit user claims to have received a short reply from Lenovo's support team: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft."

The company is reportedly shutting discussion threads on its official forums to prevent "disruption," though the snarl of links and outrage flying around makes everything rather murky. The core facts at hand appear to be that a) the BIOS is programmed to enforce a RAID setup that is currently compatible only with Windows 10, and b) there's no technical rationale for it, it's just there to prevent other operating systems being installed. A is, of course, more plausibly true than B.

IBM is a long time ago, and Lenovo certainly sells what software vendors are buying. The model in question is the Yoga 900, pictured above; if you buy one of Lenovo's machines and plan on installing Linux, research it in depth beforehand.

Reporter Matthew Garrett, however, says that the "Microsoft made Lenovo block Linux" story isn't true and that he has a complete report coming.

UPDATE: Here's Garrett's story: Microsoft aren't forcing Lenovo to block free operating systems. The tl;dr: it's happening because "Intel have not submitted any patches to Linux to support the 'RAID' mode," and the Lenovo support statement about Microsoft is probably just a misunderstanding.

UPDATE: And confirmed in a statement from Lenovo.

To improve system performance, Lenovo is leading an industry trend of adopting RAID on the SSDs in certain product configurations. Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems on its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of products - Unsupported models will rely on Linux operating system vendors releasing new kernel and drivers to support features such as RAID on SSD."

Previously: Lockdown: The coming war on general-purpose computing