Moving Lenovo P50 to Linux

Evening all!
So I recently got a Lenovo P50 laptop and I plan to use it for my university studies.
Stability is my main focus, mile ahead of other advantages a new system could offer me, key requirements are as follows.
-> Does not change, unfortunately I have to use Java JDK 7u79 because my University has not updated their applications, I cannot have an update suddenly changing my JDK version to 9.
-> Kernel changes, I need the drivers to be tested I have looked at Ubuntu and RHEL and the device is certified by both, my version also avoids the hibernation issue outlined by RHEL.
-> Stable Nvidia drivers, This device has a quadro in it which helps, but I don’t want to change the drivers outside of when I change them.
-> Mobile backup station, This device will be backing up my desktop mainly so I can let my destructive side out and it has all my /home stuff.
It just works! -> I want it to just work when I come to it, I fix computers for my job, I don’t want to be doing it at home also (Unless its on my desktop)
Finally, VMs, I will be using VMs for testing and learning other things, reliability is key to keep them running (Thinking test ownCloud/Nextcloud server)

So my current choices come down to RHEL/CentOS or Debian/Ubuntu LTS, RHEL is looking better for me at the moment as it has java rpm files and the RHEL documentation is rather in-depth, furthering this I use Fedora on my desktop and I may add a little cockpit setup in there also.

Which do you think? again I am leaning towards RHEL although I do not fully understand the limitations of the dev subscription over CentOS.


Many thanks all!

Ubuntu is doing a grade A job right now, especially if you want wayland. ATM though I like Xubuntu and POP_OS. Perhaps give a peak?

Though Fedora is a good choice right now too.

Wayland has some issues with some applications I use, also it doesn’t play nice with the universities IDE configuration (Because they are outdated as heck!)
Pop_OS doesn’t have an LTS as far as I know? Fedora 27 unfortunately doesn’t play with my lenovo at the moment, upon install of 27 with encryption it can’t find its boot files, I expect this will get resolved with time, in saying that 26 should be supported until December next year I believe.

The only downside to Fedora is the package changes, they are rather rapid, plus they generally push a kernel change in the cycle, they did with 26, I would imagine with 27

It only just came out but its based directly off of 17.10. In will have an 18.04 release. Its aim is to be a good work environment.

Theres also arch. I use arch a LOT and I can say that its not a bad choice and can be plenty stable if you stay on top of it.

I do like Arch, but Arch changes too fast for this system, not saying it isn’t stable, but to be honest I don’t want to read patching lists for updates to find out app A breaks X.
I think I will certainly look at 18.04 Pop_OS in a VM and test it out.

Well if you’re after stability, ubuntu, fedora, OpenSuse

Up to date: arch, fedora

Bulletproof: slackware

Thats about all I got lol. I’ve never used CentOS as a desktop myself so I can’t really comment on it. But, if it works, do it. Especially if you know the system.

  • apt-mark for holding packages to their current version. miniconda for environment control.
  • Ubuntu will be several kernel version behind the upstream. For now, its 4.10 while the upstream is 4.14
  • You can use btrfs or other snapshot supported file system for your root folder, and have /home (and maybe /boot) mounting on different partition/drive. If anything goes bad, revert. Also, miniconda is installed under /home directory by default and can provide you a easy-to-recover production environment by simply add it to $PATH.
  • Use debootstrap or chroot to run other Linux alone side with your main system.
  • Whatever handful for VM.

Good points, to be honest its making me sway towards Ubuntu again, but for stability would Debian not be suitable? Ubuntu is based upon it.
I do have to admit Ubuntu is still rather stable compared to what it used to be, I am unsure exactly what 16.04 LTS would run like on my laptop, do they provide more up to date Nvidia drivers? If not I would imagine they would be rather old.

Actually, I’m using Ubuntu. I did try debian, don’t remember why I ditch it though. Newer kernal can be installed manually in Ubuntu LTS, it just not officially supported and might have some driver issue. Ubuntu also have their own build of latest kernel, will less likely to cause trouble if you use that.

Nvidia don’t do driver update very often in Linux. Most of the time you won’t care about it.

I managed to get 16.04LTS working on my P50, although checking the ubuntu certification guide it says 14.04LTS is certified (I should have checked first!)
I do need to my configuration (Drivers, power management, Java, VMs, some games etc) and then I can begin putting it through its paces.
Hopefully it goes well and 18.04LTS works just as well (I am kind of looking forward to a new LTS)

Many thanks all!