I was reading the Ubuntu Forum when I saw a thread called Ubuntu-certified hardware is not accurate ! This grabbed my attention.
The main issue seemed to be that the user that started the thread wanted to know if he should buy the Lenovo X220 or not. He had looked around and seen that the system is Certified (pre-install only) for 10.10 but found several user comments in the web pointing at problems with stock Ubuntu.
I was planning to reply explaining when I found this great reply from williumbillium:
First of all, the X220 works well with Ubuntu. I bought one last week and for the most part the laptop is well supported and IMO the current issues are either minor (probably wouldn’t cause the laptop to fail certification) or will likely be fixed soon. I’m documenting my experience on the wiki.
I believe that the “special image of Ubuntu” referenced on the certification page must be a business only deal. I’ve contacted Lenovo about it and been told that it’s not available.
That said, I saw a number of bugs fixed by Canonical employees before the laptop was even released so I believe that us consumers are benefiting from the fact that it’s certified.
Finally, I would not recommend installing 10.10 on this machine unless you have a particular reason to. Since it’s using brand new hardware (Sandy Bridge) it really needs the latest kernel to work well. I don’t have most of the issues mentioned on this ThinkWiki page for example.
The reason why Williumbillium “saw a number of bugs fixed by Canonical employees” is that Canonical has commercial engagements with companies like Lenovo to make Ubuntu work well on their systems. These engagements result on:
- A custom image delivered to the manufacturer with all major problems fixed. The manufacturer then chooses in what cases to distribute this image with their system. This is why it is certified as Pre-install only.
- Stock Ubuntu Certification in a future release. Canonical continues to work after we deliver the custom image to include all the fixes into the latest development release. We do this until all issues blocking certification have been resolved.
Following this process, the Canonical team has successfully Certified with standard Ubuntu over Fifty systems for 11.04 that previously did not work well with Ubuntu. And more are in the pipeline for 11.10…