ARM Laptops and Dev Support

Hi All,

Two questions here.
What is the best ARM (Qualcomm) based laptop that fully supports linux/manjaro. I know kernel 6.1 has a load of improvements but it seems that ARM boot loaders are a bit of an Achilles heel. Aside from the PineBook which seems to be pretty streamline. Any other, more performant laptops out there that are working?

Second question is, when I finally find do find my ARM based laptop what can I do to help? I’m a rubbish coder, so I might not be of best help building a new boot loader, but I’ll try my hands at just about anything. I would love to be able to help the arch team or manjaro team in their testing. And if I can work my way into some kernel testing that would be brill.

I’d probably be fine just grabbing something like a Thinkpad x13s Snapdragon, but I feel the most lost with how to contribute back. It’s really one of the main reasons I want to take the leap and buy the ARM laptop.


Your best bet is likely to try the laptop with our Generic EFI images. This only needs the EFI firmware to be present to work.

I’m not a Manjaro user, but I am an X13s owner, and I’m paying very close attention to what’s going on for the X13s. Right now, I don’t think you’ll get much of anywhere; apparently, for one, the X13s doesn’t share certain information with EFI (I’m not sure I have this quite right) WRT the UUID for the hard disk, and this causes issues during installation. But even more important is that the kernel doesn’t really have much support for the hardware. WiFi does work, but sound/bluetooth doesn’t, graphics aren’t accelerated, etc. However, I’m seeing Ubuntu doing a bunch of development, as well as Lenovo (the former for installation-side stuff; the latter for kernel updates). I’m gonna guess the X13s is a viable platform come Ubuntu 23.10 – since they’ve already chosen kernel 6.2 for 23.04, and the bulk of the important changes are in 6.3, I just don’t see it happening by April release. However, if the installer works, perhaps an update to 6.3 would be feasible before 23.10. Hopefully other distributions pick it up, too, as I love the look and feel, but refuse to run WIndows.

Good luck!


It seems like the latest kernels have some very helpful additions for all things ARM.

@ravenpi, what distro are you running on your x13s? Are you using it as your daily driver?
From what I’m reading Debain seems to have some potential, but using nightly releases nothing close to an LTS yet.

I’m finding the ongoing developments in ARM very interesting. If anyone has specific blogs, or channels of any kind they follow for the latest news please let me know. I’m logging into the aarch-laptops IRC and that has some great discussions going.

I just picked up a Lenovo C630 to start my journey. Its a Snapdragon 850 based laptop, little dated, little sluggish but is supposed to have some decent support. I’m going to try and put it through it’s paces and do some testing.
I’m hoping to eventually get a X13s, its a little pricey but if I am able to contribute back any testing or development work it would be worth it.


Longtime Manjaro Xfce user here. Found this because i’m as well interested in Manjaro on Thinkpad X13s and/or MacBook Air M1. Those are the two “go-to” ARM devices for me as of the time being.

Like others, i too want to express my respect for Manjaro ARM team, thank you guys!

p.s. u/steevdave on reddit mentioned running Linux on Thinkpad X13s:

1 Like

MacBook m1 support might come soon while lenovo device is not planned as we don’t have the hardware yet.

Hopefully in the future as we already have many devices to add support for.

1 Like

What would we need from Lenovo to make the x13s work? I mean if they shared drivers for the bootloader I imagine, but anything else?

It’s pie-in-the-sky but we can try to open a path of communication with teams in Lenovo and see if there can be any support provided to make things easier for Linux users.

From what I understand it better uefi already so users are free to try the efi generic image and see if it runs.

The drivers for the whole hardware is needed to be present in the linux kernel. Once it is there then efi image should just work fine.

If you have contact with lenovo team then it will be helpful to get a development device for testing.

1 Like

This is what steevdave posted on reddit, he is using Thinkpad X13s as his daily driver. I mentioned the link in my previous comment:

“Yes, running Linux on it. I’m running Kali (as previously mentioned, I’m a kali dev) but Debian and arch both also work on it that I know of, as long as you download the iso that supports it. There is a google doc that actually walks you through the steps of getting it set up and booting Debian. Arch users I assume know what they are doing already, but if not, the #aarch64-laptops channel on OFTC has a bunch of people in it who have one and are running Linux on them”

Ok great, thanks for helping clear that up.
And thanks @franky303

I wonder if the efi generic image will work well on the c630. I’ve been following the GitHub - aarch64-laptops/build: Build an Linux OS based image page and that’s got me a working ubuntu 18.04. I want to go through the custom build process see what that’s like.

I spent too much time trying to get the Windows side of things working to do a dual boot. You’d think that the Windows 10 Arm image was a national secret. Anyone non-technical would have just chucked the laptop instead of doing a fresh install from Lenovo’s tools. At least now its a working laptop while I figure the linux side out. Eventually I’ll move entirely to Linux.

It is interesting seeing first hand how big of a lack there is in ARM compatible software. I see somethings available for apple silicon but not Linux. Sublime Text for example.

Can’t wait till that changes.

1 Like