Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on Thinkpad L15

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Installing Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on a new Lenovo Thinkpad L15 was relatively painless, but involves a few steps. Especially the pre-installed Windows 10 makes it harder than necessary.

I went for a new Lenovo Thinkpad L15 as it promised good quality and decent Linux support [1]. The "L" line is the cheaper version of the Thinkpad "T" models. While "T" looks like the safe-bet in terms of hardware quality, I wanted to save some money and therefore decided for the L model hoping for good-enough quality.

The Specs

My Lenovo Thinkpad L15 (20U70006GE) features:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor with 6 cores

  • 15" Full HD display

  • 16 GB RAM

  • 512 GB SSD

Installation Steps

  • Download Xubuntu 20.04 LTS ISO and create USB boot stick via usb-creator-gtk

  • Set up pre-installed Windows 10 (and decline all Microsoft accounts and tracking)

  • Windows update, update, update (and reboots) + install latest Lenovo BIOS (Windows software to update BIOS is pre-installed)

  • Disable Secure Boot via BIOS in order to boot from Xubuntu USB stick

  • Discover that Xubuntu cannot install next to Windows¹ because BitLocker is “active”

  • Boot to Windows, enable BitLocker, reboot, disable BitLocker (BitLocker is in some weird “waiting for activation” state for the OEM install)

  • Install Xubuntu

  • Install newer Kernel via apt install linux-generic-hwe-20.04 for better Hardware support (suspend has problems otherwise)

  • Success 🎉

¹) I want to keep Windows installed “just in case” and for the Lenovo BIOS update tool.

It was a bit annoying jumping through those hoops with Windows and BitLocker. I would have preferred to buy the laptop without any OS pre-installed, but apparently this is only available for students (“Lenovo Campus” line).

I don’t have any more experiences or problems to share so far. Everything I need works. I might report back after some weeks.