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Razer Linux Distro

Discussion in 'The Linux Corner' started by Hactar88, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. razor950

    razor950 New Member

    I had written a post suggesting that we all work together on a wiki and I had pushed for a discord but apparently I was self promoting so that got taken away.

    I was not trying to promote but rather help have a central hub for linux Razer users to not have to constantly ask questions on here and pinpoint solutions on the wiki. I don't know if they should work on a distribution but having more support to the community is something they should do.

    We should move forward onto a wiki / central hub but I am not sure how to promote because it'd be flagged as self promotion. I would love it if Razer would comment and run it themselves but they haven't shown up since the announcement was made.
    Hactar88 likes this.
  2. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    Me thinks, the issue of keeping with the latest stable branch(es) isn't that dissimilar from
    what Razer has to do with updates to Windows and Nvidia drivers (and support for a
    host of other 3rd-party components they integrate). Not to say that this comes for free
    or trivial. They would still need to build a "system" team for Linux (unless their current
    Windows-focused staff has relevant experience/background already, which I doubt).
    BUT, engineering/process-wise they likely have a reasonably good idea what this takes
    (which may be one reason why they're not jumping the gun [yet? ;^P]).

    This statement (marked in underlined bold italics) has been repeated over and over
    with no factual support (market research, anyone? ;^)), beyond fragmented references
    to the allegorical "me and the circle of my most enlightened disillusioned Apple-fans",
    which in its direct interpretation is probably limited to a few hundred people, but even in
    fully generalized shape is unlikely to account for more than a few (tens[? I think, that's
    **way** too optimistic] of) thousand new customers. I think it's a major stretch to call
    that a "massive swath" and I have a hard time seeing how that would generate enough
    revenue to offset the costs involved. (Not to mention that running a unit that barely
    pays for itself and doesn't produce a healthy profit does not seem to fit Razer's profile,
    but I'd be happy to be wrong here.)

    On the constructive side, we _could_ start a poll, where everyone can invite *all* their
    friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends (et cetera) to express their interest
    in a Razer supported distro (or some of the other alternatives discussed in this thread) as
    an attempt to approximate the "massive swath"...

    Based on the number of contributors to this thread (which has the right title/topic already),
    I'm not convinced we'd be able to drum up enough support to sway Razer, but it's worth a try...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2017
    Hactar88 likes this.
  3. Z4x, not to repeat the personal anecdotes, but I can tell you that out of the box Linux support would immediately sway my business to invest in Razer laptops (currently 80 people total). Many companies are currently frustratedly using Dell for Linux supported laptops, which are honestly not powerful enough for many professionals. Razer entering the game with a real laptop is night and day for professionals who are looking to migrate away our employees from the Apple ecosystem when possible.
    pttransamdriver and Hactar88 like this.
  4. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    HUH? You must be talking about another Dell, or haven't considered
    their *truly* professional offerings (Precision series). I use a 7710 for
    work and if anything it's more powerful than the (same generation)
    Blade Pro, albeit not quite as sexy, since it's both thicker and heavier.
    For instance, that machine has 64GB RAM, which is still not an option
    for the Pro (and it had a 6820HQ, when the Pro still only had a 6700HQ,
    and that was only because I wanted to save money and didn't think
    the 6920HQ or a mobile Xeon would've made such a huge difference).
    Whether the Quadro or the Geforce is more powerful depends a lot on
    what you use them for (and which generation we're talking about).
    Their 4k display is great (unfortunately, I don't know how it compares
    to the Blade Pro's). I'm certainly happy enough that I'd recommend a
    similarly configured 7720 (that will likely clock in cheaper than the Pro),
    but you can push the envelope even more if that's not powerful enough
    for you, but a fully decked out 7720 will cost you over 7kUSD...

    As for your 80-strong business switching to Razer, having a few hundred
    more similar businesses might start looking like a business opportunity... (-;
  5. tamashumi

    tamashumi New Member

    I totally agree with the most of what you said. Although, these are contrary statements, sir. It's all relative.
    No money to burn means be efficient about spending it.
    The most efficient and reasonable thing with such goal set is to stay focused. Focused on official support with drivers and apps for just one distro.

    Other things to focus is the target, why not to stay with just gamers and enthusiasts. Working professionals are usually within these groups anyway. Let's not go for government security crap. I mean, the company can target whoever they want. It is not the Razer's way though, I believe. Perhaps when Razer grows much more a separate company or brand can be spawned for it. But imagine the legal responsibility this involves. In case something unsecure would actually happen under Razer's OS, all these nasty legal terms executed, eeek. Razer has already grown and cannot be underestimated but is it big enough to wrestle with government customer even if Razer wanted this?

    The short story for Razer & Linux success is in the following:
    • full hardware support and performance tuning for one of the main distros
    • pre-install it and ship so it works out of the box
    That's it. It's sufficient to already start winning and taking over Mac users who feel A**le is no longer for them.

    Following steps or nice-to-haves which would increase 'win-rate' are:
    • skin & app the distro
    • ship either with or without windows in dual boot
    • get in touch with Valve and combine efforts for awesome gaming experience on Linux
    • increase laptop screen size by reducing bezel (and go away from the bloody 16:9)
    • support a few other most common / reliable distros
    The things like open source "violations", licensing claims, multiple hard drives for encryption reasons or the government secure equipment. I mean, there is almost no competition on the market of top-notch hardware laptops with ~unx OSes. If you add gaming to it - there is simply none.
    Razer doesn't have to go far with the ideas implementation to take the most, if not all, of this market. Why would it do so then?
    If not yourself, the most of others will buy it anyway, even with an unfriendly licence or without the 2nd hard drive (btw. could you not connect it via USB or lightning for the images you've mentioned?), as the other choice will be to get a PC with Windows let-me-update-this-for-you 10 or a new autistic Mac (with A**le's very "friendly" licensing and all the open source "love").
    Oh, I'm all up for user friendly licensing as well as open source ideas. I'd love to see that. Let's be realistic though. Just by CEO stating himself an official support for Linux, Razer has already done more for Open Source than the most of laptop manufacturers ;)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    Hactar88 and .Z4x. like this.
  6. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    As obvious as it may sound, I find the idea of working together with Valve
    the single most ingenious business proposition in the entire thread...
    Valve, just like Razer, is all about gaming. They have a dedicated Linux team
    already rolling their own "distro": SteamOS. And, they are used to working with
    HW manufacturers that build Steam Machines, albeit no laptops (yet!)... (^;
    The only contentious issue remaining is branding, but I'm thinking that
    SteamOS for Razer, SteamOS on Razer, or Razer Steam all sound quite good...
    Hactar88 likes this.
  7. tamashumi

    tamashumi New Member

    Thanks, I thought so as well. A few reasons I haven't put this on the beginning of the list you've mentioned already. Branding / licensing issues. Valve is all into "closed" source and DRMs. However this is the most reasonable thing to do for both Razer and Valve. SteamBlade OS doesn't sound bad either :)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    Hactar88 likes this.
  8. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    Actually, seeing how Razer decide to switch to blue (also for their *own* logo)
    and included a PS4 logo on the Playstation version of the Thresher, I don't think
    branding would need to be much of an issue... (Although, to be entirely honest,
    I really dislike that blue; so, I hope they'll make the Steam logo green instead... ;-))
    Hactar88 likes this.
  9. KristijanZic

    KristijanZic New Member

    What kind of control does Razer have over Windows that they are shipping now? Why do they need it over Linux?
    They have much more control over Linux than over Windows btw. They have the opportunity to contribute support for their hardware and make it work flawlessly and much more efficient. Heck, they can even contribute to other areas of the Linux desktop, not just the kernel.

    If Dell, hp, IBM, lenovo, System76, pogo, entroware, endless, raspberry pi can ship Linux without locking down anything so can Razer.

    You clearly don't understand how Linux desktop ecosystem works.
    They could just contribute to the kernel and certify their hardware with Ubuntu like dell and every other Linux laptop manufacturer does.
    There is a good process for it already in place. It's not like we are all doing our own thing and who cares about the rest.


    Linux and Ubuntu have the same priorities as Razer if they want to ship linux. They could also ship customized Ubuntu like System76 does so it would be Razer themed or whatever. They could even provide a custom kernel for their devices but it would be much better for them to commit that directly to the kernel and Ubuntu.

    They would ofc have to Q/A their own devices like every other company does no matter the platform. Then they would work with Canonical, Ubuntu and other open source projects to file bugs and/or help fix any issues that they might find during the Q/A.

    Bottom line, the end user would get the most out of it's hardware which is especially good important for gamers, not to mention us coders, programmers and developers.

    They do not need dedicated distro, that would be too much of an undertaking and Linux would not gain anything with that.

    Just work with the distro providers which distro you are shipping and other open source projects like everybody else and don't be like Google to try and commit half of the kernel, make your commits smaller distributed across multiple commits.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2017
    Hactar88 and .Z4x. like this.
  10. So...

    The Linux Corner has been going for about four months following the public announcement from Razer about wanting to start a conversation around Linux etc.

    But in that time I don't think I've seen any input (apart from the opening post from Gwynbleidd) on the Linux Corner from Razer itself - which would be nice, and obviously very useful to this dialog...

    So... @Min-Liang Tan and @Razer|Gwynbleidd how about it? Could we maybe hear from you?

    There's been lots of intelligent input here and it would be great to have you involved in the conversation :)
  11. pacavaca_no_id

    pacavaca_no_id New Member

    Please, please no yet another poorly supported Linux distro. Better spend that time on releasing razer- compatibility packages for a few popular distros.
    Forking the whole distro just for Razer adds more fragmentation and then somebody should be responsible for supporting it. It's quite a big time & money investment to do it right and I wouldn't rely on the community, it's not big enough. And having another forgotten distro means that the first thing people will do is deleting it and flashing ubuntu/fedora/centos/put your favorite here.
    But the overall idea of idea of Linux being on razer blade officially is awesome!
    I'm looking to replace my work MacBook in September. I'm upset with Apple and this initiative increases the odds my next laptop will be Razer.

    Partner with Adobe to officially support Creative Suite on Linux and I'll pay for it more than I would pay for a Mac.
    kumarin and .Z4x. like this.
  12. Yeah I agree with @pacavaca, it would be much better just to have basic razer-compatibility for popular distros. No need to re-invent the wheel. If it is any indication from the heinously over-engineered razer synapse software, y'all should just stick to hardware anyway ! ;')
    kumarin, .Z4x. and Amarok Blue like this.
  13. headamage

    headamage New Member

    1) You clearly don't understand how fragmented and messy linux is. Have you looked at what the driver/kernel model of Linux looks like? They would need to write everything as DKMS. Good luck getting your average user to work with terminal and understanding anything else appart from double-clicking to install or run something. Especially when we are talking gamers or Mac users. Yes, just because you are tech-savvy and a gamer, doesn't mean the majority are and Razer makes business based on the market size.
    2) Let's face it, people use Mac for two main reasons. A) They think it's cool. B) It offers something specific to their work pipeline that is not available on Windows. Guess what, Linux has nothing to do with A and does not solve B. More importantly, your average Mac hipster that likes making Youtube videos and uploading stuff on Instagram will cry like a baby when they see the editing tools available on Linux or if they have to use the terminal. So I don't care what your friend's say about moving to Linux on a Razer. Most of them will start nagging when they put their money where their mouth is.
    3) Why make a distro and not just skin Ubuntu or other similar user-friendly distro? Then they can focus on only driver support. But again, they have to rely on nVidia for proper drivers to support GPU switching. Guess what, it's crap on Linux and Razer is not big enough to put pressure. AMD has better open-source drivers but have you checked out what sort of problems they are having on Linux? Also, good luck with their GPUs on mobile platforms given the power consumption of Vega.
    4) Quickest and most viable solution to market if Razer wants to grab some hipsters leaving Apple (unlikely and risky business), would be to get a Razer theme on Ubuntu and ship it with the Blade Stealth since it's going to have native support for all device drivers in the kernel. Again, they woul have to write their own drivers for Razer hardware and possibly rely on Wine for some of the user-level GUI utilities.
    5) Why do you think Dell only offers Linux on select laptops and they use Intel GPU?
  14. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    Typing this on a Dell with a Quadro running Linux, I tend to believe that
    this last comment is uninformed nonsense. Which is a pity considering
    that the rest of the post had some good points (despite the patronizing tone).
    bee14159265358 likes this.
  15. bee14159265358

    bee14159265358 New Member

    Razer doesn't need to get into the business of branding their own distro. I'd rather they spent the time on their hardware and drivers and let the Ubuntu community do what it does.

    Give me reliable drivers for linux and I'll be thrilled to do my video editing there and leave OS X in the dust where I left Windows years ago.

    And why do people who think they are knowledgable have to be so condescending? Just because it's fun to troubleshoot configurations in my spare time doesn't mean I can afford to spend a week trying to optimize my graphics card to run Resolve. Sometimes we need to get work done and get paid. Likewise it's not reasonable to expect every gamer to also be a comp sci major. Gamers are all kinds of people like architects, truck drivers and parents who don't have time for anything more than double clicking for an installation, they just want to play an effing game after their kids finally shut up and go to sleep.

    Also, headamage, I've never thought Mac is "cool", but this is the best damn laptop I've ever owned. I'm hoping a Razer Blade can take that top spot, but it won't do it while running windows, and if I have to dick around with a meager support community for a proprietary distro that will also be pretty annoying, cuz I guarantee we'll all be reading Ubuntu community support pages and trying to get their fixes to work on a Razer distro. A desktop background image will suffice, Razer.
    .Z4x. likes this.
  16. 96502894

    96502894 New Member

    I agree with what alphacrash said.

    1.) Create full featured and rock solid drivers for linux.
    2.) Goto 1 ;-)

    If the goal was to create an off the shelf Linux laptop which was razer branded from the OS side, then I would go with ubuntu and setup a PPA to include your drivers and some nice wallpaper / theme tweaks.

    If cost is in any way an issue, then simply open source your specifications and notify this type of group:- https://openrazer.github.io/. You'll find drivers will be written by enthusiasts within a few weeks! Because thats what most Linux users do - make things better for the wider community.
    tamashumi likes this.
  17. pttransamdriver

    pttransamdriver New Member

    As a linux professional, I would love to see Razer champion its own Linux OS. If they did a good solid job of it, I would agree with jccantele49 said. Many people I work with (even the apple fanboys) are squirming with the direction apple is going. If there was a solid laptop (like my stealth I replaced my mac with) that included it's own dedicated, solid OS; I think Razer has a chance at dethroning apple as the new in-crowd brand for professionals to turn to.

    To the naysayers: Yes, there will be obstacles and this will be a huge undertaking. But pros are looking for an alternative to apple right now. There are many sides to the linux community. If a linux enthusiast wants their own favored distro, he/she is going to put it on their machines with or without support. Others like myself would love a solid reliable linux os that just worked out of the box for productivity reasons.

    So the argument for a razer OS in my view: For gamers maybe not, but for professionals(that may or may not game), YES PLEASE!!
  18. Because Linux doesn't have the level of QA as Windows does. We can kid about Windows stability and driver, but they (and AMD and NVIDIA) try and to some level succeed. A success which Linux could not replicate without expert users for gaming.

    For instance, as a gamer you want graphics drivers to be up to date. So I'm using the Oibaf PPA, which currently has a build problem for one of the i386 packages but still publishes the corresponding x64 packages. For Steam I have both 64 and 32 bit packages installed, and this utterly breaks updates. If I currently just clicked through the normal update process my OS would become entirely unusable.

    For a gaming OS, the graphics subsystem needs to be near the bleeding edge, but it still needs QA. Who will do it? Currently expert users just DIY stuff like that.
  19. Swelch87

    Swelch87 New Member

    I don't think it would make much sense to split development and costs in creating their own distribution. I would suggest partnering with an already established project. Namely Solus, as I have been using their distro and it has been pretty rock solid. Razer laptops are designed for the work hard play hard mentality. Which is why they look pretty unassuming as a gaming laptop. You want to be able to take it to the office and get actual work done too! Solus is a very stable and capable Linux distro to get all your office work done, yet it has some of the best Steam support I've seen. Also a very responsive and active development team.
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