The New Razer Blade 15: how well Linux works on it?

Discussion in 'The Linux Corner' started by MightyCreak, May 24, 2018.

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  1. MightyCreak

    MightyCreak New Member

    Hi all, and hi Razor devs!

    I'd be interested if this new laptop has been thought with Linux in mind, if its components are compatible, and if the Razor devs have just tested Linux on it?

    If the devs haven't, maybe someone else has, so please, whoever you are, share your thoughts on the subject! ;)
    Malakuda and RocketSkates93 like this.
  2. kir13y

    kir13y New Member

  3. after-life

    after-life New Member

    I've installed Ubuntu 18.04 on the Blade 15 and the biggest problem for me is the track pad not working at all. It works fine on Windows 10.
  4. alkersan

    alkersan New Member

    Could you, please, post the device ids of your laptop? Just the output of lspci -v and lsusb -v.
  5. after-life

    after-life New Member

  6. alkersan

    alkersan New Member

    Seems that this issue is already reported, but I don't really know when to expect at least minimal working linux driver. I can barely imagine how these guys reverse the drivers without a hardware device on hand, only by looking at the pcap captures. I'll try to dig into this also (it's kind of fun), but first I need to purchase one Blade myself :frown_:.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  7. after-life

    after-life New Member

    I've tried to dive in to maybe figure out the problem but have been unsuccessful. This is extremely frustrating.
  8. temple-cloud

    temple-cloud New Member

    So what does work? Is it useable under linux with a separate mouse and keyboard plugged in? Are there any other major issues that would prevent effective use for development?

    Would love to go down the razer route, but, for me linux is a must.
    Malakuda, Shawn_Dude and Panaman like this.
  9. after-life

    after-life New Member

    Yes, a separate mouse works fine under Linux.
    You will also need to do a simple tweak to get the wifi adapter working properly:
  10. gsibley

    gsibley New Member

    +1 Would LOVE to see linux support for this fantastic laptop. As is I'm the dude carrying the extra mouse around, explaining that folks should wait to buy this laptop until it's fully supported.
    Panaman likes this.
  11. Akshaybj0221

    Akshaybj0221 New Member

    Hi Guys,
    I have some great news for you guys! I just bought the Razer Blade 15 version and I was successfully able to download and install Ubuntu 18.04 on the system. I did not have any trackpad problem.
    I was also skeptical about it but I had a word with Razer office and they mentioned that I could return the machine within 14 days even if I tried dual booting the system and if it crashed. But I guess there is no need for doing that.
    I am now using the Razer Blade 15 (2018) dual booted with Ubuntu 18.04 and Windows 10 which I got from Razer on board.
    I hope it helps!
  12. cultavix

    cultavix New Member

    I'm having an issue with Ubuntu, it constantly crashes... freezes up... it's also a dual-boot setup.

    Anyone having these isues? I'm really tempted to just use another distro.
  13. I am using Elementary 5.0 on the new base model and after installing the NVIDIA GPU driver(latest from the graphics-drivers PPA) everything is working just fine. I have not tried anything like openRazer yet because I want to keep secure boot enabled and havn't looked into setting up my own signing keys.
  14. Shawn_Dude

    Shawn_Dude New Member

    Could you provide more details? I'm in the market for a new system as a daily coder and night/weekend gamer. Since the coding pays the bills, I have to tick that box first. Based on my research, the 2018 Razer Blade 15 is the first laptop to really rival the Macbook Pro for design, reliability, and quality and it bests the Apple with superior gaming features. But the Macbook is unix-based which makes it a superior coding platform. If I could get a linux distro working flawlessly on this machine, I'd have the absolute best dual-boot rig that could replace my Alienware dual-boot desktop.

    The issues that seem to still be troubling folks that you could shed some light on:
    1. With the Nvidia drivers running, does it still rely only on the dedicated Nvidia GPU and fail to take advantage of the less energy hungry Intel graphics to extend battery life? Some linux users report poor battery life because the system is stuck on Nvidia-only which burns more power.

    2. Does your trackpad work the same as it does in Windows? Some users report buggy trackpad experience.

    3. Does your wifi work correctly? With no RJ-45 jack, a poor wifi experience kills this as a serious choice. (I'm glad there's no RJ-45 jack, btw. There's no good reason these days for bad wifi support.)

    4. Do you have issues with the system sleeping correctly when you close the lid? Many users report issues with the system waking up unexpectedly in their backpacks or going into some sort of suspense loop.
    Thanks in advance. I'm excited by all the excellent reviews of the 2018 Blade 15 and have decided it is the best choice for my next purchase but without solid linux support, I'm going to have to make a another choice.
  15. I had the same requirements for a laptop as you. Got fed up with Apple's design choices and cost for newer MBPs but had to have similar build quality/form factor. I got a mid 2017 Razer Blade for development 1st, gaming 2nd. Here's my answer to your Qs:

    1. You'll need to configure the system to use the GPU as you desire. Here are the options I came to in my research:
      1. Intel graphics only.
      2. GPU only with nvidia or nouveau drivers
      3. Bumblebee. If you set it up correctly, you can do primusrun <program> or optirun <program> and it'll activate the GPU for that thing. So primrusrun steam, or primusrun wine Steam.exe, etc. Unfortunately bumblebee is no longer maintained and
      4. nvidia-xrun. Switch to an open tty -> login -> start window manager (openbox for example) -> run nvidia-xrun <app>. Or you can just do nvidia-xrun openbox-session and the GPU will be running. You'll keep your original session which will be running from the intel cpu, and the new session will run with the GPU on.
      5. There is also nvidia PRIME and reverse PRIME, and probably some other options but I didn't research beyond these.
    2. Trackpad for me was a bit janky, until linux 2.19. In the earlier versions it would skip around when moving. Like let's say I wanted to move the cursor from the bottom right of the screen to the middle. The cursor would randomly accelerate and jump all the way to the top left, but not always. Seemed fixed after 2.19
    3. Wifi had no issues and worked out of the box
    4. Closing the lid does not work out of the box but there is a fix:
    I've been super happy with my Blade and it was quickly becoming my favorite laptop. Lots of battery life, very fast and responsive, and capable of running most games through either wine or steam proton (Dark souls 3 worked fine for instance). Unfortunately it bricked recently, so I can't advocate for it's reliability. I got it in may 2017 so it's out of warranty too. I contacted support and explained things, they said they'd send me an RMA but it's been 2 days and no followup email. Either way, I don't know how long I'll be without it and if I'm using it for work, I'd be SOL. Fortunately all my work is on github or gitlab and I have a MBP for backup. Hope that answers your questions~
  16. RasecMusic

    RasecMusic New Member

    One issue with the new Razer and Linux is that you can't install new keys for Secure Boot on the BIOS, so you can't secure boot to Linux.

    I contacted support to see if there was an official BIOS update to enable the option and their response was:

    "As for the Linux issue, we do not have support for installing the OS, unfortunately. "

    Preposterous. I have contacted them again to get more clarification.
  17. If you install Fedora everything works out of the box. If you want proprietary NVIDIA drivers and Bumblebee just follow these few steps:

    I've had no issues with WiFi, trackpad, keyboard etc.

    I disabled secure boot in the BIOS. I haven't tested if it would work with secure boot enabled.

    I have the Base Model with a GTX 1060.

    On Fedora you get the latest Linux kernels and software packages without any hacks. So if things get fixed/improved, Fedora gets those almost immediately while on Ubuntu you sometimes have to wait a year or two.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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