Last year I bought an Huawei Matebook D to use at home for light workload like surfing the web (is this term still in use?) and take notes for my blog.

The Matebook replaced my tablet, I preferred an actual laptop over a tablet with a keyboard.

After a year of use I finally decided to install Linux on the laptop. Here I share my experience.

I’ll keep updating this post with new findings.

Hardware

The laptop is an HUAWEI KPL-W00D with AMD R5-2500 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD and full HD 14” display.

I’m pretty satisfied by the form factor and performances, it is exactly what I expected.

OS

The laptop comes with Windows 10 Home, on the disk the usual recovery partitions are available for recovery.

Move to Linux

For no particular reason I chose to try Fedora 31 . My plan was to try other distros like ElementaryOS or Mint but life happens.

Installation

Installation was very smooth. First thing I did a backup of the Windows partition with Veeam .

Then I created a bootable USB drive with Rufus and booted the laptop (press F12 to boot from USB).

After testing all the necessary hardware works I installed Fedora in the internal SSD, deleting all the Windows partitions.

What’s working

All the keyboard shortcuts work out of the box, including:

  • screen brightness adjustment
  • volume
  • mic
  • wifi switch
  • print screen

Battery monitor seems reliable.

Mouse Logitech G305 works.

Bluetooh works! I successfully paired my headphones Sony MDR-ZX7700BN .

What’s not working

Suspend to disk works fine.

hibernation is not working, the laptop has some weird graphical issues and needs an hard reset to restart.

As a workaround I set the action for the power button to Suspend.

Update Jan 7th

The system froze a few times. Googling the error message I found this suggested solution

dnf remove tpm2-abrmd

It seems to work so far.

Update Jan 11th

GUI still freezes sometimes. Updated to kernel 5.4.8-200.fc31.x86_64.

Software

Most software I use outside work is available on Linux so I just installed what I need to start.

Firefox with Bitwarden is a must.

Krypt.co to ssh to my machines and GitHub .

Ghostwriter to edit markdown files for and Hugo to create my website.

Visual Studio Code for Python scripting (remember to opt-out for Telemetry ) or use VSCodium

Next steps

I use Veeam Desktop to backup my machines so now I need to find a replacement.

One option is to use Syncthing to sync data to a NAS and then backup the data on the NAS itself, or Restic .

Hibernation is not that important, boot time is so small that a shutdown has no impact. I’ll keep and eye on forums for a fix.

Wrap up

I still use Windows on my work laptop, WLS , Docker and Google Cloud Shell satisfy my need of Linux.

For non business use Linux makes more sense to me, for privacy , security and management.

I noticed CPU and RAM use are much lower that on Windows 10. The laptop has 6,8G of RAM free because video memory is shared. I noticed I barely reach 4G running my usual setup.

The WAF test passed successfully, mainly because the browser is the only application used ;-)

My experience with Fedora so far is good. This laptop is my secondary machine, after some use I’ll try the same on my main machine, an Intel NUC .

Update Jan 12, 2020

After almost a week I didn’t managed to fix the problems with the GUI with Fedora 31. It freezes for 5 to 10 seconds with a big impact on usability.

So I switched to Ubuntu 19.10 , no problems so far. Hibertnation is not an option, suspension works fine.

It took 30 minutes to re-install the OS and all the software I use for personal productivity.