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Razer wants to support Linux on the Razer Blade laptop and is asking for help

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Razer founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said on Thursday that the company is now looking to support Linux on the Razer Blade laptop. He said that support for the open-source operating system is one of the most common requests for the Razer Blade and that Razer is now looking into the possibility. He is now asking all Linux “enthusiasts” to provide their feedback, suggestions, and ideas in the new Linux Corner section of Razer Insider.

“We decided to lead a new forum section that is dedicated to Linux’s applications for gamers or other creators alike,” the company states in its introductory post. “The Linux Corner is a result of this where fans can now discuss their experience, provide feedback, and talk about everything related to Tux’s OS running on the Razer Blade.”

The virtual reality-ready Razer Blade laptop ships with a 64-bit version of Windows 10. But there is nothing stopping owners from formatting the solid-state drive and installing a Linux-based operating system such as Ubuntu or Valve Software’s SteamOS platform. However, until Razer’s recent interest in Linux, the company didn’t support Razer Blade laptops with Linux installed.

Some of the suggestions members have already made include porting Razer Synapse over to Linux, providing a Razer Blade with a dual-boot option (Windows/SteamOS), and even creating a special Razer-based Linux distribution. Many owners have taken the Linux plunge anyway, and are saying nothing but good things about their decision.

“Been using arch Linux on a Razer Blade Pro 2013 all these years,” one new member says. “It runs faster than windows, without any issues, and I play many Steam games without problems. Lately I started using Unreal Engine 4 on Linux for game development, and guess what, it runs perfect.”

The Razer Blade laptop targets PC gamers who want a slim but powerful solution for gaming on the go. But Tan says that this particular notebook family has become “the default coding machine for many.” That is definitely apparent in the new Linux Corner hub, as developers are also providing their feedback on the ideal Linux machine to fit their working needs.

For instance, one user suggests that Razer develop a direct competitor to the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop. The Linux-based Ubuntu 16.04 model starts at $1,000, with the base configuration consisting of an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of LPDDR3 system memory, a 128GB solid-state drive, and a 13.3-inch screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. However, Razer’s update would be an improvement such as a larger screen, a discrete graphics chip, and M.2 NVMe-based storage.

The current Razer Blade laptop is rather impressive, packing Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ processor, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 discrete graphics chip, 16GB of DDR4 system memory (2,400MHz), and PCIe M.2 SSD storage capacities ranging from 256GB to 1TB. The 14-inch screen can be configured with 1,920 x 1,080 or 3,840 x 2,160 resolutions (16:9 aspect ratio). However, developers suggest that Razer move to a 3:2 display ratio on a Linux-based Razer Blade model.

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Kevin Parrish
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