I installed successfully Fedora 26 KDE Spin with Plasma Desktop on my System 76 Lemur. The default Ubuntu had issues with many things, most annoying were issues with the wireless driver.

As for the procedure:

  • Backup your System 76 data and other details (e.g. installed packages, /usr/local, /opt, some settings from /etc).
  • Download Fedora, in my case the Fedora 26 KDE Plasma Desktop.
  • Create a bootable USB Flash drive using Etcher.
  • Plug it into the USB port.
  • Boot the System 76 holding down F7 to get into the boot menu.
  • Select the USB drive with Fedora to boot from.
  • Follow the installation instructions.
  • Update the system after successful installation (using dnf update in the terminal as sudo) and set up some essential software.
  • I added the RPM Fusion repos and Yumex-DNF via COPR.
  • Play back some backup data and my home directory from the previous installation.
  • Et voilà: more up to date operating system, newer kernel, newer compilers, etc.

The only thing that I do not like is the default partitioning schema in the Fedora installation. It creates a partition for the system (mounted at “/”), and one for the user home (mounted at “/home”). When setting up the partition schema, I let Fedora set the default and then remove the “/home” partition and extend the root partition to maximum, that is the entire space. The partitioning tool shows you in the left corner at the bottom the entire space on your drive. I also chose to encrypt the drive, by the way.

Interesting questions:

  • Will all devices work?
  • Will the wirless work?
  • What about an encrypted drive on a SSD? Is it configured correctly so that the TRIM function works?
  • What about suspend and wake up?
  • Does my Overleaf, Office365, iCloud, Dropbox, Netflix, … work?

Summary

If I encounter issues with something, I will report here.

So far I did not encounter any issues with devices and drivers.

  • The KDE Plasma Desktop works just fine. (Finally no more Unity, no more depressing GNOME… :-) ).
  • The default settings seem to be allowing my encrypted drive to apply the TRIM function.
  • Suspend in the default configuration did work even with the lid-close. Surprising was, it did work with the lid-open. Fedora wakes up when you open the lid!
  • Some commercial software comes only with a Debian package. Use alien to set those up. Most important packages (say Oracle JDK) are available as RPM-packages. My favorite JetBrains IDEs like CLion, PyCharm, WebStorm, IntelliJ IDEA work just fine. I set those up in /opt, create a generic symbolic link to the original folder, configure a PATH variable in /etc/profile.d, repair the .desktop-files to point to the generic symbolic link folder to catch future updates.
  • Other software packages come with an RPM, as for example Google Chrome, Brave, or Dropbox.
  • I am using LaTeX, LyX, or online services like Overleaf and Office365, but even Apple’s iCloud works just fine in a browser.
  • You can watch Netflix in Firefox now. You will need to accept the extra DRM package the first time when you start watching some movie, but it works just fine.