My experience with Linux (Nobara Steamdeck Edition) on the Lenovo Legion Go (Very Positive!)

First, a disclaimer - I have been using Linux for many many years and things that most people consider difficult or obtuse are easy for me. So any statements about Linux's ease of use should be taken with a bit of salt. Grin

So I bought my Lenovo Legion Go with the full intent to dual boot with Linux, and I couldn't be happier!

Nobara Steamdeck Edition was really easy to install (relative to other linux distros) and 90% of the device's features are working without doing anything else.

However, I'm a bit picky so I swapped out a bootloader that supported touchscreen selection (rEFind), and found a wonderful guide that brings the functionality almost to parity with Windows (and actually superior in a few ways) - https://github.com/aarron-lee/legion-go-tricks

The end result is something that feels better to use than Windows. Nobara running in "Gaming Mode" (Big Picture) uses only 1.6GB of barely breaks 2.5GB with a third party launcher running. This means that setting the UMA memory allocation (Vram allocation) to 8GB works a lot better! Even launching into "Desktop Mode" provides a better experience than Windows 11 in many places - mainly resource usage and responsiveness. 

Ultimately, I'm considering shrinking my Windows partition to be only used for Firmware and Bios updates going forward. Linux provides that good of an experience for me.

Linux still probably isn't for the non-technical quite yet, but in a year or two, it might be! In the meantime, if you like to tinker, consider this an enthusiastic recommendation to give it a shot!

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  • Thank you for posting this, I'm fairly convinced Nobara is a viable dual partition for my Legion Go alongside Windows 11. My SteamDeck 1TB is configured in this manner, 512GB for Windows 10 with the other 512GB for Steam OS. I use a couple of 1TB microSDs for additional storage in Windows as well as Steam OS.

    Although the experience looks fantastic and the install effortless, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anc7hyPU6Lk for now I'm going to wait for 95% - 98% functionality. Gyro implementation could push me over the edge to install immediately or at the very least tomorrow. Come on Ben #1 and Ben #2 plus the engineering team let's get going on the gyro : ) 

    Have you played any game on Nobara yet? Is Proton working well? You mentioned Nobara OS is a better experience than Windows 11 in some ways, can you elaborate (we would love to know more)? Are you using Clover or rEFInd as your bootloader?

  • Gyro works, the latest HHD (HandHeld Daemon) release seriously refined it! I've used it for some silly things already!

    95% of legion space functionality is here along with 5-10% that Windows 11/Legion space can't do at all! It just requires a bit of manual assembly.

    To make it succinct as I can here's the most important that work ---

    • TDP Control (SimpleDeckyTDP)
      • and per-game TDP profiles
    • Ability to use the "Custom" Bios profile (purple power button led)
    • Fan Curves (Not in legion space yet IIRC)
      • and per-game fan profiles
    • Max Fan
    • GPU Clock Controls (again, not in legion space to my recollection)
    • Gyro (HHD)
    • LED Control (Multiple tools)
    • Back Buttons are mappable to anything steaminput can map, not just other controller buttons. (Unlike legion space)
    • FPS Mode
    • USB4/Thunderbolt Devices
    • Brightness Control
    • HDR when connected to an HDR compatible screen. (Steam gamescope)
    • Quick Suspend (Better than Win 11 too)
    • Scaling
      • Integer
      • Nearest
      • FSR
      • NIS
    • FPS Limits
    • Other Launchers:
      • I've tested...
      • Battle.net
      • Heroic (GOG, Amazon, and Epic)
    • Emulation
      • Emudeck makes emulation super easy no matter the platform.
    • And so much more!

    Here are the innate advantages of Nobara Linux:

    • Gaming tuned kernel - often outperforms Windows
    • Very low resource usage - More power, RAM, and CPU cycles for games!
    • Easy to use tools for most gaming needs (proton selection, installing common apps, etc.)
    • Unlike SteamOS, not immutable - so you aren't restricted to flatpaks only.

    By contrast, here are the things that don't work 100% yet.

    • Consistent button glyphs - since HHD emulates a Dualsense controller, games often show Playstation style buttons.
    • 144hz refresh (while in Gamemode, anyways) - It works until you accidentally change it since the display slider only goes to 120hz.
    • Easy-to-use boot menu - it ships with grub, and installing reFInd or others is difficult for the less technical. Ideally Nobara SDE (Steam Deck Edition) would use a bootloader that supports touchscreen selection.


    ---

    As for what I've been playing:

    • Diablo II - Resurrected
    • Viewfinder
    • Some old Sega roms - particularly Aero The Acrobat and Echo - Tides of Time.
    • Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (Through GOG/Heroic)

    All run well and haven't given me any issues.

  • FANTASTIC!!! I had no idea Gyro is working under Nobara, this is excellent news! Goodbye 1TB dedicated to Windows 11. Slight smile Actually now that I think about it, I'll likely have 256GB for Windows 11 and use a microSD to supplement thereby having a larger Linux (Nobara OS) partition.

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  • FANTASTIC!!! I had no idea Gyro is working under Nobara, this is excellent news! Goodbye 1TB dedicated to Windows 11. Slight smile Actually now that I think about it, I'll likely have 256GB for Windows 11 and use a microSD to supplement thereby having a larger Linux (Nobara OS) partition.

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