Linux Mint on the Framework Laptop
Author: Jonathan Vasquez <firstname.lastname@example.org> Last Updated: 2022-10-20-0830 Tested on: Linux Mint 21 BIOS Version: 3.10
Overall, this computer is amazing and I'm extremely happy to have purchased it and support the Framework folks. Having full control of the repair process (basically) and also having a "modular laptop" is something I've been wanting to have for a long time and the Framework laptop is an excellent base to start that ecosystem with. The below findings are nothing critical (since we have a workaround) but it of course means we don't have the most optimal and enjoyable OOTB experience and "papercuts" accumulate over time which will be burdensome for the user.
If using Linux Mint 21+, you are good to go. If using Linux Mint 20.3, you should use the Linux Mint's Edge ISO which contains a 5.13 kernel. The original one includes a 5.4 kernel.
Make sure to disable
PS/2 Emulation in the BIOS. If you don't,
you'll lose most gesture support and other basic functionality after
sleep/resume (and would require a reload of the
The resolution of the screen yields a very awkward experience where if
using a single monitor setup (just the laptop), 100% is too small, and
200% is sharp but we lose a lot of space.. and in a multi-monitor
set up they are either both 100% or both 200% which is not good either.
This is the standard "Fractional Scaling Issue" that affects a lot of
users. Linux Mint 20.2 (and particularly as of Cinnamon 4.6)
has Fractional Scaling support. This allows me to set
different scaling options (i.e 100%, 150%, 200%, etc), but also allows
each monitor to have a different scale. This has basically solved, the
most glaring issues, but obviously because the Framework screen itself
has to be pretty much be at
150% for me to feel comfortable with
the space I have remaining, I have to sacrifice the crispness for the
I've noticed that when I have both monitors enabled (my external monitor and the laptop monitor), I get a weird and subtle flicker when I move my mouse. I believe this may be related to the fractual scaling. Once I either turn off my external monitor OR close the laptop lid, and only have a single monitor remaining, the flickering goes away and everything runs smoothly.
The battery is decent while it's powered on, however, the laptop experiences
battery draining issues (which affects every OS, FreeBSD, Linux, Windows) due to
apparently all of the expansion ports constantly pulling power even when it's
sleeping. Putting the computer to sleep before I went to bed (without me leaving
the laptop plugged in) ended up with me either waking up to a battery that was
almost dead, or completely dead. Investigating this issue yielded the following
It seems my computer was on
[s2idle] deep rather than
s2idle [deep] (Meaning the sleep mode wasn't set to
deep. You can see
the output of the current settings before and after temporarily
switching it to
jon@leslie:~$ cat /sys/power/mem_sleep [s2idle] deep jon@leslie:~$ echo deep | sudo tee /sys/power/mem_sleep deep jon@leslie:~$ cat /sys/power/mem_sleep s2idle [deep]
To make this change permanent (at least in my distro), you'll need to update the grub bootloader settings.
- Add the following to your
- Save the file and run:
After rebooting, re-run the above commands and make sure that
deep is selected.
Results for Deep Sleep
I charged the computer to 100% and put it to sleep at around 21:20. I turned it back on the next morning at 08:00. The battery went from 100% to 84%, so a 16% drop in about 10 hours. This is a huge improvement than having it drop 90-100%. I'll take the gains where I can get them haha.
WindowsKey should use a more generic image. The Framework logo that's in front of the laptop is the perfect logo for this use case and also is already used on the
F12key. However if you use the
F12design, it should be thicker, because the current
F12key is pretty thin.
Future Framework screen designs should use a different resolution that works better with the existing supported OS driver ecosystem. Of course if there is a technological innovation that we want to push we may want to go with a non-standard resolution for the main display, but if there isn't anything crazy we want to do with the screen itself, it would be better to just have a nice looking screen. We can experiment with the screens more in the future if we need to.
The battery needs a massive improvement and maybe further optimizations in the BIOS (FreeBSD/Linux sleep profile?) and/or other tips/strategies that can be provided by Framework for FreeBSD/Linux OS optimization.