lafité IV 15.6 + successful Pop_os 19.10 install (then updated to 20.04)

Stephen M

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I share Tony's curiosity as to why certain things are locked down as they only make things difficult and limit choice. For the few Linux users on here anything like this is a concern. If the BIOS is going to become too restrictive it could get to a point where buying from PCS will no longer be a viable option.
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
I share Tony's curiosity as to why certain things are locked down as they only make things difficult and limit choice. For the few Linux users on here anything like this is a concern. If the BIOS is going to become too restrictive it could get to a point where buying from PCS will no longer be a viable option.
When it comes to virtualisation it’s a big issue for any OS user.
 
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jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
Hi guys,

When I received the laptop from pcs, I did not know what to except on the bios side...
As I said in this post, the bios is stripped down to a bare minimum... and to be honest I do not like it, but this is just my personal opinion.
Playing with VT ext or AHCI mode, will never harm a laptop, nor any computer.

Playing with voltage on CPU, NB, SB and memory can 'dangerous' on a laptop BUT there's, If i recall correctly, a build in emergency shutdown in the proc. When the temp is reaching the max. temp allowed. the proc shutdown the whole system.

a smart Idea for bios could be a two stage bios, basic setting for users and and Advanced mode for specific users, with maybe a disclamer saying 'by activating advanced mode, you know what you are doing...blabla..'
or better having (like servers) two chips : original bios in rom, and eeprom for the latest. if you mess up your setting you can always revert back to the original bios stored in rom...

J.
 
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I am still wondering about buying a 15.6" LatifeIV from PCS to run Linux because I have had good service from them. But the more I read about running Linux on this and similar laptops the more confused I get. I have had a lot of help from this forum on the subject of the BIOS. We get a commenably detailed specification of the hardware but no specification of the capabilities or limitations of the BIOS!

I see that Clevo Europe are selling the N151CU which I take to be the same as LatifeIV with the spec listed below. That is with Pop! _OS or Ubuntu pre-installed. Also with SSD M.2 | PCIe 3.0 x4 | NVMe: Intel 660p, Samsung 970 Evo Plus/Pro. (The spec listing appended seems to have been removed by a moderator. It included this regarding installer operating systems: Windows 10 or Linux (CLEVO Control Center does not work and the keyboard colors cannot be changed). (https://clevo-computer.com/en/lapto...tal-case-intel-uhd-graphics-620-thunderbolt-3 (accessed 16/06/2020))
Can anyone tell me if the LatifeIV sold by PCS at the moment will boot Linux with the NVME PCI M2? I read elsewhere that it may be advisable to boot from a non-NVME PCI M2 card like an M2 SATA SSD. I believe that this depends on whether the SATA drive can be set to ACHI in the BIOS.
I am alarmed by this post https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/unable-to-install-linux.66956/ (accessed 16/06/2020).

I know that the keyboard colours can be made to work and I don't know what the Clevo Contol Center is but I have never used anything like that before.

Thanks for your help in advance. Kind wishes, Ian. Satisfied user of UltranoteIII bought nearly four years ago.
 
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jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
Hi,

as you read it in this post, I did install linux on lafité IV + Nmve Drive and it has been working flawlessly for the last few months. :)

An another user had serious issue with lafité PRO + NVME drive, BUT a lafité PRO + SSD drive is (should be) fine.

The real problem is, as you stated it, with the bios : we do not have much information for bios limitations, lafité pro does have bios locked to Raid Mode, but not the Lafité IV and this why it's so confusing because you never know what's going to be in the bios.

you might ask a user who placed a recent order for a lafité IV to check the bios for you in his laptop. (in feb, mine was fine)

J.
btw : some interesting news here from Stephen : https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/useful-news-from-pcs.69515/
 
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LucCit

New member
you might ask a user who placed a recent order for a lafité IV to check the bios for you in his laptop. (in feb, mine was fine)

In case it's of any help, I've just put my hands on my Lafite IV (specs are almost exactly the same as the OP). I can confirm that the BIOS version is still 1.07.07TPCS2, the BIOS settings for the SATA controller is on AHCI, and the NVME drive is recognized correctly.

Code:
$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/nvme0n1

/dev/nvme0n1:
 Timing cached reads:   30526 MB in  2.00 seconds = 15298.81 MB/sec
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD(identify) failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device
 Timing buffered disk reads: 7436 MB in  3.00 seconds = 2478.60 MB/sec

I booted a live Manjaro to have a quick overview of what works and what doesn't, and can confirm virtually everything reported in the OP (including the faulty IRQ 31 for the TPM device, which I disabled). I uploaded an hw-probe in case it's useful.

The OP reported that the Intel ME firmware was not affected by known vulnerabilities at the time. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, according to Intel's CSME detection tool. Both INTEL-SA-00307 and INTEL-SA-00295 apply (and possibly others).
 

jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
Hi Lucit,

thanks for the update,

The OP reported that the Intel ME firmware was not affected by known vulnerabilities at the time. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, according to Intel's CSME detection tool. Both INTEL-SA-00307 and INTEL-SA-00295 apply (and possibly others).

You are right, I' ve just checked this morning with new CSME tool :

*** Intel(R) ME Information ***
Engine: Intel(R) Converged Security and Management Engine
Version: 14.0.10.1204

*** Risk Assessment ***
Based on the analysis performed by this tool: This system is vulnerable.
Explanation:
The detected version of the Intel(R) Converged Security and Management Engine firmware
has a vulnerability listed in one or more of the public Security Advisories.
Contact your system manufacturer for support and remediation of this system.

I went straigth to clevo donwload website to check if they have pushed the intel patches but there's nothing new to donwload since december 2019...

here's the link : Lafité IV (N151CU) download

J.
 

LucCit

New member

That website intentionally omits the BIOS downloads. Understandably, Clevo wants to make it hard for end users to find the BIOSes.

But, ... after poking around, I managed to find BIOS updates from the Clevo site that are more recent than 2019.

* BIOS: B10708.zip
* EC: E10707.zip

NOTE: I have not flashed those to my laptop and strongly recommend not doing so.
However, the existence of these files shows that Clevo has released a more recent BIOS (which hopefully isn't affected by known ME security issues). In particular it looks like the BIOS update is expecting to update an existing version 14.0.10.1204, which is promising:

Code:
$ head -n5 B10708/ALL/CkME.nsh
#Tool Name  OPTION ME(TXE) VERSION     [OPTION2]-C CHECK -Y ALWAYS MESET                    
CkMEver.efi -mecmp 0014.0000.0010.1204 -Y                                          
if %Lasterror% == 0 then                                                              
 goto flash                                                                             
endif

So hopefully we'll eventually get an equivalent BIOS update from PCS.
 

Stephen M

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Thanks Luccit, interesting information. Also agree with you about BIOS flashing, not worth the risk.
 

Stephen M

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I am a little concerned to learn about the locked down Bios and particularly references to virtualisation settings.

I have a 14inch Lafite Pro (https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/replacement-for-2012-macbook-air.78762/) on order and intend to install Debian.

Is anyone confirm whether or not the aforementioned Bios restrictions will prevent me running libvirtd virtual machines?

Thanks.
It was being looked at but only PCS could tell you for certain. During the current crisis emails are about a week to answer and telephone wait times can be long, the best time to call is as they open at 09:00.

Sorry could not be more help. If you get an answer could you let us know, likewise if the install goes ok. It will help us update the Linux compatibilty thread.
 

bob26

Member
Thanks for the reply Stephen.

Thinking about it, the required VT-x and VT-d settings would affect running VMs in Windows as well so they must surely be available and/or enabled for Windows users.

I'll see if I can find any references to problems running VirtualBox or VMWare in windows.
 

Stephen M

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Thanks for the reply Stephen.

Thinking about it, the required VT-x and VT-d settings would affect running VMs in Windows as well so they must surely be available and/or enabled for Windows users.

I'll see if I can find any references to problems running VirtualBox or VMWare in windows.
That was brought up at the time of the initial problem and I am unsure if there was a solution. As I very rarely use W10 I cannot answer. Hopefully there may be someone here with the same model as you who could check it out.
 

LucCit

New member
Note that this particular thread is about the Lafite, not the Lafite Pro. My (non-Pro) Lafite has VT-x and VT-d available and virtual machines run just fine.

As you note, if the BIOS locked those options down then Windows users would be affected as well, and at that point this would probably be something PCS would have to fix.

However, note that the Lafite Pro (or, more precisely, the BIOS it ships with) has known issues with NVME disks (https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/unable-to-install-linux.66956).
 

bob26

Member
Good news about VT-x but not so good about NVMe as I have specified a Samsung 970 EVO.

I'm getting cold feet now.
 

Stephen M

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Good news about VT-x but not so good about NVMe as I have specified a Samsung 970 EVO.

I'm getting cold feet now.
Would be worth a call to them. As they were looking at the problem before there is some hope it may have been fixed.

Luckily it effects all users so it is vital if it is sorted.
 
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