Linux laptop maker Purism recently got into the Linux smartphone space with the Librem 5. And now the company is expanding into another market — desktops.

The Purism Librem Mini is a small form-factor desktop computer that measures about 5″ x 5″ x 1.5″ and which houses an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processor.

But unlike most mini PCs in this space, the Librem Mini ships with a GNU/Linux distribution and features Purism’s security and privacy features. It’s priced at $699 and up and the Librem Mini is available for pre-order starting today.

The entry-level price is for a model with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 25G0GB of solid state storage. But the system supports up to 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory and has room for a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD and an M.2 slot for SATA III/NVMe solid state storage.

I’d highly recommend paying for an entry-level configuration and supplying your own memory and storage upgrades though — Purism charges pretty hefty premiums if you want better-than-basic specs.

Other Librem Mini features include:

  • HDMI 2.0
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Optional wireless module (802.11n + Bluetooth 4.0)

The wireless specs seem awfully dated for a computer launching in 2020. But the system is using a rather old Qualcomm Atheros ATH9K wireless card which does not require any proprietary firmware — something that may be important to folks looking for a fully free and open source software solution.

Or I suppose you could just supply your own wireless card or USB dongle if you’d prefer something newer/less open.

Purism says the computer will ship with its GNU/Linux-based PureOS software, Pureboot bootloader, and support for the company’s Librem Key security key.

I’ve typically found that the market for this style of computer to be split between home users and commercial or enterprise customers. But Purism seems to be targeting individuals rather than businesses by pointing out that the Librem Mini can be used as a compact desktop computer, a home theater PC, or home server.

Purism blog post

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    1. Ooh wow.
      +1 for excellent post.

      And here I was thinking they designed this board themselves, so a $499 price would be justified. Yeah, this thing is dead before release. I suspect they wanted to use this, so the profits can help pay for their other project (Librem 5) which is struggling due to running out of funds.

  1. Neat, but expensive. If it was $499 then it would be fair-priced, or lower if they want to sell many.

    They could have saved some money by going with an AMD Ryzen, and we would’ve also gotten a noticeably better iGPU as well. But maybe it didn’t work as well with their own Operating System. That won’t deter most folks, as they would just flash a different OS instead like Windows10 Pro, or a number of different Linux Distros.