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. DISABLED AND NEUTRALIZED Intel® MANAGEMENT ENGINE!!! Can you please emphasize the major issues, for example why Purism makes computers at all: so you don’t get comments from teenagers who cobble together something because their mom won’t buy them the newest Xbox and think this is a lot of extra money for them to play Fortnite. Yes, duh!

    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. I imagine you’re thinking of “bridges”: sets of components that work together, and in that sense, they did design it, since they vetted every component for the practiceses of the company, etc. You’re really showing ignorance about how these get priced and why Purism does it the way they do. Which is probably their biggest mistake, the public isn’t educated enough about the issues they’re addressing, and their not making enough profit (like Apple, for example) to do enough advertising.

    2. I chastised Kangal, and to be “fair” I’m going to repeat for you :For every other PC or laptop, Intel and the mainboard manufacturer has the cryptography keys to break into the UEFI “bios” and bypass security of any OS you use. An exception is Chromebooks, although there’s also no reason to think they’re more trustworthy and can’t do the same. Purism is THE ONE COMPANY THAT PROVIDES FULLY OPENSOURCE FIRMWARE, LIBREBOOT. So to compare this to any aliexpress product from any major manufacturer is idiocy. Of course, even several Lilliput editors haven’t researched this or the other issues, it’s a hopeless cause, really.

  2. 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.

    1. the fact you use “fair” shows how little you know. No Windows won’t work because the boot firmware, the “bios” isn’t Microsoft approved. For just about every other PC or laptop, Intel and the mainboard manufacturer has the cryptography keys to break into the UEFI “bios” and bypass security of any OS. So, preventing that means “fair” is a lot more than your think. Your post seems to be from knowledge of pricing gaming rigs or something, and your assumptions that the knowledge applies here. It doesn’t