The Purism Librem Mini is a 5″ x 5″ x 1.5″ desktop computer with an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor and support for up to 64GB of RAM.

It also ships with PureOS, a GNU/Linux distribution that emphasizes privacy, security, and free and open source software.

Pre-orders for the Librem Mini began in March, and now Purism says the little computer is ready to ship. It’s available for purchase for $699 and up.

The starting price gets you a model with 8GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and a 250GB SATA SSD. But you can pay extra for additional memory and storage — the system has both an M.2 PCIe NVMe slot and a 2.5 inch drive bay and can be configured with up to 4TB of total storage.

Ports include:

  • DisplayPort 1.2 (4K60Hz)
  • HDMI 2.0 (40K60Hz)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 3.5mm audio

One thing that’s not included in the starting price is a wireless module. You can pay $29 extra for a dual-band 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 module. While those wireless standards are a bit long in the tooth, Purism chooses its hardware based on the availability of free and open source software and firmware support. If that’s not the most important factor for you, then you can probably use a third-party wireless adapter.

If, on the other hand, software freedom is important to you, it’s worth noting that in addition to PureOS, the Librem Mini features the PureBoot, a BIOS replacement that disables most of the Intel Management Engine features while including its own trusted platform module and software for security purposes.

Purism says it also has a PureOS software update on the way that will add support for fan speed controls which will bring support for active cooling to the Librem Mini. Right now the little computer is passively cooled because it has a fan, but it’s disabled. The upcoming update will bring full support for active cooling which should increase the Librem Mini’s performance (and noise).

Update: The company fixed the fan speed control issue, so now all Librem Mini devices will ship with full support for active cooling enabled, there’s no need for a software update to enable that feature. 

Purism isn’t the only Linux system builder offering a mini desktop. The System76 Meerkat and ZeReason Zini 1180 are basically Intel NUC computers that ship with Linux rather than Windows. But Purism’s Librem Mini stands out due to its open source bootloader and slightly less derivative design.

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2 Comments

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  1. I like the concept of this company and I’ve taken a look at their site many times. For me personally though…the cost of entry is just too high. I rather build a complete desktop for the same price and have a nice Ryzen gaming rig.

    I really wanted one of their phones too. Again…price of entry is only for the rich.

    1. Or the properly paranoid.
      The only practical reason to buy this over other such boxes is the Pureboot Bundle. Nothing else, AFAIK, comes with a tamper-evident FOSS BIOS as an option.
      If you’ve got powerful adversaries (government, corporate, or otherwise), you might need that. If you are really not interesting enough to mess with (that’s most people), you don’t.