Portuguese company LibreTrend is partnering with the developers of Ubuntu MATE to offer a small, low-power desktop computer that will ship with the Ubuntu MATE operating system. Perhaps more importantly, LibreTrend says its computers ship without any proprietary blobs for the drivers, which means that they’re designed to run entirely free and open software.

The LibreBox is now available with a choice of Trisquel Linux, Ubuntu MATE, or no operating system. Prices start at 349 Euros, or about $386 US.


Ubuntu MATE is a relatively new flavor of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system. It uses the MATE desktop environment originally developed by the makers of Linux Mint as an extension of the GNOME 2 desktop environment (by folks who preferred that to the direction the GNOME team took starting with version 3).

The LibreBox features an Intel Celeron 1037U processor, at least 4GB of RAM, a 500GB or larger hard drive, an optional SSD, and other components chosen for their compatibility with free/libre software. The system has four USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, mic, and headset jacks and supports Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n WiFi.

LibreTrend says the computer is a low-power system that consumes about 19 watts of power. The LibreBox measures about 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 1.6″.

While it’s certainly not the most powerful computer on the market, and it’s also not the cheapest, it’s one of a relatively small number of desktop computers designed to ship with free and open source software.

via Phoronix


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9 replies on “LibreBox mini-PC ships with Ubuntu MATE software”

  1. IF MATE desktop environment was originally developed by the makers of Linux Mint, who started it and why?

  2. I’m not much of a linguist but I always though ‘libre’ meant ‘free’. Apparently it means something more like “I’ll happily charge you like $100+ for about five minutes work”. That doesn’t even count the outdated processor being offered.

    1. It doesn’t mean ‘free’ in the sense of free stuff, it means ‘free’ in the sense of freedom. This computer, as said in the above article, ships “without any proprietary blobs for the drivers, which means that they’re designed to run entirely free and open software.” The English language simply isn’t very good at making this distinction.

      1. My point was that you could build the same yourself, or better, for less money. Sure they’ve spent some time making sure the drivers are good for the hardware used. Perhaps they even spec’d the board and had it built, though I kind doubt it really.
        And yes they have to put it together and package and ship it and deal with returns/problems.
        It still seems like quite a mark-up. Especially today with bare-bones mini systems being so popular. All one has to do is remove a few screws and pop in some RAM and an SSD then load the OS.
        I see in social media today they’ve lowered the price quite a bit.

      1. True, but so far no Linux box came at a lower price than a windows box.

        1. yeah okay. i got a lenovo idea centre for 149usd with the same class cpu.

      2. You could build a similar speced system yourself and load Ubuntu on it for a lot less.

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