It’s been more than a year since Linux computer company System76 announced plans to design and manufacture hardware in-house. Up until now, the company has primarily worked with OEM’s to add custom software to off-the-shelf laptop and desktop PC designs.

Now the company says it plans to start taking pre-orders for a “new open-source computer” next month. The company isn’t saying much about what kind of computer we’re talking about, but last year System76 said it would probably start with desktops, which are easier to design than notebooks or other portable computers.

Meanwhile, representatives from the company were spotted at the Linaro Connect conference recently, where they discussed the possibility of using ARM-based processors in some upcoming devices. I wouldn’t necessarily take that as an indication that we’ll see a System76 PC with an ARM processor next month… but it could happen sometime in the future.

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6 replies on “Lilbits 340: System76 to launch a new open source computer”

  1. If they are looking at ARM and going desktop first then it could be Socionext’s SynQuacer SC2A11 although single thread performance is not quite up to desktop performance standards. The only other option would be Rockchip RK3399 which Google uses it as OP1 in Chromebooks.

  2. I’d like to try an ARM powered Linux laptop. I hope the repositories have enough ARM packages to make it worthwhile. But I’m not willing to pay a premium price for an ARM powered laptop, like the $899 HP Envy x2 with Windows 10.

  3. I wonder what “open source computer” means — something for which full schematics of all of the parts are available? Or just something where everything works without any closed source drivers?

    The easiest thing to do would be something like what MicroCenter does with its PowerSpec house brand — use off-the-shelf parts, possibly in a slightly customized case, only making sure that all of the parts have open source drivers. I like this approach for the consumer, as you get a machine that’s incredibly easy to repair and upgrade, basically a build-your-own without the hassle of actually having to build your own. No idea if that’s what System76 is planning.

  4. Never a fan of system76 but over the last year or so, they’ve won me over. I really like that they’ve built a total Linux solution – from hardware to software to support.

    I’m still on the fence about their Pop_OS! (just don’t like the overall feel) but they’re doing things, as far as updates, resetting the OS and even firmware… that other distros (who don’t do hardware) are unable to match. I may be a customer soon – their lightweight 14″ laptop (with ports aplenty) has really caught my eye.

    The only other player in the field, as far as I’m concerned, is Purism (not dell who are too big & window-ish for real Linux support). But their pricing is too rich.

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