System76 has been selling Linux computers for years. But up until recently that basically meant slapping the System76 name on an OEM design and installing Ubuntu.

Last year the company introduced its own custom GNU/Linux operating system called Pop!_OS and revealed plans to begin designing and building its own hardware.

Now the first System76 computers that are actually designed and manufactured by the Denver-based company are up for pre-order, and they’re set to ship in December.

The System76 Thelio line of desktop computers are assembled in the United States from a mix of raw materials (including sheet metal and aluminum extrusions) and foreign-sourced components (such as motherboards, memory, and drives).

The company is also offering a choice of real walnut or mahogany wood finishes.

And System76 also designed its own daughterboard called the Thelio Io. It’s a chassis controller and hard drive backplane that handles thermal controls and other data to help improve airflow.

While not every component is open hardware, strictly speaking, System76 will make its designs for the Thelio computers available for anyone to see, modify, distribute, make, or even sell.

Eventually the company hopes to open source even more components of its computers.

System76 is starting with desktops because, frankly, they’re a lot easier to design. In the future the company hopes to move to laptops.

While none of these initial Thelio PCs are the kind of compact computers I normally cover on Liliputing, they’re noteworthy because of their pedigree, so here’s  quick overview.

The Thelio is a 12.8″ x 11.3″ desktop with a starting price of $1,099 and support for up to 32GB of RAM, up to 24TB of storage (one PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD + up to four 2.5″ drives), NVIDIA and AMD graphics options, and Intel Coffee Lake and AMD Ryzen processor options.

The Thelio Major measures 17.7″ x 16″ and supports up to 128GB of RAM, up to 4 graphics cards, and up to 46TB of storage. It sells for $2,299 and up.

The Thelio Massive is a 19.4″ x 20.7″ computer with support for up to dual Intel Xeon processors, up to four GPUs, and up to 86TB of storage. This model has a starting price of $2,899.

Each model can be pre-configured with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS, or Pop!_OS 18.10.



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5 replies on “System76 launches Thelio line of open source, US-built desktop computers”

  1. I appreciate System 76 trying to Make America Great Again. But $1000 is to much for me to pay for a desktop computer.

  2. Too bad for System76, open source enthusiasts are often cheap and these aren’t cheap.

    1. The real problem is that we are generally the types that like to build things for ourselves.
      I’ll gladly use expensive components if they provide something I want in a desktop.
      System 76 is going to have to at least sell their own motherboard before I’m interested.

  3. When I saw the thumbnail image before reading the headline, I thought the article was about old wooden speakers from 20+ years ago.

  4. I like supporting the little guy and also FOSS, but ~!@#$%! These things are expensive! Basically they are making the cases and a custom daugherboard. Everything else is still imported. Sorry, just not enough to justify the cost.

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