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Privacy-focused Linux vendor Purism announces the stylish Librem Mini

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Purism aren't a company we cover here often, as their devices aren't usually gaming related. However, they did just announce a mini-PC that looks and sounds rather lovely called the Librem Mini.

Sized at 12.8cm (5.0 inches) x 12.8cm (5.0 inches) x 3.8cm (1.5 inches) they say it's smaller than a Mac Mini and not that much bigger than a Raspberry Pi. Powerful too with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor, up to 64 GB DDR4 RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 620, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 which will both support 60Hz 4K, Gigabit Ethernet LAN and plenty of ports it's a mighty sounding machine.

Pretty much an NUC (Intel's Next Unit of Computing) but it will come with PureOS Linux, Pureboot and Librem Key support. There's also no Intel Management Engine, as they've "disabled and neutralized" it.

Pricing starts at $699 for the base model with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. Could be a nice little machine that can double up for some indie gaming and streaming.

Shipping though, well that's another matter entirely that we just don't know when it will happen. Purism said shipping will start "one month after reaching the pre-order goal". The actual goal is listed on this page, which is set at $50,000 which seems to be quite realistic if a hardware vendor actually wants such a product to be successful. At time of writing, they have $2,712 towards it and the tracker updates every 24 hours.

Find the original announcement here.

Much like System76 who make their own special desktops with their own case, laptops and soon a keyboard too, having more vendors go full-Linux like this is important to spread Linux hardware and Linux adoption across the globe.

Hat tip to dpanter.

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elmapul Mar 19, 2020
"Pricing starts at $699 for the base model with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. Could be a great little indie gaming and streaming machine."

er... nope, at this price i can buy an ps4, switch or xbox one...
Liam Dawe Mar 19, 2020
Quoting: elmapul"Pricing starts at $699 for the base model with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. Could be a great little indie gaming and streaming machine."

er... nope, at this price i can buy an ps4, switch or xbox one...
Missing the point. The main point is this is an open desktop PC, in a mini form factor (always expensive) with a focus on privacy. That can also double-up as an indie gaming/streaming machine.
Mohandevir Mar 19, 2020
I know I'm being nitpicky, but it would have been nice to see a Ryzen 5 3400G version of this little buddy.

Still, great job Purism!

Last edited by Mohandevir on 19 March 2020 at 12:25 pm UTC
SirLootALot Mar 19, 2020
It still comes with the Intel ME. All they did is remove some binarys. No modern Intel computer including this one will start and run for more than 30 minutes without the Intel ME. This is purely marketing speak, they do not know what the binarys they removed did and the ME might just as well be fully functional with all security risks associated with that.
Rooster Mar 19, 2020
I want to like it, but I just don't see the point of it. For gaming, I can buy a laptop without OS for similar price with dedicated GPU.
Kithop Mar 19, 2020
Putting this entire thing in a spoiler tag because Purism + politics (and not good ones):
Spoiler, click me

I love the idea of what Purism does, but they milkshake ducked really hard when they announced that they were launching their own, subscription based Mastodon instance... and that they weren't going to moderate it basically at all because hey, people are paying for it.

Their front-end, of course, was just a forked + reskinned version of Tusky - fine on its own, but when Tusky lets you specify the instance URL anyway, it felt a lot like a 'no, I made this!' kind of fork than anything actually productive. Exactly the same tactic some 'well known' ultra-fascist sites use - forking both it and Mastodon and refusing to moderate in the name of 'free speech'.

Anyone on the Fediverse can probably guess what happened next - a bunch of fascists found the Purism instance, figured hey, paying a couple bucks a month/year or whatever to have access to a well known platform is great - and promptly started harassing everyone else they could find out of their usual targets, forcing pretty much everyone else to block them on a server federation level, which then solicitied cries from people along the lines of 'but what about all the other, good users on Purism's instance?', a bit of hand-wringing, and finally an ultimatum to Purism:

Moderate your instance and get rid of the abusers harassing everyone else, or we keep blocking you.

They refused and as far as I can tell, continue to refuse to moderate their users, so the rest of us continue to block them. 'Free speech' doesn't mean 'free to harass everyone else about their race/gender/skin colour/sexuality/politics/etc.', as far as the rest of us are concerned, and the way Purism kept doubling down left us all with a lot of mistrust for everything they do.

tl;dr, no to Purism - buy System76 or another Linux-focused system integrator instead.
Arehandoro Mar 19, 2020
The CPU is an improvement from their old 7th gen that they offer on their laptops, which is what is keeping me away from buying one. I'm still waiting for the Librem 5 though, chestnut release won't happen now till August if being very optimistic.
denyasis Mar 19, 2020
Interesting. How does the U series i7 stack up compared to their desktop CPU's (say like an i7 8700). Their numbering scheme can be a bit confusing.

Absent the performance question, it seems expensive. Although, quality SBC's usually are.
ElectricPrism Mar 19, 2020
Just built a Intel NUC a few weeks ago for like $800. I would have been down to buy this but looks like it won't be out for a while so.

Honestly if Privacy were high priority I think I would just go for a Raptor Talos II POWER9 with Gentoo as my OS.

I can respect them for trying to hit 2 targets at once though -- privacy and the average consumer (like apple with their Mini's)
ahjolinna Mar 19, 2020
intel?...sigh...I will pass, if there was a AMD variant I would be more interested as intel just sucks ASS nowdays (in everyway)
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