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Looking to power up your Linux computing on the go or for around the house? System76 have refreshed the Darter Pro with a brand new build powered by the latest tech.

Just like a lot of their recent hardware, it's coming filled with some great open source software too. System76 hooked up their new Darter Pro with their Open Firmware. This gives you coreboot and the EDK bootloader with System76 Firmware Apps. So say hello to fast boot times, better security and easy firmware updates from within the operating system.

"The Darter Pro has long been a customer favorite," says Sam Mondlick, VP of Sales. "We’re excited to reintroduce our users to this extremely versatile laptop with features that make it noticeably better than its already fantastic predecessor."

System76 claim it's a highly versatile machine for working on the go, with up to 9 hours battery life. Reasonably light too for moving around at 3.84 lbs / 1.74 kg. If you choose the option with Pop!_OS, the Linux distribution made by System76 then you also get all their built-in enhancements like the fun Auto-Tiling.

Here's some of the fancy tech specs for you:

Operating System

Pop!_OS 20.10 (64-bit), Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS (64-bit), or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (64-bit)

Processor

11th Gen Intel® Core i5-1135G7: Up to 4.2 GHz - 8MB Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads

11th Gen Intel® Core i7-1165G7: Up to 4.7 GHz - 12MB Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads

Display

15.6″ 1920×1080 FHD, Matte Finish

Graphics

Intel® Iris Xe Graphics

Memory

Up to 64GB dual-channel DDR4 @ 3200MHz

Storage

2 x M.2 SSD (1x PCIe gen4 + 1x PCIe gen3 or SATA). Up to 4TB total.

Expansion

1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C / Thunderbolt™ 4, 1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 × USB 2.0 Type-A, MicroSD Card Reader

Input

Multitouch Touchpad, Backlit Chiclet US QWERTY Keyboard

Networking

Gigabit Ethernet, Intel® Dual Band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5

Video Ports

HDMI, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C w/ DisplayPort 1.2

Audio

Stereo Speakers, 1× Headphone/Microphone Combo

Camera

1.0M 720p HD Webcam

Security

Kensington® Lock

Battery

Li-Ion - 73 Wh

Charger

65 Watts, AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC-out 19V, 3.42A, USB Type-C Charging Compatible

Pricing starts at $1,099 and you can find the Darter Pro here

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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7 comments

slapin 22 Jan
  • Supporter Plus
Well, poor choice of words in the news here as "Open Firmware" is slightly different thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Firmware

It is related to device tree (DT) thing on ARM systems powered by Linux.
Quoting: slapinWell, poor choice of words in the news here as "Open Firmware" is slightly different thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Firmware

It is related to device tree (DT) thing on ARM systems powered by Linux.
"Open" and "Firmware" are ordinary English words with meanings; I'm not sure I'm willing to accept the idea of the combination being locked up to only refer to that particular term of art. I think it would be very difficult to trademark the term "Open Firmware", for instance, even in our fairly ridiculous legal environment.
So like, if they have firmware and it's open, I think it's reasonable for them to call it open firmware.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 22 January 2021 at 6:16 am UTC
Ezequiel 22 Jan
While I do like the work System76 does, It's wrong to call this laptop's firmware open source. It is not.
They are using Coreboot as a wrapper for Intel's binary blob. The blob is what ultimately controls the system, and it still enables the Intel Management Engine.
Source for this? The very same repo linked in the article. It uses Intel's FSP binaries as a dependency.
https://github.com/intel/FSP/tree/c80123384aa74ee0a0b011ad4e8a0afc533c8195

What is the benefit of this? You get your own custom and fine grained firmware control for all the laptop internal capabilities, from fanspeed to power states, ram settings and cpu clocks. Yet we are still running proprietary code on a CPU controlled by the management engine, which has network, storage, cpu and ram access.

Can the IME be mitigated by this firmware? Yes, it can be halted by doing some editing, yet we are still running the proprietary code, and "trusting" that we actually stoped the IME.

I'd prefer if this articles talked about this, Purism does this as well, there are very few real Open Source Firmware projects out there.
Arehandoro 22 Jan
Quoting: EzequielWhile I do like the work System76 does, It's wrong to call this laptop's firmware open source. It is not.
They are using Coreboot as a wrapper for Intel's binary blob. The blob is what ultimately controls the system, and it still enables the Intel Management Engine.
Source for this? The very same repo linked in the article. It uses Intel's FSP binaries as a dependency.
https://github.com/intel/FSP/tree/c80123384aa74ee0a0b011ad4e8a0afc533c8195

What is the benefit of this? You get your own custom and fine grained firmware control for all the laptop internal capabilities, from fanspeed to power states, ram settings and cpu clocks. Yet we are still running proprietary code on a CPU controlled by the management engine, which has network, storage, cpu and ram access.

Can the IME be mitigated by this firmware? Yes, it can be halted by doing some editing, yet we are still running the proprietary code, and "trusting" that we actually stoped the IME.

I'd prefer if this articles talked about this, Purism does this as well, there are very few real Open Source Firmware projects out there.

I wasn't aware of this, thanks for sharing the info!
syrjala 22 Jan
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: slapinWell, poor choice of words in the news here as "Open Firmware" is slightly different thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Firmware

It is related to device tree (DT) thing on ARM systems powered by Linux.
"Open" and "Firmware" are ordinary English words with meanings; I'm not sure I'm willing to accept the idea of the combination being locked up to only refer to that particular term of art. I think it would be very difficult to trademark the term "Open Firmware", for instance, even in our fairly ridiculous legal environment.
So like, if they have firmware and it's open, I think it's reasonable for them to call it open firmware.

"Open Firmware" is a proper name, "open firmware" is not. Looking at the github repo they seem to call it "System76 Open Firmware" so the error was in fact in the article not with System76.
Liam Dawe 22 Jan
The title was adjusted to be clearer that it's their stuff.
I think that in English you can accentuate stuff with Capital Letters. So it is not wrong. English is bit funny in that aspect though i think. I might be wrong though
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