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System76, the Linux hardware vendor sent out a press release announcing a refresh of their most powerful laptops, which now boast 7th Gen Intel CPUs.

The Oryx Pro, Serval WS, and Bonobo WS all now feature Intel's latest CPUs and have the option of a HiDPI display.

Ryan Sipes, their community manager had this to say:
QuoteThe Oryx Pro, Serval WS, and Bonobo WS are very popular products for professionals as they feature all the necessary ports and plenty of power. System76 is proud to continue iterating on these products, keeping up with the taxing workloads of our customers who are doing big things.


The Oryx Pro, which is the cheapest out of the three higher-end laptops comes with an Nvidia 1060 and an Intel i7 as standard, so it is pretty beefy. Could be a pretty good gaming laptop if you're in the market for new hardware.

I've only ever heard good things about these guys, and considering they're a Linux hardware vendor, they deserve our support and respect for serving us!

Hopefully one day I will be able to grab some hardware from them to see how their build quality and performance are in games.

Have you purchased anything from System76? I'm keen to read your thoughts in the comments.
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29 comments
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hiryu 18 February 2017 at 9:19 pm UTC
My 1st laptop, I bought while I was a starving student in 2005. I spent weeks researching something that would be 100% Linux compatible. I still ended up with something where suspend/resume, didn't work (although Linux had support for it within my first few months of owning the laptop). Even after extensive and lengthy research and after having had used Linux since 1998, and having worked with Linux professionally since 2000, I still had a significant incompatibility with the laptop I had purchased.

Come 2008, I had graduated, and I was able to work time (still in the same sysadmin/devops field) and therefore had a lot more income, but also far less free time. I remembered how much effort I had to put into researching my 1st laptop, and I really didn't want to go through it again with my 2nd now that I had even less free time.

I Googled for Linux laptop companies as I had heard some existed. I only found Sys76 (there may have been others at the time, but I didn't find any for whatever reason). I knew Thinkpads were supposed to be great with Linux, but my work allocated laptop was a Thinkpad (albeit running Windows), and while functional, it was very spartan.

I knew I had to be paying a premium... But I looked at like this. I was paying a premium to not have to waste weeks of my time (I had even less free time after graduating) to get something that still might have some incompatibilities. I had no regrets. The machine was well built, powerful, had absolutely no incompatibilities.

I'm currently typing this on my 4th Sys76 laptop (a Broadwell Oryx Pro w/GTX 980m). Well, 5th if you count the one I bought for my wife. My need for companies such as Sys76 has only increased now that I have children. I'm also very happy to support a Linux company.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to use my personal laptop for work at my new job, but I'm still considering one of these new Oryx Pro's in the near future. It's been nice to be able to game from bed!

Has anyone done the research? Are the premiums really that high? I suspect, at least for their higher end machines, the premiums are probably pretty small/reasonable.

Some notes:
A lot of the screens available for the Sys76 laptops are technically capable of gsync, so it is probably worth it to ask them. The reason and the problem why they don't advertise them as such is that gsync for laptop screens is software based. For whatever reason, Nvidia doesn't support this method of Gsync under Linux. For desktop monitors, Gsync uses dedicated hardware and this works completely fine under Linux. However, Nvidia will probably add support for Gsync on laptop monitors in the future, and I can confirm gsync works fine in Windows (yes, I tried it).

I don't see a use for a 4k screen if you're going to play games. As we've seen, the vast majority of Linux ports aren't well optimized and it can be a struggle to hit 60 fps at even 1080p. Especially on laptop hardware.
Eike 18 February 2017 at 11:13 pm UTC
hiryuMy 1st laptop, I bought while I was a starving student in 2005.

Thanks for sharing your story!
FutureSuture 20 February 2017 at 11:52 am UTC
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minjYes, shipping/taxes to Europe is a bitch. If only there was a way around that
There are plenty of businesses in the EU that sell laptops or desktops with Linux on them so there is no need to order a machine all the way from the US.
rodvil 20 February 2017 at 5:53 pm UTC
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This a hot topic for me. I have a new Clevo laptop that is just giving me a lot of linux related problems, so buying a similar "do it yourself" laptop is not the same at all as having a fully supported linux laptop.
The reason I still didn't bought one is because they sell it only with US keyboard and I need a portuguese keyboard which has more keys.

Does anyone knows if it's possible to replace the keyboard with a another clevo keyboard?
I know a company here who works with Clevo so they should be able to replace it if possible at all.
ShoNuff!!! 20 February 2017 at 11:06 pm UTC
I love System76. I own a Galagos Pro. However, I am not blind to the price... they are overpriced for several of their items. I have heard all the comments about... but they support linux (and so on) but to be honest.... there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well with linux if you know how to configure. The first thing I did when I got my Galagos was wipe it and install Arch and have had no issues... so coming with Ubuntu already installed is not really a plus unless it is for someone just starting out or does not have the time (not much time needed but hey). In todays age of computers I have not found to many issues with buying any of the manufactures desktops or laptops when using linux that could not be resolved with a kernel compile, patch, or downloading the right package from a manager to resolve an issue. If you want to spend money to support a small business that provides linux out of the box for their products... then fine... but you could also save some cash and buy an alternative with the same or better internals for less or the same amount of monney.


Last edited by ShoNuff!!! at 20 February 2017 at 11:09 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
ValamirCleaver 22 February 2017 at 12:34 am UTC
I found this on reddit, make of it what you will.

Quoteimag1ne 58 points 4 days ago

Aren't System76 laptops just rebranded Sager/Clevo machines with Ubuntu preinstalled?


cassidyjames 197 points 4 days ago

System76 web developer here!

This vastly trivializes the work System76 does for months and sometimes years leading up to a product release. We don't simply take an off-the-shelf product that already exists, throw an OS on it, and sell it.

System76 works with upstream manufacturers (like, yes, Sager and Clevo for laptops) to determine what types of products to develop, including their specifications, design, etc. for months up to a release. These products do not exist before we enter into these conversations.

Once that has been determined, designed, and goes into production, we start on firmware. We ensure all components are working together and with the Linux kernel (often requiring changes to the components' low level interactions with the OS, since the upstream components themselves are often manufactured with the assumption they will be used by Windows).

Once that is complete, we test with Ubuntu specifically, ensuring the OS is working perfectly with the hardware. If there are any OS-specific changes to be done, we write that behavior into our "driver" which is preloaded on all machines, with the intent to upstream that into Ubuntu and/or Linux itself as quickly as possible. When this is more generic like ensuring HiDPI works great out of the box, this actually ends up benefiting competitors like Dell's XPS 13 probably as much as it benefits us, but we put in the effort to file the bugs, track them, write the code, and get it upstreamed.

Once all of that is complete, we finally offer it for purchase and market it with all of our pretty photographs, sales pages, etc.

What ends up happening, then, is that Sager and/or Clevo offer a machine with a similar-looking chassis for sale as a barebones laptop. This is the result partially of the decision making System76 has made for what to produce in the first place. These products, however, do not contain any of the firmware or driver work that System76 has invested in. They do benefit from the nice photography and advertising System76 has done, and since they look similar, people assume they're going to get the same machine for cheaper "directly from the manufacturer."
wvstolzing 22 February 2017 at 12:59 pm UTC
I'm very happy with my Gazelle Pro 9 laptop; and as attested by everyone else, the Linux support, regardless of distro, is flawless. I actually have a somewhat funny story about System76 support -- when I first got the laptop, I wanted to run FreeBSD on it (FreeBSD 9; can't remember what revision). I already knew that FreeBSD didn't support the wifi card, or Haswell integrated graphics; but it didn't even boot on this machine. I went through some hoops, and finally tricked the machine into booting FreeBSD, but then other problems came up. I wrote to the support page on System76, and they did try to help me, though it didn't resolve my problem; finally the support person reminded me that they don't support FreeBSD, and I didn't insist any further. They could have told me to buzz off, or ignored me right from the start.

The gazp9 has an amazing display, and great internals (my only complaint is the lack of discrete graphics). The chassis on the other hand needs a bit of improvement, I believe. I haven't seen the newest iteration of the Gazelle Pro, maybe they've already made some changes. But even some of the lower end Lenovos feel sturdier, and frankly look a little bit better, compared to it.

A desktop I always prefer to build myself, but the next time I need a laptop, I'll look at System76 first.


Last edited by wvstolzing at 22 February 2017 at 1:06 pm UTC
minj 25 February 2017 at 7:28 am UTC
ShoNuff!!!I have heard all the comments about... but they support linux (and so on) but to be honest.... there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well with linux if you know how to configure. The first thing I did when I got my Galagos was wipe it and install Arch and have had no issues...

I suspect the reason for your flawless experience might be related to the fact that Sys76 upstreams their kernel work. But I'm just guessing...
ShoNuff!!! 4 August 2017 at 1:31 pm UTC
minjI suspect the reason for your flawless experience might be related to the fact that Sys76 upstreams their kernel work. But I'm just guessing...

Probably not the reason... its not like the parts in their laptop is much different than any of the other laptops out there.... in general.


Last edited by ShoNuff!!! at 4 August 2017 at 1:32 pm UTC
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