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The day has finally arrived, Linux hardware vendor System76 has officially revealed their new custom-built desktop the Thelio.

Manufactured and built by System76 in their new facility in the US, they told us their final goal is to take "the next leap" with a fully open source computer although no one is quite there just yet (according to them). They're chipping away at the proprietary parts and will continue to do so until it's "100% open source". To do so, they're using a daughter board called the Thelio Io. Using "open firmware" along with the hardware of the Thelio Io being "OSHWA certified" (Open Source Hardware Association) it also provides controls for LED settings and power.

The Thelio desktop unit comes in 3 sizes:

  • Thelio - Up to 32GB RAM, 24TB storage
    • Case size - Height × Width × Depth: 12.75" × 8" × 11.5" / 324mm × 207mm × 209mm
  • Thelio Major - Up to 128GB RAM, 46TB storage and space for 4 GPUs
    • Case size - Height × Width × Depth: 18.19" × 10.32" × 16.06" / 462mm × 262mm × 408mm
  • Thelio Massive - Up to 768GB of ECC Memory, 86TB storage
    • Case size - Height × Width × Depth: 19.37″ × 10.32" × 20.75″ / 492mm × 262mm × 527mm

All three variants offer either Pop!_OS 18.10 (Pop is System76's Ubuntu-based distribution) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS/18.10 (64-bit).

On top of that, they're now offering both AMD and Intel CPU options for the Thelio and Thelio Major (the Massive is Intel only) which I am sure will please many AMD fans and possibly even net them some more sales. All three versions allow either an NVIDIA or AMD GPU too. To be honest, I would be wary of any company not offering the choice for desktops so it's nice to see.

Images provided to us by System76 (click to enlarge):

My first thought, is that it looks quite bulky. Personally though, I really like the homely style to it. Wouldn't mind having a case like that myself. As a reminder, you can make it since the design of it will be open too if that's your thing.

They also shared this short teaser video with us:

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The fact that a Linux hardware vendor has enough funding from people purchasing their units, to have their own facility and expand like this is an incredible sign in my book. Really pleased to see them be able to move forward, it's a positive sign for Linux for sure.

The only downside, is that right now it's not available to purchase outside of North America. Eventually, it would be nice if they could expand into Europe so we could get some better prices outside the US. Who knows, maybe they will one day.

Find out more on the System76 website.

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xavi 1 November 2018 at 8:53 pm UTC
What do you think about the different equipments, is the small enough or do you recommend the second?
vskye 1 November 2018 at 9:25 pm UTC
I think the new systems look just fine, it's the lack of choice regarding the Nvidia cards. Being restricted to the RTX series vs still offering the GTX 10 series. (Threadripper build). I get why they are doing it, but I'd rather have a 1080 Ti vs that overpriced RTX 2080 Ti.
Dragunov 1 November 2018 at 9:34 pm UTC
I personally think they did a fantastic job on the case design. It looks beautiful, and I love the wood grain finish. However, these systems are always terribly overpriced. Its much cheaper and alot more fun just to build your own. Also, did they seriously not put any front usb ports, or even a front headphone jack? These to me are necessities.

Last edited by Dragunov at 1 November 2018 at 9:35 pm UTC
Elvanex 1 November 2018 at 9:44 pm UTC
tmtvlI mean, it's ugly as sin, so if I bought one I'd have to buy a proper case as well...

...but I so want a Sys76 with an AMD GPU.

Uh, Liam, are you going to let him talk about your girl like that? Lol, jk, jk. Couldn't resist. xD
eridanired123 1 November 2018 at 10:34 pm UTC
Looks good, I'm not fan of having trademarks in my face but as long as it isn't the usual ugly case for office or gaming case full of lights I'm good. And I would appreciate a USB port or two in the front, I know those are ugly AF but IMO functionality is much more important than aesthetics when you can't have both.

And Liam, when you say they don't yet ship it outside North America, you are talking specifically about the US or also Canada? I went to check but couldn't find detailed info.
liamdawe 1 November 2018 at 11:30 pm UTC
eridanired123And Liam, when you say they don't yet ship it outside North America, you are talking specifically about the US or also Canada? I went to check but couldn't find detailed info.
I was told very clearly this new unit can't ship outside of North America. I'm assuming, as it needs to pass certain regulations or something somewhere for that which they haven't done yet. Not sure.
slaapliedje 1 November 2018 at 11:42 pm UTC
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Purple Library GuyMost computer cases are ugly as sin. Just wondering--are you saying it's ugly because of the woodgrain or despite it? Personally, I really think it's past time design in computers got over the whole "We're so hypermodern and futuristic" thing, so the woodgrain is kind of welcome.

The wood grain definitely doesn't help, but I'm mainly talking about the "black monolith with a white button" look. Add some relief, dangit. How do you even open the DVD drive on those things?

And the light wood variant is the most kitschy thing I've seen since the '70s.

I may have to post in the Tacos/Atari VCS/AtariBox/AtacoBox thread over at Atari Age about these wood grain wonders.
slaapliedje 1 November 2018 at 11:51 pm UTC
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Coincidence? If you take the Thelio Massive page and put every single thing you can in your system on that page, it costs 76 thousand dollars!
the3dfxdude 2 November 2018 at 12:05 am UTC
Finally AMD showing up again at system 76. Hopefully it will also occur in their laptop refresh.
slaapliedje 2 November 2018 at 12:44 am UTC
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I emailed them about possibly sticking 64GB of RAM into their Onyx Pro line, but really if they're close enough to a refresh, I'd probably rather get an AMD (mainly to avoid Optimus nonsense)
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