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The hardware vendor specializing in Linux systems has set a date for its latest venture. Their new Thelio desktop systems will be available for preorder soon.

For those of you unaware of System76 [Official Site], they’ve been selling Linux-powered laptops, mini computers and servers for a few years now and have even created their own Ubuntu derivative named Pop!_OS. Last month they started teasing their newest project, Thelio, which aims to be an open hardware desktop system.

Details on what the hardware will entail specifically are still a little light, and we’ll likely only know for sure when the system goes up for preorder, but there’s a few things that we can say for sure. In reply to a tweet sent by Liam asking whether or not they’d have a custom motherboard, the CEO clarified that “we’re pulling proprietary functionality off the mainboard and onto a custom, open source (hardware and firmware) daughter board.”

This open firmware will be GPLv3-licensed and you can already check out the master repository for the Thelio on GitHub. Personally, I can’t really make much heads or tails of the various bits of code and teaser blueprints and hardware schematics that System76 and its CEO have been posting in the last few weeks but I can say that I am excited to see a hardware vendor work on their own custom solutions for the Linux desktop.

I suppose we’ll just have to see what the prices are like when preorders go live November 1. Systems are expected to be shipped in December of this year. You may also want to check out the animated saga that System76 have created around Thelio.

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22 comments
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Hal_Kado 25 October 2018 at 9:15 pm UTC
They sure do have a cool looking website: https://thel.io Little heavy on marketing and light on details though....
wvstolzing 25 October 2018 at 10:33 pm UTC
In my fathomless ignorance, I look at the github repo; and all I'm able to gather is that it's a kind of IO card. What does that say about the BIOS in these systems, though? Could someone knowledgeable take a look and comment?


Last edited by wvstolzing at 25 October 2018 at 10:34 pm UTC
no_information_here 25 October 2018 at 10:46 pm UTC
Saw the link to Natron on their promo site. I hadn't heard of it before. Anyone here used it for VFX?

https://natrongithub.github.io/
techieg33k 26 October 2018 at 12:13 am UTC
I think they are really doing a solid job of drumming up interest. I know a bit ago they got a CNC machine and other hardware so they could build stuff in house as much as possible (Denver, CO area). I do not need a new desktop, but I will be watching this VERY closely!
iiari 26 October 2018 at 2:43 am UTC
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techieg33kI do not need a new desktop, but I will be watching this VERY closely!
While still years off, once they gain the experience from desktops, they said they then want to do laptops.
ElectricPrism 26 October 2018 at 3:08 am UTC
Pretty cool hype-train website. Though, the specs and data are going to be what is a big deal to me.
elmapul 26 October 2018 at 6:38 am UTC
no_information_hereSaw the link to Natron on their promo site. I hadn't heard of it before. Anyone here used it for VFX?

https://natrongithub.github.io/

natron is a quite powerfull tool, i heard of it a lot before.

an movie that used natron:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ5SOnjIWWI

chroma key tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RkewxBMeuA


Last edited by elmapul at 26 October 2018 at 7:04 am UTC
Eike 26 October 2018 at 7:39 am UTC
I wish them all the best, but IMHO, such attempts are doomed to fail. In the end, it will cost more than hardware off the shelf, not offer more, and there's not enough people caring enough for the topic to make it a success nevertheless.

Good luck.
Rugaliz 26 October 2018 at 8:09 am UTC
Does this mean Richard M Stallman will finally have a decent computer to work with?
Valck 26 October 2018 at 8:36 am UTC
wvstolzingIn my fathomless ignorance, I look at the github repo; and all I'm able to gather is that it's a kind of IO card. What does that say about the BIOS in these systems, though? Could someone knowledgeable take a look and comment?

Here's what Phoronix wrote about it recently:
PhoronixThey confirmed they are not designing their own motherboard but working on "pulling proprietary functionality off the mainboard and onto a custom, open source (hardware and firmware) daughter board."

As far as I understand it, they seem to be trying to go around proprietary hardware (SATA controllers); it appears as if this will not be a truly "free and open" computer, but instead a computer with specifications laid open as far as they can.

In my opinion, "open source computers" would require moving away from x86 hardware, and that is only likely to happen after The Year of the Linux Desktop.
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