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System76 Virgo Aims To Be The Quietest Yet Most Performant Linux Laptop

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  • #21
    Originally posted by mirmirmir View Post

    I don't think business people wants clevo laptop
    Business people want whatever makes them pass information security audits, without which getting big customers is impossible. What has MDM options available, anti-malware solutions checking all the boxes, remote monitoring of what employees are doing, and so on. And this is not Linux.


    • #22
      Originally posted by andyprough View Post

      That's a bit harsh. I've certainly rehabbed and gotten mileage out of old, free computers with a GNU/Linux distro over the years. I've also spent plenty of money at other times...
      No. It's spot on. If you're only buying used equipment then you're not their customer, nor are you a customer of Dell, Lenovo, HP, or any other OEMs despite brand name on the hardware. That means they really don't have to care what you think because you'll never buy from them. Used equipment buyers aren't customers of the OEMs or even VARs, they're customers of the resellers. The only person you're a customer of is the person you exchanged consideration with. That's a fundamental contract and sales concept. You can spend thousands of dollars on a used IBM workstation from resellers to upgrade, improve, or clean it up to get it into running order. But that doesn't make you an IBM customer, and as such IBM has no duty to you without a service contract. That doesn't mean they won't pay attention to well framed arguments, but your opinions hold far less weight compared to paying customers.

      Who're System76's customers? Independent professionals and businesses that want warranty support - specifically they want a system that was put together and tested to support Linux, not Windows. There's a quality assurance difference. Time is money. Time lost on figuring out buggered Linux drivers because the WIFI card revision (or any other Windows peripheral) changed and only works with Windows is money lost and not acceptable in the business world.


      • #23
        Hopefully this laptop is nicer than the Thelio Mira. On that desktop, there are a bunch of odd design choices that make for an annoying experience.

        First, there is the Thelio I/O board. The AVR microcontroller doing fan duty is totally pointless (i.e. the mobo can do the job just fine), and it also intercepts the power button and LED for some reason (again, things the mobo can already handle). Instead, this board ends up requiring its own firmware and drivers and represents yet another part that can fail. The SATA power fan-out is arguably useful, though, and at least that doesn't require special drivers from Pop!_OS (which not everybody or organization wants to run, btw).

        Then there is the wonky fan setup for the CPU and rear exhaust fan. They went with a Noctua CPU fan ducted to a very near BeQuiet rear exhaust fan, and only the Noctua fan actually seems to be quiet. I haven't played with this enough to get to the bottom of it, but the note from this desktop is a super irritating groan for some reason.

        Lastly, I'm not a fan of the complete lack of front I/O, but I understand having any would mess with their clean aesthetics.

        All that aside, at least they make clear what parts they use and are quite open about the design, so if you want to tinker with it, you can. That seems a peculiar route for someone buying a pre-built desktop, though.

        A laptop is going to have a lot more touch points for firmware and other System76 special sauce to make a difference, so hopefully they dial that in better than on the Thelio.


        • #24
          Originally posted by patrakov View Post

          Business people want whatever makes them pass information security audits, without which getting big customers is impossible. What has MDM options available, anti-malware solutions checking all the boxes, remote monitoring of what employees are doing, and so on. And this is not Linux.
          Actually, a lot of business endpoint security support Linux systems these days because that's what the webservers, HPC, and some back end developers are using. Edge appliances for security services still run Linux for the most part. Consumer and desktop business anti-malware gave up on Linux support because there's no money in that. All the money is enterprise server customers and cloud services anti-malware. But you're right, check boxes matter even if it's only in lip service - which is unfortunate because threats to Linux and Mac are very real and in regular use these days.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Nille_kungen View Post
            Those pictures made me think about an Thinkpad T60 i had long ago, it was one of the best laptop i ever owned.
            It even had a light that lit up the keyboard from above where the camera are located now, i miss that little feature when traveling and i need to read something from a paper when it's dark like on a train.
            Why doesn't laptops have that light anymore, using my smartphone as a flashlight isn't the same thing and it disturbs others.
            A small LED that actually made a difference.
            I think the last one to have that light was the Thinkpad T430 in 2012.


            • #26
              Spam Filters .... Soooo cool. Write a comment and use the a Y2K+ oof-word and be barred from communicating.

              I've said it many times, vBulletin is trash. The automated filters are trash. This site could thrive moving away from such deadweight.


              • #27
                Originally posted by sophisticles View Post
                They are trying to create a "premium" laptop, to market it to a bunch if cheapskates, me included, that would rather buy a used laptop
                Your own personal preference isn't everyone. I buy laptops every 6 years or so, precisely because I am not a cheapskate. A lot of professional types do the same. Certainly enough of us out there to sustain a small business.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by piotrj3 View Post

                  There is nothing wrong with Clevo, if you look at best Clevo laptops review, they actually prize their quality of making and long battery life. There were some clevo laptops (especially in the past) with too poor cooling performance but if system76 can design cooling etc. Clevo absolutly have good machinery to make it feel quality.
                  Company itself can only rebrand laptop, they don't even have control over hardware and firmware blobs come with it. Let alone guarantee security and privacy of the laptop they are selling.

                  People here are misleading others when talking about warranty, what they should be saying is empty promises, because warranty means you can hold the company responsible when things go wrong after you buy the product. Which is not something this company is providing at all.


                  • #29
                    I as a "business person" I value first principles security and right to repair.
                    1. The most performant & secure system, to my knowledge, that a consumer can buy is from RaptorCS. Compatibility, mobility and cost are concerns for the average business user they focus on hardcore users and on-prem servers
                    2. System76 is currently the best option for someone that is looking for fast, relatively secure device that they own and have a right to repair and upgrade. The laptops are priced well and build quality seems good. The hardware is new and is easy to upgrade RAM and storage unlike most laptops
                    3. Purism is another decent option also but at the moment they are limited to older Intel chips only
                    4. Chromebooks are decent but not as performant at the moment
                    5. Pine64 is also worth mentioning, cool products but also not very fast
                    In the past I have bought Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, etc. I was happy with those products in the past. Today it's a different story. Dell used to offer official RHEL support. Asus is apparently good but none of the Zenbooks that's available here works well with Linux (e.g. ). Neither I nor my employees have time to muck around custom system configs. After macOS Catalina (EoL 30 Nov 2022) Apple has become more invasive than Windows 10 & 11 in terms of spying on their customers and that there's no option of disabling low level services. There are people working really hard to get Linux to work but it's not ready for being a daily driver. Dell is an utter disappointment at the moment, not only have they stopped supporting Linux but they cost almost as much as Apple in my area. I looked at a Dell laptop with 8gb RAM soldered into the board for the same price for a System76 laptop with 32gb RAM. It's an absolute joke.

                    System76 might become the Apple of libre hardware e.g. expensive but good investment. You actually own the hardware that you pay for and they don't deliberately prevent upgrades or repairs.‚Äč Not a lot of people know about System76, but as long as they continue on their current path they will become popular. I just hope they don't sell out.

                    Originally posted by patrakov View Post

                    Business people want whatever makes them pass information security audits, without which getting big customers is impossible. What has MDM options available, anti-malware solutions checking all the boxes, remote monitoring of what employees are doing, and so on. And this is not Linux.
                    TL;DR There are many types of business people. Certifications have grey areas. Linux is customizable.

                    We are conflating a few things here.
                    1. What type of business people
                    2. Which industries
                    3. Why do you need MDM
                    4. Is it necessary to have fully functional MDM to pass regulation
                    1&2. You get many types of industries and inside of those industries you get many very different types of business people whether that's ops, sales, legal, HR or managers of those branches and the list goes on... It sounds like you are exclusively talking about moronic, financial, corporate. Most corporates that I worked with in the past 5 to 10 years have switched to Apple because buying cheap Windows trash is expensive in the long run. The productivity boost from being able to switch from one device to another is also a win for them. Whether that's from getting ransomware, device getting stolen or simply upgrading to a new device. You are certainly correct that very few of these people would use Linux most don't know it exists. These are not the only type of business people...

                    There are fintech, biotech, telecoms, IoT and other software companies that have a very small team of highly qualified employees that go after big customers and contracts. Just like brain-dead corporate most of these companies also need to go through regulation. In many of these cases the software engineers would use Linux as their products would use Linux at the end of the day. Granted this has been more challenging in the past few years for various reasons, less hardware options is one of them, but many engineers that used Linux in the past, and or during their studies, have now opted for things like WSL2.

                    3. My employees and I have gone through various certifications. It's the usual bureaucratic trash you expect, I'm sure you know what it's like. I worked with a small fintech company that went from being worth nothing to $70 million USD in ~3 years. Majority of the company used Linux laptops. We had to get various ISO certifications including those that required MDM...

                    Why do these bureaucratic regulatory trash exist? Big companies like Linkedin and old school financial companies that are still in the process of going digital are the main culprits. There have been many others and there will also be many others in the future. These companies that leak customer's personal data do don't follow, or in most cases, don't know / care about industry standards. Code audits are useful and it would have made the Linkedin leak less severe. Some ISPs that I have used still store passwords as plaintext. I wouldn't mind if there was more regulation to prevent that from happening. On the other side MDM requirements are not very useful. In many causes it's to prevent user errors, like opening a invoice.pdf.exe while having extensions hidden for known file types and or just mindlessly clicking YES for Windows UAC prompts. There's also 0-days and malicious employees but with "proper multi-layer 2FA & SSO" these risks are dramatically reduced. Finally you have some some NDA code or user data that you are studying which requires MDM to verifiy for disk encryption and make sure you don't install dodgy software.

                    4. If you trust your employees not to mindlessly "curl | sudo sh" or "docker run XYZ" or "sudo npm install -g" then you can go for the least invasive, or potentially even broken MDM software that doesn't work properly but will give you the needed checks for regulatory purposes. You obviously won't communicate that to the regulator or insurance authorities. Yet some of the products out there basically give you the verification without doing much. The downside being that you are limited to specific distros / distro versions. If you can't trust your employees and need proper protection there are decent products that do a good job with Linux. Just because Linux is open source or allows unrestricted customization doesn't imply that it can't be locked down. Android is more locked than Windows. I have seen RHEL, SUSE and Ubuntu being locked down and remotely monitored in a similar way to what typical Windows MDM works. I'm sure companies are working on doing the same for Cloud distros like Amazon, Oracle and even Microsoft. Maybe you get that already. I haven't checked up on this recently.

                    Linux is like water.

                    PS: I have not worked with legal / insurance of billion dollar companies. I could see that they have a strict list of "security software" (you know the type that focuses on PR, sales and majority of the company including the web devs do not know what entropy is) seriously though hardware contracts from such big companies probably won't go to someone as small as System76 anyway so the argument doesn't have much practical value.
                    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 31 May 2023, 03:46 PM.


                    • #30
                      I read through the responses and the thing people don't get is that System76 is competing against the big boys in laptops, Dell, HP and the like.

                      I can tell you that Dell and HP offer buyers of their laptops something that no small boutique vendor can, free Windows licenses.

                      Now i know these guys are targeting Linux users, but consider this, they are pricing their products similar to, and in some cases more, than what you would spend to buy a Dell or HP.

                      I have done this a number of times, I have bought a laptop top from either Staples or Microcenter after it has a;ready been out for a year, so i get it at a significant discount. I buy a model that is low on ram and hard drive space, for instance the laptop I am using at the moment originally came with Win 10 Home, 8gb ram, 128gb nvme and 1tb 4200rpm spinning rust.

                      As soon as i bought it i also bought a 1tb nvme, 1tb ssd and 16gb of fast ram.

                      HP laptops, and Dell's, are very easy to upgrade, and HP/Dell seem to have a deal with MS, if you have a motherboard/cpu from either of these two, when you go to install Win 10, you can install a free copy without activation or license key, the Win 10 installer recognizes it is being installed on a HP or Dell.

                      In an hour i had a Win 10 / Linux dual boot for about half what I would pay from someone like System76.

                      As i said, these guys need to offer something unique, either an unbeatable price, unconventional hardware, something i can't get any place else.

                      The claims about a warranty are silly, I would trust these guys warranty over Dell, HP, Asus, Sony, et al.

                      i am fairly positive that no one that came to their defense in this thread has ever bought one of their products nor ever will.