System76 To Release A "New Open-Source Computer"
Posted this morning to the System76 blog they announced, "System76 is releasing a new open-source computer, available for preorder next month."
While they have shipped pre-loaded PCs with Ubuntu (and now their Ubuntu-derived Pop!_OS) for over a decade, none of their systems have been "open-source" at the hardware level nor using Coreboot/Libreboot/LinuxBoot or the like. Their hardware up to this point has largely been based on Clevo hardware. Are they now venturing into the more open-source hardware scene?
System76 Founder/CEO Carl Richell posted a few days ago on Twitter that at this week's Open Hardware Summit they will be showing off "soon-to-be-released open hardware desktop." That desktop might be called "Thelio."
For months they have been working on their plans to begin manufacturing their own desktop PCs and have been sharing their progress as well on Twitter:
The powder coat booth is complete. pic.twitter.com/ECFgAejSGo— Carl Richell (@carlrichell) August 3, 2018
800 pounds of aluminum parts for the new desktop line. pic.twitter.com/q7kUAQOAXm— Carl Richell (@carlrichell) September 19, 2018
Testing water temperatures for powder coating techniques today! pic.twitter.com/1t5PR5KvyC— System76 (@system76) September 18, 2018
It's quite possible their upcoming desktop(s) will be open in terms of the chassis schematics and any other custom parts going into the system, but at this stage it doesn't appear they are pursuing any ARM / RISC-V / POWER route for a truly open hardware platform. It will be surprising if their actual PC desktop components are anything other than off-the-shelf x86_64 hardware, but will be intriguing if this open-source computer at least aims for Coreboot/Libreboot, etc.
Anyhow, we should have more answers in the next few weeks and any details that escape the Open Hardware Summit happening at MIT through the end of the week.