System76 Begins Detailing Their Open-Source "Launch Configurable Keyboard"
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 10 February 2021 at 05:37 PM EST. 51 Comments
HARDWARE --
For months System76 has been teasing that they were getting into prototyping and manufacturing their own keyboards. This moves follows them manufacturing their own cases with the beautifully engineered Thelio line-up while now it looks like they are ready to go public with details on the System76 keyboard.

Like the Thelio computers, System76 is going to be manufacturing their own keyboards at their facility in Denver, Colorado.



After much teasing especially in recent weeks, they have now made public the "launch" repository. This keyboard appears to be called the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard.


The System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard aims to provide the "ultimate user-controlled keyboard experience" and is open-source down to the PCB and mechanical design. The firmware is also open-source.

The keyboard is manufactured out of milled aluminum using two solid blocks and then a powder coated finish. The keyboard also sports a detachable lift bar, a customizable layout and swappable keycaps, and even the switches can be swapped with any MX-compatible footprint.


The System76 Launch Keyboard connects via USB-C / USB-A and offers two USB-C and two USB-A connectors on the keyboard. The keyboard is capable of USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity.

The keyboard firmware supports independent RGB lighting to create your own RGB LED patterns. All of the software and firmware is open-source, firmware updates can be obtained via FWUPD, and the design files are also open-source. The design files in fact were made within the open-source KiCad. For now the details on the keyboard can be found via this GitHub repository while hopefully they will have their formal announcement and complete pictures soon. The keyboard sounds very exciting and should be of interest to many open-source enthusiasts, but will likely cost a premium given its small batch, in-house US manufacturing and the use of the milled aluminum design. Hopefully many more details soon!
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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