Does Anyone Here Have Extensive Experience with System76 Laptops?

I am NOT currently in the market for new computers, having purchased several from ZaReason last year.

Unfortunately at this time ZaReason appears to be, if not moribund, somewhat inactive regarding laptop computers.

I will eventually want/need to buy new computer(s).

I prefer to purchase computers from companies that support Linux, which of course includes System76.

However, as on operating system, System76 supports only Ubuntu as well as their own OS Pop!_OS (which is derived from Ubuntu). I do not care for these systems (though I have never personally used Pop!_OS). (If I were to want to use a Debian-based operating system, it definitely would be MX Linux.)

I believe that System76 computers ship with some of their own (proprietary?) drivers. Is that correct?

If that is correct, how does that affect installation/use of EndeavourOS? (I am aware that System76 drivers, etc., are in the AUR.)

I would like to hear from anyone who has (and is having) extensive use of EndeavourOS on a System76 computer, preferably a laptop.

Thank you.

Lawrence

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It’s all Linux. No matter which distribution you’re running. If one distribution supports your hardware it is possible to install also other distributions. Depending on the the hardware, the work and effort you have to invest might differ. Maybe one distribution runs completely out of the box whereas you might have to research things when you want to use another distribution.
I don’t have any experience with that brand. I would just write a mail or make a phone call and ask if their installations require a special kind of setup. Maybe they will tell you which kernel is used with their systems, if proprietary drivers are needed and if that’s the case, where to get those. Tell them what distribution you want to install. Maybe they have some experience/knowledge.

Hello @lhb1142
As @Trekkie00 has said i would talk to System76 directly. They now have lifetime telephone support and you get to actually talk to someone. Two of their new laptops the lemur pro, and the darter pro come with system76 open firmware with core boot which i think is a plus. It’s not a proprietary firmware like most manufacturers have. It is designed to boot fast and be secure etc. It is open source and was designed for Linux formerly known as LinuxBios. The engineers who work on Coreboot also have contributed to the Linux kernel.

I’m sure they would be quite happy to talk to you about their products design, capabilities and compatibility with other Linux distro’s including EndeavourOS (Arch)
I would also want to know some things because i think they use systemd for boot. So you would want to ask about these things such as grub, rEFInd etc that there are no issues with other distros and setting it up the way you want with coreboot. Also they are working hard to have open source hardware. So yes i would have some questions but from what i know and have seen with hardware and manufacturers i would try their product until i had a reason not to. One never knows but do your research and look at reviews. Also definitely speak to them directly and let them know that you would like to buy their product but you have these concerns. Tell them up you are going to install another distro and get your answers before you make a purchase.

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The latest news says Lenovo will start shipping Thinkpads with linux pre-installed.


Of course, there are more Utube videos on this subject if interested.

Pudge

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But only Fedora and Ubuntu. Ubuntu will only be for corporate purchases as far as I know, might change before launch. Lenovo will upstream it’s drivers etc to mainline kernel too.

Then there is Slimbook, Tuxedo, Star Labs who do Linux laptops.

Personally I went with a Lenovo X1 Carbon 8th Gen and put EOS on it. Of I would live in US or Canada I would probably would have bought the Lemur Pro. Pop_OS is very good and sit laptops pretty much work with any distro.

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Thinkpads are very linux compatible.

Exactly. So if it runs with Fedora it will run with EOS.

Only certain models.

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If it runs with Fedora it will run with whatever distribution you choose. If it runs with Ubuntu you will get it running with nearly all distributions out there.

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Yup, since Dell is partnered with Ubuntu to sell systems preinstalled with linux, Lenovo partnered with Fedora. All Thinkpad and Thinkstations will be available. While I’m not a BIG fan of either Ubuntu or Fedora, if I’m forced to choose, I’ll take Fedora every day of the week now that Ubuntu is replacing packages with snaps.

According to my experience Lenovo hardware runs great using openSUSE. There should be no problem at all running EndeavourOS. I know a little of both OSs.

You can also have a look at https://www.ubuntushop.be
The name of the site has ubuntu in it but they actually ship multiple distros including two arch-based.

I owned a System76 laptop (Gazelle) for a bit. I ran a bunch of different distros on it… but not EOS… Manjaro was sort of my stepping stone into the Arch world and I’d just discovered Manjaro at the time it blew up … but prior to that, Manjaro ran fine.

Honestly, I didn’t have any issues with any other distro. All installed fine, ran fine… I don’t recall the S76 driver really making it run any differently when I ran Pop_OS! … it may have added restore support … I don’t remember.

The hardware in it was all pretty standard though… I don’t recall having to go out of my way to get anything to work in any distro.

The S76 driver itself is here : https://github.com/pop-os/system76-driver

If you’re curious and feel like reading the source, that’s what’s in it. Hell, if you’re inspired enough, you could probably figure out a way to port it… but I don’t think it would be worth the time/effort. I don’t think there’s anything in there that you can’t just install manually if you need to.

All that being said, it was not my favorite laptop to use. The keyboard had a bit of flex to it and the touchpad was just big enough that my palms would bump it now and then while typing and send the cursor flying. The screen was… OK… and it always felt like it was more sluggish than it needed to be based on the hardware that was in it.

It was the first model (I believe) of the Gazelle, though, and I hear the newer ones are nicer. I’ve not tried one. I really do like the Oryx Pro and it’ll likely be my next laptop once the one I’m on now kicks the bucket.

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Doesn’t have anything to do with Dell. Lenovo has certified many of it’s computers for Ubunta for a long time. And now they will also start to sell it with Ubuntu.

Fedora will only be available for three different models the 1 carbon me the P-series.

Dear b4yp,

Thank you for your response. Yours is the first one which closely addressed my question about hearing from people who have actually used and are using EndeavourOS on a System76 computer, in other words, those with actual hands-on experience.

While you haven’t used EOS on a System76 computer, Manjaro, in my opinion, is close enough so that your experience (and your impressions of the build-quality of your System76 computer) are of great interest to me.

The reason that I never considered System76 before is because it appears that their computers are distro-specific and an owner might have to “run through hoops” to get a different OS to run on their computers.

I know that Dell and Lenovo support Linux. I personally have EndeavourOS running (perfectly) on an Alienware (made by Dell) computer and an Asus “Republic of Gamers” one. I even had Manjaro running perfectly on an Acer computer.

But, with these mainstream brands converted to Linux, certain VERY MINOR functions (which, frankly, are not of any use to me) do not function whereas, on a computer specifically designed for Linux, all designed-in functions do work.

If they are still around at some future time when I want or need a new computer, I would strongly consider ZaReason. Their computers are well-constructed, use high-quality “inners,” and, as they are Linux-only but not OS-specific, they work well with ANY GNU/Linux distribution.

As I stated, I am NOT currently in the market to buy a new computer. So, at this time, there is no reason for me to contact System76. But I want to familiarize myself with the various brands that support GNU/Linux distributions (such as System76) for possible purchase in the future. And I want to know how well EndeavourOS in particular works on them.

I do hope that some others who have actual hands-on experience with System76 computers and EOS (if there are any) will respond here.

Thank you.

Lawrence

I think the point you may be missing is that Lenovo is in the process making some computers which are designed to work with Linux fully. While these computers will be shipping with Ubuntu/Fedora/RHEL pre-installed, since Lenovo is ensuring they work with Linux and upstreaming any changes this means they will work with any Linux distro that has a current kernel.

This is very different than what we have said historically which is more like “Thinkpads are well supported in Linux”. This is good news for Linux.

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Lawrence,

No problem. Hope that was somewhat helpful!

I know that my experience is on older S76 hardware so may not be super-relevant to today’s hardware. I’ve heard that it’s improved a lot over the years, though, to the point where I’d consider buying another one.

I also have EOS running on all Dell hardware of various vintages and haven’t had issues. Everything works perfectly on all of them. (Alienware (ca. 2013), Latitude (ca 2007) and Inspiron (ca. 2014))… Not so much that I prefer Dell… just moreso that’s what was available, inexpensive, and not HP when I went looking for a computer since I typically don’t buy new.

Anyow, again, hope my reply was somewhat helpful. I’ve not heard of ZaReason. I’ll have to check them out!

Thanks!

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Their site is < https://zareason.com/ >. I have been purchasing their computers since 2010. Their MediaBox (desktop) computer is a superb media center computer which I use in our home theater. Their laptop computers are also superb. But, as of recently, they’re offering only two laptops and only one of them is in stock.

That’s the reason that I am investigating other computer manufacturers which specifically support Linux.

Thank you for your replies to me.

Lawrence

@lhb1142
Check out the new Oryx Pro

Geee, another gigantic laptop that I would hate…

I don’t understand what they have against portable laptops…13.3" guys, it’s what people who actually CARRY their laptops want!!!

Everyone with their needs. Depending on their use-case, some would only consider a laptop above 15". Be that 15.6" or 17".
Btw, there are manufacturing focusing predominantly on sub 15" laptops.
There’s no way for every manufacturer to please everyone. But I think at this point it’s easier for everyone to find something matching their needs.