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System76 firmware update


Since my first (and unique) System76 laptop purchase I have never had a kind word for this company. I have been always complaining about their policy to support just Ubuntu... However it seems they did some steps toward to non Ubuntu or Pop_os users, in fact I was able to update the firmware just with a usb iso (pop_os!) in demo mode and everything worked totally fine as described in their documentation.

At least for one time System76 were been able to let me say something positive about you! 🍻

https://support.system76.com/articles/laptop-firmware/

#linux #system76 #firmware #ubuntu #laptop #laptops
#linux #system76 #firmware #ubuntu #laptop #laptops firmware (x) laptop (x) linux (x)

We can only realistically support the distributions that we sell on our hardware. Providing support for every distribution would be a nightmare for the engineering and quality assistance teams. QA already has to test every new pull request on Pop 18.04, Pop 19.04, and Ubuntu 18.04 (if provided for Ubuntu).

Installing a different distribution means you know what you're doing. Luckily, compiling and packaging our software on other distributions is easy to do. Everything's on GitHub.

@Michael Aaron Murphy your product line isn’t that large, it doesn’t seem that big of a deal to support at least 2-3 other major distros. Most distros are derived from just a few major ones, so having drivers packaged for the major distros seems to me a reasonable expectation for a ‘gnu/Linux machine’. If that’s too hard you could instead just call it an ‘Ubuntu machine’...

Ismael J doesn't like this.

I totally I agreed.

It was my fault buying your laptop, next time I will not buy a laptop designed for anything related with Ubuntu.

The main issue is manufacturers want tight the os with their hardware. It happens the same with PureOS is a very close derivates of Debian but doesn't work exactly as Debian, it is designed to work with their hardware. Fine, it makes sense form the manufacturers perspective but not for a end-user point. The main difference between Purism and System76 is the former contributes back in upstream to Debian so everyone can take advantage of it, even System76.

Ubuntu from my point of view is a unbalanced distro that take care more of perspective end users rather than power users while Pop_os, that is an Ubuntu derivative, is awfully bonded with systemd. Please stay far away both from me.

I am likely prone to buy another System76 hardware if they would start selling those with RedoxOS as primary OS rather than whatever *buntu and derivates.

By the way from my point of view those companies that sell Linux computers are making an HUGE error when try to constrain everything with their ecosystem, it is against the gnu philosophy, for that reason while them continue to pursu... show more

@Daniel I agree with your points. I just think it’s an unreasonable expectation of them to support Redox... however, it is reasonable to expect them to support, at the very least, the several major GNU/Linux distros that the majority of other distros are based upon - considering it’s a device marketed as a ‘Linux computer’.

I understand that for a commercial entity its easier have relationships with another commercial entity like Canonical. The result unfortunately it is not in line with the general concept of the free-software.

At this point is better buying other computers that work fine with Linux that aren't tailored only for a specific distribution... Especially Ubuntu...

@Daniel Well, I agree 100% with that. But my point wasn't about commercial entities, or not, just that if you want to label a device as a 'Linux machine', well then it should, at the least, work on all the common distros.

I'm certainly not a fan of Ubuntu and Canonical, but my problem is not that they work with them... it's they work with JUST them. If commercial dealings mean we break the trend of Windows preinstalls then I'm not totally against that, but it needs to be non-exclusive to any distro.

The argument Michael M used, that they're already at capacity maintaining compatibility with three (really one) currently supported distros, well, that's just a load of bullshit. It doesn't take that much extra work to maintain drivers for the other major distros. It would mostly be just dealing with different directory conventions, maybe some dependency issues, but I can't imagine it being more than a package manager script could handle.

I mean, am I missing something, the... show more

We are agreed! 👍

Regarding the fimware specifically Systemd76 refused, not sure now, to adopt LVFS which is provided by Red Hat but at least is usable for all. Generally speaking if you contribute back to Debian everything is spread along all the derivates. While if you provide a very basic shell script is (almost) usable everywhere.

By the way System76 can do whatever it wants, but I will not support it again when I will need to buy a new computer or laptop.

@Daniel fwiw, I am in the market for a laptop right now. That’s why I’m particularly interested in this topic. I don’t buy new hardware on a whim like most and find some use for old machines for years to come, so I am trying to make a good decision. Do you have any recommendations? It’s very hard to find Linux specific companies in the USA, and when I do they seem to have issues like these - not true libre / free software supporters, just using it to take advantage of the niche market

As a matter of fact most of the laptops sold by System76 are Clevo laptop rebranded. This might be a good start: https://clevo-computer.com/.

You can also take a look at this list of US sellers:
https://www.debian.org/distrib/pre-installed#us

New Librem13 and Librem15 are pretty cool, but you have to read carefully what PureOS is and how it works respect a Debian distro, it is also shipped with Gnome3, while I use Xfce4 as my primary DE: https://puri.sm/posts/what-is-pureos-and-how-is-it-built/.

Most of the Dell laptop should be running fine with many Linux distro.

And eventually this database based on users installation: https://linux-laptop.net/

@Daniel great info! Thank you very much! I will be digging deeper as soon as im on my desktop

I forgot to mention something else... If you are not in a rush a good compromise about power and free-software might be found in laptops that use the latest Ryzen CPU + VEGA GPU, or a Ryzen APU.

I quickly found this page, ignore the Nvidia GPU based, and take a look at the amd GPU ones, if you have time checking each laptops you can verify if are Linux compatible.

I have to repost it because who read this from Mastodon can't read my comment made from Diaspora...

The main issue is manufacturers want tight their os with their hardware. It happens the same with PureOS, it is a very close derivates of Debian but doesn't work exactly as Debian, it is designed to work with their hardware. Fine, it makes sense from the manufacturers perspective but not for a end-user point. The main difference between Purism and System76 is the former contributes back in upstream to Debian so everyone can take advantage of it, even System76.

Ubuntu from my point of view is a unbalanced distro that takes care more of perspective end users rather than power users, while Pop_os, that is an Ubuntu derivative, is awfully bonded with systemd. Please stay far away both from me.

I am likely prone to buy another System76 hardware if they would start selling those with RedoxOS as primary OS rather than whatever *buntu and derivatives.

By the way from my point of view those companies that sell Linux computers are making an HUGE error when
... show more

I totally disagree. Probably more than 95% of sold computers are made to work on one OS, either Windows or MaOS in case of Apple. Linux being OpenSource can and have found compatibility with most hardware, but that's mostly because of it's open nature and don't forget... The Linux Foundation that works on the kernel is funded by those same companies like Microsoft, IBM, etc. Then it comes a company that somehow made it almost mainstream but still small, to be out their way and sell computers focused on providing Linux for the masses. They are small but dedicated, still managed to created their own OS to provide maximum compatibility with their own hardware. But somehow many feel entitled to ask for more? HP does not provide drivers for my HP laptop nor I have the ability to update the BIOS because I erased Windows. Guess who's gonna trouble shoot? hint, Not HP. The same with Apple. and yet you have the nerve to ask System76 or any other Linux selling provider for that matter to support more than they can handle or should business wise.
The same with other Softwar... show more

Fine, so we have to separate all this matter in computers/laptops that are Linux friendly and the ones that are Ubuntu friendly, in this scenario I select the former ones... So it means that Ubuntu friendly != Linux friendly, this companies must be more clear to avoid confusion on their customers.

@Ismael J HP does provide drivers... some are just straight from hardware vendors, but others are are modified by HP specifically for their machines. And they tend to do this for all the recent and in-use variants of Windows OS. I think that's what we expect from vendors for Linux. How would you feel if HP only gave you drivers for Windows 8 32bit home-edition version that came pre-installed... you cannot get it to work at all with windows 10, Windows 8 Pro, or even older Windows 7 if you hate windows 8. This would be unacceptable, no?

Linux is not a bunch of different OSes (for the most part) it's just different distros, and just like Windows versions, usually the drivers only require minor changes and to be packaged a little differently (for, say, Debian and Fedora) - not totally rewritten or anything like that.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect that a manufacturer selling a 'Linux computer' should provide drivers packaged for the handful of major distros - much lik... show more
This entry was edited (3 months ago)