System76 Introduces two Intel Comet Lake Linux Laptops with Coreboot Firmware

Intel officially launched Comet Lake processors last August with Y-series (4.5-5.5W TDP) and U-Series (15W TDP) targeting 2-in-1 hybrid laptops and tablets. Since several Windows 10 Comet Lake laptops launched such as OneMix 3Pro 8.4″ mini laptop with an Intel Core i5-10210Y Comet Lake-Y processor.

If you’d rather get a Comet Lake laptop running Linux, System76 got you covered with two models, namely Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops running a choice of Pop!_OS 19.10 (64-bit), Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS (64-bit), or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (64-bit) operating systems, as well as System76 open firmware based on Coreboot, EDK2, and System76 firmware apps.

Comet Lake Linux Laptop

Galago Pro & Darter Pro share many of the same specifications, except for the display, battery, and other items highlighted in bold:

  • SoC (one of the other)
    • Intel Core i5-10210U  quad-core/eight-thread processor @ 1.6 GHz / 3.9 GHz (turbo all cores) / 4.2 GHz (turbo one core), 24EU Intel UHD graphics; 6MB Cache; 15W TDP
    • Intel Core i7-10510U quad-core/eight-thread processor @ 1.8 GHz / 4.3 GHz (turbo all cores) / 4.9 GHz (turbo one core); 24EU Intel UHD graphics; 8MB Cache; 15W TDP
  • System Memory – Up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR4 @ 2666 MHz
  • Storage
    • Galago Pro – Up to 6TB M.2 SSD, 2.5″ 7mm height drive; SD card reader
    • Darter Pro – Up to 2TB M.2 SATA or PCIe NVMe SSD; SD card reader
  • Display
    • Galago Pro – 14.1″ matte display with 1920×1080 resolution
    • Darter Pro – 15.6″ matte display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Video Output – HDMI, MiniDP
  • Audio
    • Galago Pro – Stereo Speakers, Mic, Headphone Jack, Mic Jack, 5.1 channel (HDMI)
    • Darter Pro – Stereo Speakers, Mic, 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone), 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Microphone/ S/PIDF Optical) , 5.1 channel (HDMI)
  • Camera – 720p HD Webcam
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Wireless-AC, Bluetooth 5
  • USB – 1x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A ports, Darter Pro only: 1 x USB 2.0
  • User Input – Multitouch touchpad, backlit chiclet US QWERTY keyboard
  • Security – Disabled ME (Intel Management Engine), Kensington Lock
  • Battery
    • Galago Pro – 35.3 Wh Li-Ion battery
    • Darter Pro – 54.5 Wh Li-Ion battery
  • Power Supply
    • Galago Pro – 40W, AC-in 100–240 V, 50–60 Hz
    • Darter Pro – 65W, AC-in 100–240 V, 50–60 Hz
  • Dimensions & Weight
    • Galago Pro – 330 x 225 x 18 mm; 1.3 kg
    • Darter Pro – 360.4 x 244.6 x 19.8 mm; 1.6 kg


System76 Galago Daster Keyboard & Ports
Click to Enlarge

Pop_OS! is System76 Linux distributions based on Ubuntu LTS,  optimized for their hardware, and with a focus on privacy as for example, encryption is enabled by default. With that in mind, System76 also disabled Intel Management Engine (IME) and wrote open-source firmware based on Coreboot whose code can be found here.  Beside better security, boot times are said to be 29% faster. However as pointed out by Phoronix, the “open-source firmware” still relies on some binary blobs provided by Intel.

System76 has started taking pre-orders for the two Comet Lake Linux laptops with Galago Pro going for $949 and up, and Darter Pro for $999 and up. Orders are customizable, and depending on accessories and options your total cost can add up to over $3,000. For example, there’s a UK keyboard option that adds $119 to the cost, which makes me feel keyboard stickers or covers are not that bad after all ;).

Via Liliputing

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4 years ago

ANSI vs ISO keyboard. No stickers in the world will solve the layout difference.

4 years ago

Thanks for this link, while I was used to use these different layouts, I never knew they were ANSI and ISO, today I learned something!

4 years ago

Personally I can’t stand ANSI layout. I guess it’s a matter of what you start out using. It’s a real hassle though, especially when your native language has additional letters, as ANSI keyboards makes it really hard to just swap to your language, as some of the keys aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Sometimes it’s the little things…

Anton Fosselius
4 years ago

i run svdvorak layout, i am screwed anyway, but hey, who looks at the keyboard? ^_^

4 years ago

I agree. The stupid small enter key is one of the worst things a keyboard could have, besides 2 alt keys. Alt Gr is necessary even if you speak english only because is a way of having shorcuts to more symbols that could become handy, and keep the damn enter with a decent size.

4 years ago

Finally a laptop with network connectivity and touchpad buttons. These are becoming rare nowadays! It’s not cheap but I’m seeing this possibly compete with high-end ones like thinkpads so the pricing possibly remains fair for such use cases.

4 years ago

“the “open-source firmware” still relies on some binary blobs provided by Intel.”

So much for freedom.

Khadas VIM4 SBC