Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 23:46

I have a 'GNU/Linux Computers' article in 2019. And in late 2019 until early 2020, I have not found any website summarizing these four awesome laptop brands in one place: Purism Librem, KDE Slimbook, Pine64 Pinebook, and Kubuntu Focus. If you care about free software community and following their social networks like Reddit or Mastodon, you will find these names being discussed a lot lately. So I write this summary that informs you stuffs interesting from them. Why? Because computer that is manufactured for GNU/Linux is important for us GNU/Linux users and community. Enjoy this article!

Subscribe to UbuntuBuzz Telegram Channel to get article updates directly.

About This Article

I care about our community. I feel happy if people using GNU/Linux happily as their computers (hardware) support it. On the contrary, of course I don't feel happy if I or people find their computers do not work with it. That makes people downgrade to proprietary operating system which we all know are often malware. So for me vendors that make effort to make GNU/Linux computers make great help and benefit for us all. Help because it remove barriers to use GNU/Linux. Benefit because it empowers community. And, they make GNU/Linux mainstream from the perspective of users.

A user who purchased a GNU/Linux laptop can run it normally without wifi problem, nor VGA problem, nor any usual hardware issues as the vendor made it working before they sell it out. It is not things we can get easily and clearly from popular vendors like ASUS, Acer, Toshiba, and others. That is what I want to be a reality. Remember Windows, which created its own community thanks to computer vendors who shipped it preinstalled so people do not have barriers to use it; in same sense I want such things to happen with GNU/Linux. That is why I really like Purism, Slimbook, Pine64, and Tuxedo making great effort to make it reality. And now in 2020 I see the real things started to rise. What do you think?

Note: I do not have any nor already purchased any of these computers (although of course I want to buy one when I have enough money) and I am not endorsed by any of these vendors.

1. Purism Librem

This is personally my favorite. Do you know Purism? It is a United States based company that produce PureOS, a purely free operating system certified by the FSF, that sells Librem laptops, a series of computers that are 100% compatible to GNU/Linux operating system. Things I love the most from Purism is their branding, they are popular in social medias (even they replied to my tweet!) and tried a lot to reach people as close as possible, these are things that made other OSes popular. In technical side, I admire they are doing others didn't, they are publishing their hardware designs to enable free software community to produce free (as in freedom) hardware. What I really respect is that the hardware designs are created with free software in free document formats too (namely gEDA, KiCAD). They are making GNU/Linux laptops mainstream in both user and manufacturer ways.

Librem Computers from Purism
(screenshot taken from

2. KDE Slimbook

I am a KDE user and I teach it on my online course. Everyone knows me on GNU/Linux Communities in Indonesia knows I use KDE. So when KDE Slimbook appeared for the first time I was really happy. I wish someday I can get that awesome laptop.

KDE Slimbook with other Slimbook computers
(screenshot taken from

3. Pine64 Pinebook

Pinebook is a low-priced under $100 GNU/Linux laptop. Oh, and do you remember Canonical's Ubuntu Touch which was discontinued? They now continuing it with PinePhone, along with other mobile GNU/Linux operating systems, such as Plasma Mobile and Postmarketos. These are why our community now especially at social medias talking about Pine64 dearly.

Pinebook Laptops
(screenshot taken from

4. Kubuntu Focus

As I said I love KDE, when lately Kubuntu Focus announced for first time, it increased my joy as now there are two KDE laptops which are amazing. The vendor between Focus is Tuxedo, same vendor behind Manjaro Laptops. I reviewed Tuxedo's in 2019. This one is a high-end brand for pro-users. The website even tells several workflows for photography, image editing, gaming, and more. For the branding, I admire the K name in its URL,, as us KDE users know KDE is popular with K naming as we found in apps Konqueror, KDevelop, KTorrent, Kalzium, and so on.

Kubuntu Focus laptop
(screenshot taken from

My Comments 

Of course there are more vendors like System76, ThinkPenguin, Vikings, Minifree, Technoethical, Manjaro Laptops, Ubuntu Laptops, and more and I wish them all success, but here I deliberately picked up names I want to emphasize. I just wish that magazines and websites review these hardware a lot. I wish people to see this and tell their friends that GNU/Linux are already available right now and beyond. I want people to know this and support these vendors along with their community in any way they can.

The Future?

I stated in several older articles that I want to see official elementary OS laptop. Here, I wish in the future we can see printers, scanners, video cards, wifi cards, manufactured and branded solely for GNU/Linux as libre hardware.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.