Idea for Framework laptops in organisations, schools and families: many-to-many ownership

Given, that it is possible to have no internal storage and have the entire installation on an external module, I think the Framework laptop enables a unique feature:

Buy one or more devices and let every user have a distinct storage module.

  • For example a family could have two Framework laptops and the kids would each have a 250 gb module and the parents would each have a 1 tb module. This way the OS, apps and data are segregated.
  • Or an organization (or school) could buy a load of Framework laptops and a tb module for each employee (or student).

Not sure if this idea has already floated around here or if there are other products that already enable this.
What do you guys think?


Sounds unconventional but workable. Obviously comes with drawbacks, and I would personally prefer using network booting, but who knows, as with everything it’s about whether the application fits the use case.

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I think that’s an interesting concept. Wondering if it could be taken further and just use the microSD to boot. I’m probably wrong but I thought the UFS microSD’s have a faster throughput than the modules do. I also thought about using the FW for thin clients but it would be cost prohibitive and the FW would be overkill IMHO.

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Reese, typically a microSD would be much slower for purposes like booting for an OS. The reason is that OS tasks have heavy mixes of read/write while simultaneously not being sequential. This means you benefit by having higher random read/write performance, and my understanding is that even UFS microSDs will struggle a lot with this. You also have to deal with the problem of heat affecting the memory control unit, and microSD cards simply don’t have a lot of area to dissipate that heat.


This would work really well with Linux where there’s no activation requirement and the kernel would support the hardware no matter what the configuration or CPU was. For Windows I think you would need to have each user have a license associated with their Microsoft account and there is a limit to how many activations you can do in a given period of time.

This would be really cool with Neverware CloudReady which is a ChromeOS minus the Android runtime, based on the open source Chromium OS. The one BIG downside is the current TPM implementation, in my experience when ChromiumOS is installed it takes ownership of the TPM which is a chip that the stores encryption keys tied to your account so if you move the storage into another device the please don’t be there and this essentially resets your installation.

I believe there is a way to disable the TPM which should cause CloudReady to fall back to a software implementation but I haven’t tested that recently.