There is a lot of discussion here in the community about Linux on the Framework Laptop, and most of them can be summarised in the following topics:
Is <any distro name> Linux running on the Framework Laptop?
I am having <any Linux-related issue type> issue on the Framework Laptop
Why don’t you officially support <any distro name other than Ubuntu or Fedora> Linux on the Framework Laptop?
And so on.
@nrp that’s why I’ve had an idea: why don’t create an official Framework OS - a Linux distribution for the Framework Laptop? It could be deriverd from any popular and widespread distribution to make it more familiar to users googling for help (I would suggest Arch, because I love it, but Ubuntu / Fedora should also work fine), it could be branded using the company styleguide and have some stand-out features: well configured, easy to maintain, production ready and packed with some essential software… Something along the lines of Elementary OS, but more Framework-oriented. Most importantly, it could be easily maintained / developed by the community (like any other distro out there) but, at the same time, easier to officially support and, why not, bundle with the Standard Edition as an alternative to Windows.
Sorry to be a party pooper, but I just don’t see the point. Fedora for example already works completely fine out of the box on the Framework laptops, what benefit would you get from the huge amount of effort needed to create and support another distribution?
Even if the Framework team wanted to officially support a Linux distribution, it would probably make more sense to support an already existing distribution (that already works reasonably well) and maybe provide some wallpapers and utilities on top of that, which is what Linux laptop vendors often do.
But the Framework team has probably much more important things to do and they’re probably much better at creating and distributing hardware than software - and they’ll definitely make more money that way.
@Jonathan_Haas I see your point, and it makes sense. My point, however, is that having an official Framework OS would offer some benefit in terms of customer support and “brand identity”. I know, it’s not super-easy to create (and maintain) a Linux distro, but it’s easier if you take an solid and well maintained distro (Fedora, Ubuntu, Arch…) and put your branding and bundle-ing on top of it; most of all, as I suggested, it might be a commuinity-maintained project, and the company may step-in only to refine the branding and, of course, to bundle the distro with the laptop.
It’s not necessarily something that has to be ready tomorrow, but an idea for the future. And, to be completely honest, I would prefer to take my DIY edition, as I did, without any OS on it, so I can install Arch and put my well-estabilished customisation on top of it, discarding the (hypothetical) Framework OS.
I feel like Linux community is already so much fragmented, and I’m against it.
And please it must not be based on one, otherwise it’ll be so much easier to just have a driver bundle / meta package up to the origin distro’s package repository, and have it installed in one go, it will be much easier to maintain and push updates. Tone is not aggressive btw (I’m not native to english).
I think owning the Framework OS is a bad idea. You might imagine the case of System76 with Pop!_OS. System76 is providing open source hardware, firmware. However I feel that System76’s idea is they decide what’s the best, and sell products to users.
But in my opinion Framework’s unique idea is that they provide a “framework” for users to select and decide their best content. This approach covers the “long tail” market. I would like to see that Framework is in the neutral position between Linux distributions and *BSD. As a result, we are gathering in this community beyond the difference of each Linux distribution, and contributing as a collective knowledge. This is beneficial for each of us.
Yeah, it turns out that my idea was not so good at all, but that’s the beauty of discussing it: everybody shared their point of wiew, and I’m not offended at all; when you’re wrong, you’re wrong and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Anyway, my idea came from the enthusiasm for this product and the wish for it to stand out in the crowded market of consumer laptops so it can succeed beyond the expectations and set an example for the rest of the consumer electronic industry. It already stands out, of course, and perhaps the “frills” brought in by a “brand idendity” campaing (such has delivering a custom-branded OS) are not necessary at all.
I have also realised something on my own, which didn’t occur to me while writing about this idea: Framework is not Apple, and it should never be. Therefore, there is not much sense to strictly integrate a custom OS for their hardware, or to push the marketing towards the idea of a close ecosystem. On the contrary: Framework has to be the most open ecosystem in the market!
As bad as my idea is, then, I’m happy that we’ve discussed it, and that some good thoughts came off of it.
I think time will tell. I think some of these linux distro companies with Hardware or Hardware companies with a linux distro are the ones who come out on top. Give it a decade you might be right. I mean look at POP.
I agree. Apple and Framework are very opposite. Apple for “short head” market, and Framework for “long tail” market. Apple decides what the best is, and sell. Framework sell “framework” for users to select and decide what the best is. Both strategies work in a different way. Apple can select the best combination of hardware and software to give users the best experience they think.
There are some other companies the open sourcing hardware and software. But open sourcing the software and hardware is not enough to thrive open ecosystem. Framework just has one product, and the firmware is still proprietary BIOS. However Framework is trying to create systems for users and developers to contribute, and co-create hardware parts. This Framework’s forum system is one of the systems to empower users. I don’t know any other laptop companies that have their own Discourse forum. Framework people’s behaviors on internet is very open. I feel it is sensible for the purpose.
Thanks for providing this topic. It is a nice discussion.
Framework should 100% do this, similar to what System76 has done with PopOS. Yes! Or they should have Ubuntu certify on its hardware. Either way, Linux will need a much better experience. Otherwise, users are going to continue to be frustrated, fill the forums and Framework support channels, etc.
Pray tell, how would they do this? The easiest course of action would to basically take Debian, Arch, OpenSUSE, or whatever and slap their own DE on it. At that point it would be easier to just upstream drivers or whatever else to the project that they would be basing their OS off of. Linux needs no more fragmentation in the market, this is why Linux has the problems it does.
Better idea but involves cost that could be spent elsewhere and would still require the cost of dedicating funds to supporting Ubuntu.
As the OP himself said
Re-read the thread and I think you will understand the momentous task you would be asking Framework to undertake. Not only that but I personally and others on the forum would rather they dev a Free firmware for their product, that would be worth it for all users, instead of a select few (since no small number of users use Windows)
@Trex182 and @GhostLegion it seems to me that the main issue with Linux is hardware compatibility, which is almost a non-issue because it appears that after version 5.15 all the hardware in the Framework laptop is fully supported; the remaining pieces of the puzzle would be the Iris XE graphic and the AX201 wireless drivers, but this is clearly Intel’s job.
To guarantee that every Linux user has a good experience, save for the desktop environment and package management, the easiest course of action for Framework would be to submit all the drivers for its motherboard to the upstream Linux codebase, which would then propagate eventually to all distros downstream. They have already opensourced the Firmware, which is a huge and helpful step, and maybe there is little else to do to complete the task and give an “official” support for Linux with a very minimum effort.
I understand what you mean by brand identity. Its a good way of thinking however I think for this situation it would he a negative. Let me explain there are already many distributions out there using the gnu system or another that has included some sort of modified linux kernel. Fundamentally they are all similar in a regard and the laptop can work amazingly well on all of them provided one were to be able to actually have the knowledge to make it work on some of the ‘unique’ ones. Open source software in the end is about you taking the system modifying it ricing it to your needs and your use cases and your preferences and to what you exactly need. A totally free system is a system that you own and is something that is unique to you in a sense. So making a distribution or basing it off another will put a huge toll on the already small framework team causing them to spend more money and spend less time on improving the hardware (which in this case is the number one priority to see more devices like this one in the future). There are a plethora of more reasons why this would be a terrible idea but I admire and appreciate the support you gave the framework community and I hope all our contributions will help change the future and give rise to more free and open hardware such as this one.
The will of Richard Stallman is still alive and will never cease to be.
As most know, the no. of people using Linux compared to windows is more than that of the general world, meaning there are many Linux users of the framework laptop.
As most also know, this is for really good reasons.
And many want to have a framework distro. (See YT comments and reddit and other places)
Please discuss the features, and if it will really be made, in this Topic.
(Note: This Distro mostly won’t happen, so we’re just discussing the features of the hypothetical framework distro)
The Linux kernel is good, but there are some 'microkernel’s that have more modern security and technology, with more efficiency. They just don’t have drivers and are still pre-release.
Using them as optional for the distro would be good.