Thoughts on System76 Gazelle (gaze17) as a future Qubes laptop?

I’ve been looking at the recent System76 Gazelle laptop, which boasts a i7-12700H 12th gen cpu (24 MB, 14 cores), RTX 3060 (3 external monitors plus laptop screen), 64 gb of DDR4 ram, 17.3" 1080p screen, pre-installed Coreboot, and a pretty good overall design.

Although the processor and graphics cards aren’t compatible with Qubes 4.1.1, I was planning on purchasing the laptop and setting it aside for 2-3 years, with the very reasonable expectation that Qubes will be compatible with this hardware by then. Think of it as me buying a laptop now and putting it in a time capsule.

I’m buying this now, as opposed to buying it in 2-3 years when it will be cheaper, is because I wanna guarantee that it’s in mint condition. I also don’t know if I’ll be able to find it then, since System76 regularly upgrades the hardware it the right one might not be on eBay or another seller then.

However, I understand that this is just one of many options. Whichever laptop I choose, it must have at least 64 GB of RAM (at least DDR4), M.2 or NVMe compatible sockets, a +16 inch screen, support at least 3 external monitors, support Qubes, and support Coreboot (must be on their compatibility list). I’m not looking at Starlabs because their laptops don’t support 4 displays. I’m also not considering Purism for now because of their poor build qualities and bad customer service (although your personal situation may differ, this is generally how things go, I’m not interested in hearing how you got lucky with your purchase).

Should I make the investment today and pick up the System76 Gazelle, or should I get another laptop? If so, which one? Would it be worth it to wait a few years to see what’s available then?

Why do you think the processor isn’t compatible with Qubes 4.1.1?

Bleeding edge tech and the most recent gen of things usually doesn’t work on Qubes. It’s a well-placed bet.

I have made the title mention the laptop model so people can know what it it is before clicking on the thread.

There are several types of Gazelles, which may confuse readers. I hve further edited your title for clarity.

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Based on @siginigin’s Dell G15 5520 report, I’d say chances are pretty good you can start using it now with some troubleshooting and things will get smoother over time. Then again @22kewbz0527’s prolonged struggle with the Oryx Pro (oryp9) would make me hesitate too.

Basically, I agree that these things should smooth out over the years, but as I am sure you are aware no one can give you a guarantee.

In general I really like the idea of the Framework laptop but are not sure it can be configured to meet your requirements. Happy hunting!

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While this post will not be strictly Qubes related, I believe that those on this forum would be interested to read the following about System76.

A quote from the above article:

I saw a few cases of those situations happening recently
  1. System76 / Pop! OS finds a bug (where ‘find’ often means that they confirm an existing upstream bug is impacting their OS version)
  2. They write a patch or workaround, include it in their package but don’t upstream the change/fix (or just drop a .patch labelled as workaround in a comment rather than submitting it for proper review)
  3. Later-on they start commenting on the upstream (Ubuntu, GNOME, …) bugs trackers, pointing out to users that the issue has been addressed in Pop! OS, advertising how they care about users and that’s why they got the problem solved in their OSSystem76 / Pop! OS team, while you should be proud of the work you do for you users I think you are going the wrong way there. Working on fixes and including them early in your product is one thing, not upstreaming those fixes and using that for marketing you as better than your upstreams is a risky game.

I see no reason why popOS should exist, it is a marketing spectacle for a bunch of fixes and UI changes that could be independent software packages or contributed to Ubuntu… I digress.

The laptops sold by System76 are generally purchased whitelabel from a company called Clevo. I was going to purchase from System76 but this article persuaded me to buy direct instead.

Thanks. Do you know where i can find a guide for flashing coreboot to a Clevo laptop? Specifically the Clevo laptops that ship with i7-12700H processors and RTX 3080 Ti cards.

Unfortunately I am a novice at firmware flashing, and don’t have any specific resources to recommend beyond those that you are likely aware of from the coreboot site and communities.

Purchasing any technology with the thought of a possible future use is not recommended. Being in the tech field and seeing the overnight package that was just delivered already out-of-date shows that predicting the future, especially in tech field, is hard. Much better to see what the future brings, including Qubes, rather than trying to ensure an easily reproducible component condition.

What exemplar “package” would be analog as out-of date to this beast?


And again

Imagine 10 years ago someone bought Thinkpad x230 with the idea to run Qubes in 10 years from then. What would you say in 2012? The same?

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In 2012 “insane but your money”. By 2013 Lenovo Computers Banned by the 'Five Eyes' Spy Agencies - Infosecurity Magazine and Chinese computer maker Lenovo banned by Spy Agencies would shake resolve. Time pass and I get confused.
How is Clevo 2022 and Lenovo 2012 hardware similar @enmus?

Although this is all offtopic..

… but I’d say (I already did, actually) that in my threat model I’d rather be spied by Chinese 3LAs than 14-eyes-3LAs. But, when I don’t see the forest because of a tree, I tend to step back - I could say IBM collaborated with Nazis during WWII, a s well as for Japanese concentration camps and on a USA governments request?!
Or, should I mention Intel ME? ME(h)…

That’s a moot point.

If I bought the 2012 Thinkpad in 2012, how would the Chinese adding spyware to their models after 2013 affect me?

For god’s sake, do the chinese have time travel or something?! I fail to see what reasonable point you’re going for here.

It’s the same story with the clevo machine. I’m buying it today, before the addition of any potential future spyware or other unwanted contents.

You buy Clevo not Lenovo. You decide.


If you trust hardware. Enjoy. Compare Gazelle to x230 very speculative - that point.

installing on a system76 gazelle laptop

You can try asking that person if they managed to install Qubes, but judging from the problems with Oryx I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more problems than just getting the installer to work.

I wouldn’t buy a laptop just see if it works a couple of years from now, there is a chance time doesn’t solve all problems. It’s your money, but System76 might discontinue the laptop before it gets fixed, and you could be stuck with a laptop that is never going to work properly.

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