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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition (frame.work)
565 points by artogahr 12 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 461 comments

I hesitated posting this, because I don't want to be too negative, but: ugh. ChromeOS is just more Google adware/tracking-ware, locking people into the Google ecosystem, and (by default, at least) creating a more locked-down environment than a general-purpose OS would have (not quite iOS or even Android, but still not with the flexibility of a "mainstream" OS). I feel like Framework could be spending their time doing much better things. Granted, if they believe that this will be a big boost to their bottom line / margins / sustainability, then I'm in favor of it on the grounds of helping make sure Framework is a successful company.

My hope was that this is just running on the standard Framework laptop hardware, but it looks like it required a bit of a mainboard redesign, as well as a different input cover and keyboard. Extra hardware like that just makes their offering more difficult for a customer to navigate and understand, not to mention the added support and manufacturing burden on the company's side.

While I share your concerns, the user experience and security of ChromeOS is so much nicer than Windows, or Linux (haven't used a Mac for ages so can't compare), for most tasks for most people. It's what I'd recommend to my grandparents.

Also, completely disagree with your point about locking people into Google ecosystem - this is an OS that just runs a web browser. You need a Google account to log in, sure (actually, there's a guest mode too), but otherwise it's just a browser.

You disagree about the lock-in with Google and then go on to acknowledge that one would need a Google account to login? I’m struggling to understand your logic.

I would love a streamlined Linux desktop that is as technically sound as what ChromeOS does - isolations, integral updates etc. The fact that it comes with a forced leaky pipe to Google mothership to feed their ad monster is a non-starter. We at HN should stop calling it secure*(except you know Google tracking you).

PS. I feel the same way about Windows. So, may be I’m just a grey beard yelling at the sky.

Lock-in is when you can't (or it's too difficult/expensive to) change to another platform. Requiring a Google login to access a Chromebook ain't that. You don't need to like or agree with it (it would be nice to have the option of a local-only login), but it's different to lock-in (just like privacy is different to security)

To be fair, requiring a Google Account alone isn't lock-in; lock-in would be if the OS forces you to use Google cloud services for a bunch of essential tasks, which could then make it hard to migrate to another platform.

I'll admit that I don't know for a fact that it does require this, but I just kinda assumed it might. IIRC you can run Android apps on ChromeOS, and if you buy apps from the Play store, then you're stuck with ChromeOS if you want to continue to run them. Otherwise you lose that money you paid.

> this is an OS that just runs a web browser

> You need a Google account to log in

These two sentences are contradictory, aren't they? You do not need a google account to run a web browser.

If it really was an OS that "just" ran a web browser, you would be able to run said browser without being forced to use a google account that spies on your web browsing behavior.

I'm a fan of Linux and a fan of ChromeOS. but are the user experience and security better on ChromeOS than Linux? It's a bit simpler than linux but I'd say Linux is a close second.

(Disclaimer: I work on ChromeOS at Google)

I would let anyone, even a total stranger, use my Chromebook in guest mode without a second thought (as long as I am reasonably sure they won’t steal it, break it, or disassemble it).

(Disclaimer: I also work at Google but not directly on ChromeOS.)

Exactly. I would never let my (non-tech savvy) grandparents near a Linux machine without supervision, but I wouldn't hesitate to let them near a Chromebook in guest mode.

Linux is quite secure in the hands of an experienced user. ChromeOS is secure in the hands of anyone who's not state sponsored attacker-adjacent.

It depends what you mean by “secure”. I don't count leaking data to Google as “secure”.

It's not quite the same as "guest mode" on ChromeOS, but I make user accounts (no sudo) for non-technical family members and let them use my machines unsupervised. What are you worried about here? Should I be worried?

It depends on how much you trust your family members and whether you worry about non-root malware.

Looking at my Linux machine, I notice that the default permission for home directories is 755. If I don’t think to tweak that, then I’m potentially exposing a lot of sensitive data to other users (and potentially the programs they run).

I’m a proficient Linux user but not an expert, and I’m racking my brains to think of what else might be exposed to other users on my machine.

I'm similarly racking my brain, and I came to the same finding.

755 permissions on the home directory lets others see what you have, which isn't great.

The good and bad news is, permissions on the files matter too.

SSH (private) keys for example categorically won't work outside of 600 permissions, meaning nobody else can read your private key - without escalating privileges

Now, if you go defining auth secrets in your shell profile (which is world-readable by default), probably something to reconsider.

Restricting umask is a good protection for this, for what it's worth. You can make it so that newly created files/directories are not accessible to the world

> Looking at my Linux machine, I notice that the default permission for home directories is 755.

Whoa, what? I'm running Debian, and it's 700 for me. What distro are you running? This seems like a bad choice by the distro maintainers...

> I’m racking my brains to think of what else might be exposed to other users on my machine.

Including root?

What do you think your technically inept family could actually do to your Linux system?

The permission model is such that the most damage they should be able to do, is to an account you've provided to them

Or are we assuming they get sudo and unlimited time, like the typewriter thing?

I'd be more worried handing it over to a experienced person who's familiar with rd.break, assuming the filesystem isn't encrypted

I specifically give family members Linux so I don't have to go clean hundreds of toolbars and the like, as I've had to with their Windows boxen

Would you be at all concerned about the security and privacy of your guest user’s data, given your employer’s propensity for slurping up and storing whatever user data they can get their hands on? What if your guest user was searching for terms related to abortion in a US state where that procedure is (or will shortly be) illegal? What if they’re doing that and you happen to be physically near a provider of abortions?[1]

Security does not only mean security of your own data stored on the device. A device made by Google will never be secure.

[1] https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/18/google-data-states-...

The host operating system does not give me more or less confidence in the security of a guest user’s web browsing data.

Then you are either uninformed or willfully ignorant of 1) how operating systems and browsers work and 2) your employer's past actions relating to collecting and storing user data.

I am uninformed as to how running a Google search as a guest user on ChromeOS has different privacy implications that running that same search using another operating system.

Sure, if I carried around a privacy-centric Linux box and told my guest to use Tor browser, I could see how that could change the privacy picture. But that isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

If you believe that having the guest user run their search on a typical Linux, Windows, or macOS machine would be better for their privacy, I would be interested to hear how.

Also, if they’re running the search in guest mode and they don’t log into a Google account, nobody can know who’s making the search. It’s not like they’re looking through the webcam or something.

Your scenario is oddly specific -- I didn't say anything about a Google search, or about ensuring that the user doesn't log in. In fact, going to www.google.com in an incognito window pops up a little animated box on the right hand side encouraging me to sign in, so I'd expect there's a good chance that my guest user _would_ sign in if they visit a Google-owned site.

> If you believe that having the guest user run their search on a typical Linux, Windows, or macOS machine would be better for their privacy, I would be interested to hear how.

The main reason is that Google controls the entire environment on a ChromeOS device (kernel, userland, browser), and ChromeOS is closed source so it's not possible for me to easily know what is going on. In addition, Google makes money by collecting data about users, so there is an incentive to collect as much information as they can get away with (and they've shown repeatedly in the past that they do just that). Maybe there's a daemon running in the background shipping URL history off to some Google endpoint in the name of "telemetry", or maybe not. Or maybe it's something more innocuous-sounding like hashed or anonymized data (which could be reconstructed given Google's immense amount of data). But I don't know, and I don't think it's reasonable for anyone to implicitly trust ChromeOS at all given the business model of the company that makes it.

On most Linux distributions, nearly everything is open source and I'm free to audit what's going on. On macOS devices, the software is closed source, but the company's business model does not involve building a dossier on each and every person on the planet, so I trust them more (not fully, but more). In the past I would have said the same about Windows, but lately I'm not so sure and I tend to put them in the same bucket as Google.

edit: Also see my reply to you in a different sub-thread where I explain this in terms of threat models. If you were building a secure OS to protect high-risk individuals like journalists reporting on intelligence leaks, you would be crazy to recommend that the journalists to use an OS built for them by the NSA, MI5, or FSB. Would you feel any better about the recommendation if the government agency said "Don't worry, as long as you use guest mode and don't sign in, we won't collect any data about you"?

I guess in practice this doesn't come up often. but it's a powerful testament to your confidence in ChromeOS' security. You are implying that you don't feel the same way about a Linux user guest login. But why? What additional security measures are present in ChromeOS that are missing from popular Linux distros?

I don't doubt the features are there, I'm genuinely curious what they are.

You can harden and configure a Linux system to have many of the ChromeOS security features, but ChromeOS has all of these enabled by default:

- All user data is encrypted at the login level. A guest user cannot access any other users’ data. Whereas in Ubuntu, for example, home directories have 755 permissions.

- The Linux userspace in ChromeOS is actually running on KVM, so ChromeOS itself is insulated from user-installed malware.

- Verified boot is huge. It is theoretically impossible for a modification to system-level software to survive a reboot. An attacker would have to modify the hardware too. And even if someone stole your Chromebook and modified the hardware to run malware, your data is still encrypted.

If you are interested, a more thorough explanation can be found here: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/docs/+/HEAD/sec...

What if the attacker is the one who built and shipped the OS to begin with? Everything you say is true, but it doesn't matter as long as user data (history, location, etc) is being shipped off to Google.

Or, put another way: your threat model is a nefarious hacker or three-letter-agency who might secretly modify your hardware/software to get your data. Mine is surveillance capitalism. ChromeOS is secure under your threat model, but is _built by the attacker_ under mine.

Both of these threat models are important to consider, but one is much more relevant to a larger portion of the population than the other.

Relevant from your POV. A very large part of the planet clearly doesn't care.

I said it was more relevant than nefarious hackers or government agencies, not relevant in some subjective general sense. So whether or not they care is irrelevant to my point.

No they don't compare at all. ChromeOS is highly sandboxed and limited in a way desktop Linux can hardly do with normal apps.

I can't hand my non-technical family member a Linux device and expect it still work a week later without any intervention.

Do you have an example what might go wrong? I cannot imagine how can one mess up desktop Linux system without root privileges. Totally fill up the storage maybe?

They go to a shady website telling them to open a terminal and entering `sudo rm -fr /`, and you got unlucky that they entered the same password they used when logging in.

But! It's your fault! They shouldn't be able to sudo!

But that's the point. If they couldn't sudo, they could do something else as disastrous. It is difficult to secure a Linux system if the user is allowed to log in. If I needed to give someone access, I just would give him a freshly installed Linux virtual system, and if he deleted something important, it's his problem, not mine.

Without sudo privileges the worst they can do is nuke their own home directory, nothing else because that's the only path where they have write access.

Delete .config

Why would they delete files they cannot see without opting to see them ?

Because they hit ctrl+h instead of ctrl+v by accident once.

I installed Linux to a number of people, mostly over 50, some over 70. All of them but one kept using it, and the one who went back to Windows was forced because of an application he had at work whose copy protection made it impossible to run it under WINE. That was some years ago, with Linux desktop less advanced than it is now, and before the Windows GUI experience reached its lowest with Win 8 and beyond.

If you spend some time configuring the OS, Linux is actually much easier and safe to use than Windows for a series of often overlooked reasons:

1- Application installation and removal is centralized: you fire up the distribution package manager and can install almost all software, including lots of 3rd party, using the same interface; no need to wander around the net with the risk of landing on a malicious page disguised as a download site.

2- Drivers are built at kernel level and nearly all of them are already included: if you buy a new device, chances are that besides not having to insert any drivers CD, they are already included in the distribution.

3- Hardware support doesn't come with added bloatware: say, you connect the new printer and can safely ignore the accompanying CD or their manufacturer's site downloads, which usually will attempt to make you download crippled version of commercial products and other junk along the drivers. Under Linux you use the supplied applications with all hardware of that class.


Some 20 years ago I was working at a company operating in the sports betting field; we had abut 50 points of sale deployed all over the country and my assignment was to find a way to allow each remote point of sale to work in the safest possible way, no distractions and including remote support on demand. All of this of course in the cheapest possible way. The best thing about working in a small company is that sometimes you can earn the freedom of choosing the rope to hang yourself with: I'm not interested in the betting world, but that problem was intriguing, and I had carte blanche. The solution I came up with after some fiddling was a RedHat distro plus WindowMaker "desktop" with a restricted launcher whose dockapps allowed the operator to check/write emails, file for a remote support connection, open StarOffice and a couple other things I don't recall. The system was essentially in kiosk mode, with the browser set so that it would open fullscreen to operate only on the company webpage. I had to write the scripts to file for remote support since all the points of sale had dynamic IPs which could change by the time we could reach them, therefore the connection had to be the other way around. I solved this by using a remote "pinger" written in Ruby that would periodically send some data about the remote station, so we immediately had the who+where data pair, and a receiving Ruby application on our side would populate a GTK list (I used Glade and Anjuta iirc) with the stations that asked for intervention. As soon as a local operator clicked on one element, a reverse ssh tunnel was opened and we had the remote shell ready. To my memory that contraption never failed; with very slow connections (~2002, so 1 Mbit down/ 128Kbit up when we were lucky) luxuries such as VNC were out of question. 50 points of sales could be easily managed by a single operator.

Of course I'm not suggesting to turn every Linux PC in a tight closed terminal that does 3 things only. My point is that you can effectively turn a Linux desktop into something that non tech people can work without troubles, but that doesn't come out of the box, as it doesn't with Windows: you can have everything from a dumbed down terminal that couldn't be crashed by a colony of cats walking on the keyboard for a week, to something so advanced and full of knobs that you can literally do everything, including shooting yourself in the foot. Some work is needed though.

I expect that the user experience and security are better on ChromeOS. But that depends on who you're trying to secure against. I'm not particularly worried about state-level actors or even garden-variety malware. But I am worried about surveillance capitalism, and that's what Google has built its business around. So I would not trust ChromeOS to be secure against Google.

(Having said that, I still haven't been able to completely wean myself off Google services, so Google already has plenty of data on me, and gathers more every day.)

It all boils down to if what you want is an OS or a browser. If an OS is good enough feature and security wise though, there's no reason to just want the browser for the same price.

> You need a Google account to log in

This is absolutely blatany lock in, let's not sugarcoat or pretend it is not at least.

First, you can use a Chromebook in guest mode, no Google account required (as said), but they you need to log in to your accounts every time (probably not a problem for people like my mum who log in every time they use a computer, and log out of everything when they're done.

But more to the point, lock in is when you can't move your data to another system. You need a Google account to log in (these days that's not much different from Windows or Mac basically requiring MS/Mac accounts), but you don't need to use the account for anything else you do on the Chromebook; it's just a browser. If you want to, you can export any data that browser holds (passwords, bookmarks etc) and import into any other browser. That's not lock-in. Lock-in is forcing you to continue to use a particular vendor's product because getting out of it is too difficult (usually proprietary data formats ala MS Office, or not allowing cloud exports)

How is that lock-in? Lock-in to what?

Could you not access your Google account on a Linux, macOS or Windows computer?

Could you also simply not use that Google account while using those other systems?

Honestly, ChromeOS has been the best solution for my grandparents. I don't receive any calls to help them out with computer issues, which means I can spend more time with them instead of fixing stuff.

It is possible to create customised UNIX-like OS with custom kernels, read-only filesystems (mounted images) and writable directories mounted as tmpfs, booting from removable USB. Some call this "diskless". There are some drawbacks from using USB media such as lack of a good randomness source on boot but there are many advantages. Kernels and filesystems are just single files on the USB media and can be easily switched/updated. The system stays "clean". It is "like new" on every reboot. I was doing this with a netbook long before the so-called "Chromebook" came along.^1

The problem with Chromebooks is that they are designed to try to get people to "log in" to Google and to use "the [Google] cloud" for storage. Chromebooks in Guest Mode have an array of Google-authored daemons running the the background from read-only media. There is no way to disable them. You cannot even change the options passed to Chrome, e.g., to disable "Origin Trials". This setup is great if you love everything Google, but not great if you just like computers, you bought the computer for the hardware and drivers, and prefer to choose your own software. With these Google programs always running in the background, it means you do not have ultimate control over the computer, Google does. Another annoying thing is that ChromeOS, as well as Chrome, is a WIP. It is constantly changing. For example, bluetooth may be working fine and then suddenly there is an "automatic update" that breaks it. Then you wait for Google to fix it. I am not too fond of that approach to updates. For the systems I create I choose if and when to update them. I prefer stability as opposed to bleeding edge. Chromebooks OTOH assume the computer user is willingly along for the ride as the Chromebook development teams figures out what they are doing.

1. Google likes to boast about Chromebook security. Indeed the Google programs run from write-protected media, and the user is denied access to parts of the storage media, but this type of setup is nothing one could not achieve, before or after the arrival of the "Chromebook", using an open source project such as NetBSD. IMO, the benefit of the Chromebook project is the hardware support, not the deliberately limited storage, lack of user access to parts of the storage media, mandatory installation and running of Chrome and other Google programs. Additionally, one has to consider the "security" implications of an OS that steers people to use Chrome and cloud storage and to remain online. Those Google programs are constantly probing for internet access. ChromeOS is an OS that encourages risk-taking, i.e., giving more data to Google, including storing user data "in the cloud".

I always make diskless systems to be offline by default. I avoid running X11 unless needed, staying in VGA textmode by default. There is no phoning home for "updates" to an advertising company.

Chromebooks are not designed to be offline by default. ChromeOS forces users to launch a GUI and run Chrome. Google is always trying to collect more data about computer users.


You are right with many points: Chromebooks are indeed designed to be dumb terminals to Google's services. But on the other hand they have an amazing sandboxing system for all OS components and take security seriously. Compare this to most Linux distros that allow basically every local app full access to the user's account.

I wouldn't use Chrome OS as it is right now. But a degoogled version of it, maybe with some better local only support, or at least support to use a different cloud than Google's cloud, say some NAS in my home, and it would be a really nice device.

Because Chrome runs from read-only media on the Chromebook in Guest Mode, some Chrome settings (chrome://settings) are not changeable. For example, one cannot globally disable Javascript or cookies globally. It is possible to disable these "features" only using Developer Tools and therefore only on a per tab basis. Settings are lost when the tab is closed. Similarly, any changed settings in Chrome (through chrome://settings) are lost on reboot. As such, a computer user who dligently entered per site settings for privacy and security would lose all her settings every time she reboots the Chromebook.

Needless to say Chrome defaults favour Google and Google's advertiser customers. Making it impossible^1 for Chromebook users in Guest Mode to save and import privacy and security settings is a dark pattern.

1. Google employees will proclaim this is incorrect. All the computer user has to do is "log in" to Google in order to save her settings. Once logged in, Google can collect more data about the computer user. However non-employees of the corporation may not wish to "log in". Google employees assume that all computer users should trust Google, like they themselves do. Given that Google is collecting as much data about them as the law will allow, and then some, this is a curious assumption indeed.

Revised comment:

It is possible to create customised UNIX-like OS with custom kernels, read-only filesystems (mounted images), writable directories mounted as tmpfs, and encrypted disks, booting from removable USB. Some call this "diskless". There are some drawbacks from using USB media such as lack of a good randomness source on boot but there are many advantages. Kernels and filesystems are just single files on the USB media and can be easily switched/updated. The system stays "clean". It is "like new" on every reboot. I was doing this with a netbook long before the so-called "Chromebook" came along.

The problem with Chromebooks is that they are designed to try to get people to "log in" to Google, to use Google-controlled websites, to use online software controlled by Google and to use online storage managed by Google rather than local storage managed by the computer user. The later may be more convenient but it also poses higher risk for computer users while at the same conferring commercial value to Google. The company wants computer users to use its websites and software in lieu of offline storage and offline software.

Chromebooks in Guest Mode have an array of Google-authored daemons running the the background from read-only media. There is no way to control or disable them. You cannot even change the options passed to Chrome, e.g., to disable "Origin Trials". With these Google programs always running in the background, it means you do not have ultimate control over the computer, Google does.

Another annoying thing is that ChromeOS, as well as Chrome, is a work in progress. It is constantly changing and the computer user is treated as a beta tester. For example, something like Bluetooth may be working fine and then suddenly there is an "automatic update" that breaks it. Then the computer user must wait for Google to fix it. There is no way to go back to the previous working version while waiting for the fix.

One has to consider the "security" implications of an OS that steers people to use Chrome, online storage and genrally to remain online as much as possible. Google programs are constantly running on Chromebooks and probing for internet access. As such, ChromeOS is an OS that encourages risk-taking, i.e., giving more data to Google, including storing more user data online. Chromebooks are not designed to be offline by default. ChromeOS forces users to run Chrome. Google is always trying to collect more data about computer users.

I always make diskless systems to be offline by default. I use offline storage. There is no phoning home for "updates" to an advertising company. I decide when and if I want to "update" the kernel or userland.


For android and web development with its matured linux subsystem it works really great, even audio/midi apps like reaper run as linux apps so its surprisingly powerful and of course a lot better than windows, on the right hardware it can be nicer than macos in terms of being open and able to code on it.

Given Android Studio's requirements of a gaming rig I doubt it works really great for Android development.

No Chromebook has the desktop class requirements to keep it happy running those Gradle builds.

Sorry but no. It's limited, no Vulkan, can't compile/use kernel drivers, etc. But useable for a lot more than not. Also `docker` still works on it.

"locked-down environment"

Sorry, I have a hard time even comprehending your point.

You can run Android apps, right? You can side-load Android APKs, right? Even install F-Droid? You can run Linux apps on many Chromebooks - this one, too?

> locked-down

Most non ARM devices can be fully unlocked to run bare metal linux. Just https://mrchromebox.tech/

> I don't want to be too negative

You are. Though there are certain privacy issues that may be warranted, you seems to make remarks without base.

> Google adware/tracking-ware, locking people into the Google ecosystem

One will always get locked to some ecosystem. Some friends use Facebook as photo storage as REAL-WORLD-USERS do not want to run NAS, RAID, off-site backup. Others having $$$ have iCloud. People that know difference between SAS and SATA run rack-servers.

A simple browser based OS can help run 4GB devices. May be you are comfortable in 4K screen, with dwm tiling wm but others want $200 ChromeOS for just shopping, netflix etc. Oh yes, many people do not have time to download and watch ISO - and get locked into some ecosystem.

> Framework could be spending their time doing much better thin

Lets be honest, Framework knows what is IMPORTANT for themselves than you. This is a good thing. Every bit helps.

> Most non ARM devices can be fully unlocked to run bare metal linux. Just https://mrchromebox.tech/

The fact that you can unlock it and run regular Linux isn't really the point. Selling a laptop that is pre-loaded with ChromeOS means that it's intended that buyers actually run ChromeOS on it, and I expect most that buy it, will (otherwise they would just get the regular or DIY version). Framework simply endorsing ChromeOS in this fashion is enough of a problem.

> Though there are certain privacy issues that may be warranted, you seems to make remarks without base.

I don't think that's the case, and nothing you've written here seems to contradict what I've said.

> One will always get locked to some ecosystem. Some friends use Facebook as photo storage as REAL-WORLD-USERS do not want to run NAS, RAID, off-site backup. Others having $$$ have iCloud.

That doesn't have to be the state of the world, though. I think all of that is not great, and the solution isn't just to throw up our hands and endorse closed-ecosystem environments.

There are other, less-extreme options in between "I live inside Facebook" and "I run a home server and NAS and host my own social network at home". Unfortunately many of them still aren't quite user-friendly -- though some are -- and the Facebooks of the world wield far too much market power.

> Lets be honest, Framework knows what is IMPORTANT for themselves than you.

You seem to be unreasonably angry over what I said. Maybe cool off a bit? I even acknowledged that there might be good reasons for Framework's business to offer ChromeOS as a product, but you seem to have intentionally ignored that bit.

I'm happy to answer questions anyone has on this product!

Hey there, just wanted to share my experience with you. I've used Macbooks for the past like 6 years for programming, after several jobs in Silicon Valley required it. Apple has been pretty much okay except for some key issues around memory consumption and overheating.

After they hit a supply line issue earlier this year, I decided to try getting a Framework instead.

Been using my Framework laptop for a month or so now consistently for heavy programming work, and it is the best machine I've ever had. Thank you! It also was the catalyst to get me into using Linux (Ubuntu) which has been a huge blessing beyond what I expected.

I posted a photo of myself at a coffee shop to a Discord group, and someone saw the corner of the laptop. They asked "Is that a Macbook I see?" and I explained to them "Nah it's a Framework" and shared the link. Didn't really expect much beyond that, but actually they loved it. Several people looked at it and said "Wow! This sounds amazing! Actually... going to save this for later..."

Having just bought a Framework to replace my 5-year-old XPS, I really hope I have the same experience as you. Do you run Linux, by the way? I hope Linux support is good.

I'm using 12th gen processor, latest versions of Ubuntu and Linux

  Ubuntu: Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS
  Linux: 5.17.0-051700-generic
The only problems I've had so far is the "brightness" fn keys don't work, and bluetooth isn't great with certain devices like Airpods.

The brightness keys isn't a big deal, can still set brightness in the OS. It's probably fixable through some manual keymapping.

Bluetooth is more annoying but I somehow doubt it's a hardware issue. I just ended up getting Sony wireless earbuds to complete my transition away from Apple.

That being said, I also tried to dual boot Windows. Windows really does not like the hardware, and the Framework driver install package (https://knowledgebase.frame.work/en_us/framework-laptop-bios...) had limited effect in fixing the issues. Lots of bugs with audio and graphics.

So, for now I would say it is too premature for Windows, but great for Linux!

I would be interested in understanding what issues you are seeing on Windows. We do quite a bit of validation on Windows.

A sibling comment shared the fix for the brightness keys, but you can also grab that information from our setup guide for Ubuntu: https://guides.frame.work/Guide/Ubuntu+22.04+LTS+Installatio...

Thanks for the reply! Your own forums may be a great place to start. There are some open issues for this, some you have seen and some unanswered




I had the same problem, the solution is here: https://community.frame.work/t/12th-gen-not-sending-xf86monb...

You can enable the hotkey support by blacklisting the hid-sensor-hub driver: vi /etc/modprobe.d/framework-als-blacklist.conf Add the following: blacklist hid-sensor-hub And then restart

It worked, but it needed `hid_sensor_hub` with underscores! and `sudo update-initramfs -u` before the reboot

Just got around to trying this and it worked. Thank you!

Hi, I saw your comment about Bluetooth issues with your AirPods, and I wanted to let you know that I have been having great success using my AirPods after I swapped out Pulseaudio for Pipewire on my System76 lemur pro laptop running PopOS. I think Ubuntu is planning to migrate from Pulseaudio to Pipewire as the default sound server, but maybe they haven’t done it yet. Anyway, this might be something you want to try. I use them for zoom meetings 1-2 hours every day, and they are extremely reliable.

I see! It appears Ubuntu 22 has both Pulseaudio and Pipewire installed, and Pulseaudio is set to the default, with Pipewire just not enabled. Will poke around at it. Maybe they're making some incremental transition still.

Thanks for the tip

My Arch on Framework experience has been great. If you're just getting yours up and running, I've been keeping notes on tuning/setup: https://github.com/lhl/linuxlaptops/wiki/2022-Framework-Lapt...

Some people have been getting hard graphics lockups (seems to be an Intel 12th-gen GPU / GNOME issue that may be affecting more than just the Frameworks). I'm running Sway and have yet to have any lockups over a month and a half of usage, though. Here's the community discussion thread: https://community.frame.work/t/hard-freezing-on-fedora-36-wi...

That writeup is extensive, thank you for taking the time!

Got one under Ubuntu 22.04. My only issue is that some transitions are frustratingly slow, much moreso than on my 2014 XPS13:

* Getting out of sleep (deep RAM sleep, not hibernate)

* Handling password/fingerprint authentication once out of sleep

* Wifi rescan frequency

* Occasionally, plugging/unplugging external screens

And I've got no idea why. Once woken up and plugged to whatever I need to use, it's a really good laptop.

Same here, make sure you use a very recent distro/kernel for 12th gen support.

Ubuntu 22.04 works out of the box with no issues so far.

And then everybody clapped

I'm a huge chromebook fan actually -- but my current one is looking a tad unsupported (pixel slate)

I've been considering a framework as a replacement actually!

One of the things I really care about is battery life + sleep performance.

The article mentions:

> .* At the same time, the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is our most power efficient product yet with optimizations from Google and Intel that allow for long-lasting battery life.

Can you provide some numbers around the battery life improvements? Sounds exciting! (And are these going to be backported to the normal 12th gen boards, or is it a feature of the unique mainboard/not firmware?)

Can you speak to the OS image as well? Is there any non-upstream drivers that are relied on? I notice lots of chromebooks have drivers that aren't in the regular upstream kernel, but just in the chromiumos source. I'm hoping that I could eventually swap OS' if needed w/o getting a new mainboard, and want to see how viable that is.

Thanks for the hard work, and in advance for the questions!

(P.S. like everyone else, AMD would be exciting if you don't know that :p)

[edit] one of my biggest disappointments in my slate is that it never received vm-in-vm support with the newer kernel. Is /dev/kvm available in the linux container? I _think_ that goes hand in hand with the steam supuport, but not sure

Google has fairly strict requirements around power consumption. They have a standard test for 10 hours of active use through common use cases, which we were able to meet. For standby, the requirement is around 14 days. I have to double check where we are on the current software and firmware, but we are close to that number.

We actually did learn some things about the Intel re-timers through this product development that let us come up with ways to improve the behavior on the regular 12th Gen Framework Laptops. We are currently developing a firmware update for that that will improve both active and standby battery life.

> We actually did learn some things about the Intel re-timers through this product development that let us come up with ways to improve the behavior on the regular 12th Gen Framework Laptops. We are currently developing a firmware update for that that will improve both active and standby battery life.

Is this specific to Intel's 12th gen or can it also be ported to the 11th gen? I have an 11th gen Framework and am delighted with everything about the laptop except for battery life. If that could be improved, I would have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the laptop.

We do have some learnings that would apply back to 11th Gen that are early in development. We also have a beta firmware for DisplayPort Expansion Cards that improves one area of active/standby power consumption, which applies to both 11th Gen and 12th Gen: https://community.frame.work/t/beta-displayport-expansion-ca...

This is awesome news. Excited the collaboration will have some nice side effects.

Traditional chromebooks are fairly locked down, and make it difficult (and scary) to install an alternate operating system alongside ChromeOS, for users that want a bit more power. What is the situation like on the Framework edition? How open is the bootloader, and how tricky is it to enter (and stay in) developer mode?

The bootloader situation is the same as other Chromebooks. It is totally possible to get into and stay in developer mode to do what you would like with the system. In practice, doing things outside of ChromeOS depends on how robust community-driven development ends up around that.

I recommend you send one to MrChromebox: https://mrchromebox.tech/#devices

Apologies for the direct question, but I've wondered, how does this make sense for your business? Chromebooks have typically been seen as cheap versions of laptops but Frameworks is priced above the average Chromebook price.

Is there a sense that there is an untapped 'premium' chromebook audience or will this make sense even without that. Perhaps you're looking for large/discounted partnerships with educational organizations?

It's a valid question. Since there are few to no current products in this segment, we really are testing it. We get to do tests like this much more efficiently than most because we can leverage our existing modular product and build just new modules needed for it.

I am (personally) a bit disappointed that you'd work on a Chromebook version first, before tackling AMD or a version with a dedicated GPU.

I'll need a new laptop soon, and would really love to see either and ideally both of those.

But for the company it's probably a good move. Get help from Google on battery optimisations, open up a new market and hopefully get a sizeable order from Google directly, all without a crazy amount of re-engineering...

I'm not GP, but tackling AMD or a dedicated GPU sounds like a ton more work than Chromebook. Plus Google partnered with them, so presumably helped with some of the work. I would guess this effort didn't really take all that much, but it allowed them to try a new bet that might pay off, and establish a potentially useful partnership. I too would rather a dedicated GPU and/or AMD option, but I care as much for the health of the company as I do for the product offering (since frame.work failing or changing would be a tragic loss) so this seems like a reasonable shot to take. I really hope it works!

Exactly this. Offering AMD or dGPU is a whole other level of engineering, supply chain, and support effort. Google itself may also be good for a few thousand orders, just from all their now orphaned Pixelbook users. And presumably that’s still a tangible amount of sales for a company the size of Framework. Plus they apparently already found some power management improvements that will also apply to all their laptops, just by getting their devices ChromeOS ready. Actually seems like an excellent business decision.

Google employees have been switching to HP Dragonfly chromebooks but that may be back ordered now, so I could see many of us requesting the framework if it's made available internally. I'm going to see if I can get Google to allocate me one of these framework Chromebooks, and if not, I will purchase one on my own.

how do you know they're not doing that behind the scenes? anytime this issue comes up, a framework rep doesn't say anything.

you could gamble that they are and get the 11th gen intel kit, then upgrade once (if) an amd kit is released. or wait and see.

I can only imagine how much fun it was for you all to build and ship these :)

There was a lot of love for the original Pixelbook, so I'm sure it will be an exciting prospect for many.

Did your partners at Google give you any indication of how successful their ~£1300 Pixelbook Go i7 [1] was?

[1] https://www.johnlewis.com/google-pixelbook-go-ga00526-uk-lap...

It seems unlikely that they would be able to share that information publicly, even if they did have it.

There are some other premium Chromebooks. Google started things off with the Pixelbook, which it appears they are now discontinuing. HP and Samsung have produced some high end Chromebooks.

They're a niche market: C-level executives at companies that use Chromebooks, developers at those companies, Linux fans who will mostly use the Chromebook to run Linux apps. They make more economic sense as an adaptation of a laptop that is already being sold for other markets rather than as a dedicated product.

The Pixelbook line never did enough volume for Google to make money on it. It was a proof of concept, a way of showing that a Chromebook didn't have to just mean a low end and cheaply built Acer or the like, but could be something that higher end users would happily use and not be ashamed to be seen with when they do a presentation. Now that other companies are making premium Chromebooks, there is no longer a need for Google to produce them.

There's perception and then there's reality.

While cheap Chromebooks abound, the market for Chromebooks has matured significantly and a lot of vendors offer high quality 'premium' solutions that really meet people's needs, while typically costing less than say Apple's offerings. Framework is jumping on that bandwagon.

I'm comparing this with the 12-gen DIY offerings, and it seems like it's mostly the low-end configuration of the DIY with ChromeOS installed. The FAQ says there are some subtle differences like louder speakers and a "more power optimized battery". Can you clarify what "more power optimized" means (a rather vague statement as the specs page suggests the same capacity and durability)?

I noticed the 256GB of storage is different from the DIY options. I'm guessing this is driven by hardware support limitations for ChromeOS. I'm wondering if the same is true with the RAM.

The FAQ also says you can add memory and storage later, but I noticed the FAQ mentions "We recommend using modules from Google’s Chromebook compatibility lists, which can be viewed in our Knowledge Base, and are available for purchase on the Framework Marketplace." I didn't find that compatibility list anywhere in the Knowledge Base, but I did find this post (https://community.frame.work/t/introducing-the-framework-lap...) which seems to suggest you can upgrade to 64GB of RAM and 1TB of NVMe storage, though it's not clear if that's using parts that are on Google's compatibility list or not. Can you provide any clarity on this?

The power optimizations are in the Mainboard electrical design, firmware, and OS, and improve both standby and in-use efficiency. The battery itself is identical to the one in other Framework Laptops.

On the storage, we use Western Digital SN730 and SN740 drives, which are also what we put in the pre-built Framework Laptops. These are roughly equivalent to the SN750 and SN770 retail drives, respectively.

On the memory and storage, ChromeOS technically has an allow-list for memory and storage, though in practice we have seen modules not on the list work fine. We'll be adding that list onto the Knowledge Base. We will be making parts that are on the list available in the Framework Marketplace for guaranteed compatibility (the memory we already have, and we'll be introducing SN730/SN740 storage up to 1TB).

> The power optimizations are in the Mainboard electrical design, firmware, and OS, and improve both standby and in-use efficiency.

It'd be nice to see improvements in the mainboard of the standard laptops as well. I imagine, in theory, much of the firmware and OS improvements could be installed on one of them already.

> On the storage, we use Western Digital SN730 and SN740 drives, which are also what we put in the pre-built Framework Laptops.

Ah, now I see it. The pre-built one has 256GB & 512GB options that the DIY ones don't have. I'm always amused by how specs differ between OEM and non-OEM parts.

> On the memory and storage, ChromeOS technically has an allow-list for memory and storage, though in practice we have seen modules not on the list work fine. We'll be adding that list onto the Knowledge Base. We will be making parts that are on the list available in the Framework Marketplace for guaranteed compatibility (the memory we already have, and we'll be introducing SN730/SN740 storage up to 1TB).

Awesome. Thanks. These were really helpful answers. As feedback, I'd say it would be nice to be able to select different starting memory options in particular, but this is a really great offering.

I'm very interested in the contours of this relationship with Google.

- What kind of commitments did each party make to each other?

- Did Google request anything of Framework? What requests did Framework agree to? Which did they deny?

- What differentiates this product from the normal offering?

1. Does this come with CoreBoot and the jumper/screw to unlock CoreBoot like other Chromebooks?

2. Does this come with the silly Chromebook keyboard that is missing two keys on the left side? If it does, is it compatible with the normal keyboard part?

3. When will you bring a motherboard with an AMD APU?

I have a 11th gen frame.work.

1. Could I swap mainboards to upgrade the 11th gen framework to the chromebook version? 2. Is the coreboot chip flashable with custom firmware? / Is the boot process locked?

This might well be the mainboard I've been waiting for. Congratulations on shipping this!

I noted this in another comment, but that mainboard swap should work. You'll likely need a Chromebook-specific Input Cover and Webcam for full functionality though, and this is an upgrade path we have done limited validation effort on thus far.

When switched into developer mode, it should be possible to update and customize firmware. There is a pretty active community for Chromebook firmware customization out there.

Could you say anything about how the webcam is different between the 2 models?

Is it possible for me to purchase a Framework Chromebook and swap the regular keyboard into it?

Also curious about this. If the mainboards are compatible (especially if they’re usable outside the laptop like the current ones are) this is very interesting.

I'm in the same place. I would love to upgrade mine to chrome os just for the battery life.

This is what I want.

Curious if this will support Chromium OS or only Chrome OS?

I'd also love to learn more about the motivation to create this laptop and the target audiences!

It's Chrome OS proper

How long will Google support ChromeOS on this machine? What alternative OSes will it run?

Edit: the article says “receives automatic updates for up to eight years” but an upper bound isn’t so helpful here.

Google is committed to a minimum of 8 years of security updates. We don't have currently have official support for other OS's, but there is an active community of people bringing other OS's to Chromebooks.

sounds like the page should say "at least eight years" then, instead of "up to eight years"

Correct. We've just updated the blog post with the proper description from Google, which is "automatic updates through June 2030."

No because that is based on date of release not of purchase.

If you purchase a brand new chromebook whose model has been sold for 3 years already you won't get 8 years of support.

A specific date would be better, because otherwise it’s ambiguous. Eight years starting when?

Google provides specific support dates on its Pixel and Chromebook devices. For instance, under "About ChromeOS", mine says, "This device will get automatic software and security updates until 2027."


What's more likely, Google break their commitment or they provide extra patches past their commitment.

In case of doubt you can always replace the OS with whatever Linux distribution you choose, which only leaves closed-source driver/fw blobs - but that problem is shared with every other general-purpose computer these days.

Is that after release or after the last sale of the model?

With Chromebooks, that would be after release.

Why this over getting an AMD laptop? After the terrible experience of going back to Intel, I doubt I'll ever bother with an Intel laptop ever again. Is Intel giving benefits to ensure you don't support AMD?

I don't work for Framework, but my guess is that AMD doesn't make a chip with powerful enough IO controllers to operate the Framework. It's a shame, because I also like the Ryzen mobile chipset, but even the M1 wouldn't have enough IO bandwidth to drive 4x Thunderbolt 4 ports at full speed. Love them or hate them, this is part of the Intel 'package' that you're paying for.

Besides, now is a terrible time to start offering AMD laptops. You want them to drop a 6000-series laptop when the next-gen mobile Ryzen chips were announced less than a month ago? Have some patience!

> next-gen mobile Ryzen chips were announced less than a month ago

Technically the only mobile Ryzen chips announced so far are based on Zen 2 which is about to become two generations old. Expect "next-gen" mobile chip announcements in January.

(The recent Zen 4 announcements have been for desktop parts.)

5000 and 6000 mobile chips are Zen 3 with some skus that are Zen 2. The 6000 series mobile chips with Zen 3 and RDNA 2 are available today and are excellent.

Yes - to clarify, some mobile 7020 chips were recently announced, but they are Zen 2 based (as evidenced by the third digit.) I just wanted to be clear that no "next-gen" (i.e. Zen 4) mobile 7000 chips have been announced.

Well technically the Zen 4 mobile parts have been announced, as AMD officially published their 2023 mobile lineup a couple weeks ago: https://community.amd.com/t5/corporate/announcing-new-model-...

Here's the segmentation:

* Mendocino (Ryzen 7020 Series) - Everyday Computing

* Barcelo-R (Ryzen 7030 Series) - Mainstream Thin & Light

* Rembrandt-R (Ryzen 7035 Series) - Premium Thin & Light

* Phoenix Point (Ryzen 7040 Series) - Elite Ultrathin

* Dragon Range (Ryzen 7045 Series) - Extreme Gaming & Creator

But the product "launch" will, as you mention, likely take place at CES next year.

You're right, I missed that. Still, my point stands :p

One thing worth noting is that basically, even now (almost 10 months post announcement), almost no one has a 6000U laptop outs (a search on Amazon and Best Buy shows two 6800U laptop models total, one Asus and one Lenovo). Two niche vendors, XMG and Star Labs, have both publicly stated that they would have loved to have offered Ryzen 6000 laptops, but couldn't get any allotments. There are were also well documented chipset issues - even into the summer Lenovo and Asus talked about requiring firmware updates to enable their USB4 ports.

That being said, starting w/ Rembrandt, AMD now has full 40Gbps USB4 controllers built on-chip. I'm really looking forward to Ryzen 7040 because Phoenix looks great (Zen4 + RDNA3 on TSMC N4 - yes please) and hopefully USB4 support has matured enough on the AMD side that Framework is able to release something.

My understanding is that the I/O limitation is in the re-timers - currently the Framework uses 4X JHL8040R's (labeled as Burnside Bridge) directly connected to the iTBT: https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/Mainboard/blob/main/Ele... Apple used these for their first M1 MBAs as well: https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/Knowledge/blob/master/articl...

But both Apple and AMD are now using Kandou retimers:

* https://www.gizchina.com/2022/07/25/apple-completely-got-rid...

* https://kandou.com/matterhorn.html

* https://kandou.com/assets/downloads/product-briefs/KB8001-Pr...

Yes. This is why I don't really buy all this talk of Intel is "dead and finished" and will "fade away" in the next 5 year ... Even though Intel has an inferior product to AMD, they are really good at selling their product and don't mind indulging in unethical (or even illegal) market practices to do so. They still have a lot of money and they use it well to undercut their competitors. AMD shines in technical competence against both Intel and Apple, but is weaker than both when it comes to marketing and selling their product.

I think it is more complex than that. AMD uses TSMC foundaries to make their chips and has to compete with nVidia and Apple for capacity. Intel can guarentee their yields because they own their foundaries.

This is old news. AMD has since cancelled orders because of GPU sales falling off a cliff. They have enough for Framework, if Framework wants to jump on to make something

Is the hardware any different? If not, why sell this as a separate machine instead of providing a ChromeOS image that can be installed to a standard Framework?

Sibling comment got it correct, but worth noting that you can install ChromeOS Flex on a regular Framework Laptop. It won't have the same level of optimization that the Chromebook Edition has, and Google only has functionality like the Android Play Store enabled on Chromebooks. https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/chrome-enterprise/chr...

According to the article:

> we’ve partnered with ChromeOS because of their commitment to long-lasting speed and transparency. The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is built with the Titan C security chip and receives automatic updates for up to eight years, all to keep your Chromebook fast and secure.

The Chromebook version has a different keyboard than the regular one. Like most Chromebooks, it only has a large control and alt key in the bottom left. Plus no caps lock, you get a search key instead I think.

I believe it comes with a lower-end CPU compared to the standard Framework, and also includes a builtin Titan C security chip.

Thank you so much for making a keyboard without a Windows key and for selling it separately as well. The product page says it’s only compatible with the Chromebook edition though, does this just mean the function keys won’t be mapped or that it won’t work at all?

The Chromebook Edition keyboard will work on a regular Framework Laptop. It is just physically missing the fn and Win/super keys and has fn row artwork that won't match.

Does it have another key in its place? The Windows key is one of my favorite things about Linux in a desktop/laptop machine: a key that isn't used by any applications, which I can dedicate entirely towards window management, without worrying that it will conflict with any application key bindings.

What’s the difference from original?

ChromeOS! Specifically, the Mainboard is custom-designed for ChromeOS. This means it uses coreboot instead of a proprietary BIOS and has Google's Titan C security chip.

There are some other smaller differences. To keep the cost down, the top cover is aluminum-formed instead of CNCed, for compatibility reasons we weren't able to bring our fingerprint module in, and we were able to improve both audio quality and speaker loudness with an improved audio CODEC and louder transducers.

> coreboot instead of a proprietary BIOS and has Google's Titan C security chip

This is what I was hoping when I got the announcement via email. The question is if this will be locked down to chromeos or if it's possible to install your own keys to load a linux distro while still retaining verified boot capabilities.

I believe all Chromebooks are capable of having custom keys installed.

Interesting - does this mean it'll be possible to create a Coreboot edition of the original Framework motherboard design, or is that capability related to Titan C?

It is technically possible to, and we've provided development systems to a few coreboot developers. This is something we'll be putting more energy into next year as we grow the Framework team.

System76 have done work on enabling CoreBoot support on several laptops (which AFAICT are rebranded and certified versions of ODM whitelabel devices).

Would any collaboration with them regarding CoreBoot be helpful/desirable/possible/planned/etc. ?

Bummer just bought one was very not pleased to find “intel vpro corporate” force enabled in the firmware.

That's wonderful to hear! I'm very excited about where Framework is going these days.

Will it be possible to buy and use these new audio components to improve a standard FrameWork?

In the Markeplace I can see the new speakers but not the new audio board (or is the codec actually on the motherboard?).

FYI — I emailed your support team and was told the Chromebook did have a fingerprint reader. Which surprised me because I hadn't see it on the product page at https://frame.work/products/laptop-chromebook-12-gen-intel

They pointed me to this /gb/en/ url, which has the same chromebook slug but seems to just describe the regular 12th gen laptop: https://frame.work/gb/en/laptop-chromebook-12-gen-intel

So to be clear, no fingerprint reader for the Chromebook? Any chance of adding that in the future?

Can you elaborate what you mean with improved audio quality? My headphone jack on the 12th gen. (batch 1) model has a constant loud static/white noise which is very audible when listening to music even at max volume.

> To keep the cost down, the top cover is aluminum-formed instead of CNCed

Forging is in no way inferior to CNC, on the contrary, a forget aluminium part should have more rigidity per unit of thickness, depending on the alloy.

I guess, you got to volumes big enough to open the mould for forging?

If you need an audio engineer, I can refer you one fellow. He worked at Apple, Harman, Asus, BBK, and is now looking to relocated from the East Bloc.

He meant formed not forged.

The formed top covers are thick aluminium foils that are folded by machines.

They did show signs of lack of rigidity in the usage of the laptops (it was shipped with the first Framework laptops, and later replaced by CNC for this very reason).

First of all I'm very much on board with ideas behind framework laptop. Thanks for your work :-)

Is there any roadmap for wider distribution in Europe? Especially eastern part.

I'll piggy bag this, and say "especially for the Scandinavian ISO keyboard" part.

it's not a real solution, but one can always use a forwarder to ship it from the US (that's what I did)

> Framework began with the goal to remake consumer electronics to respect people

Do you honestly believe Google respects people?

What measures have you put in place to mitigate Google's surveillance of its users?

Is there a chance of a hinge offering 2 in 1 capabilities? I.E. full fold back to tablet mode?

+1 for 360° hinge and touch/stylus digitizer

I would suggest adding information about the display panel on your website. I could not find anywhere whether it's IPS or not.

Are there plans to adopt the camera/mic switches for future Windows/Linux laptops?

They are there currently! All Framework Laptops have hardware privacy switches for the camera and microphones.

They already have them.

So they do!

I couldn't find any marketing material pointing out the switches on the originals, so I assumed this was a change for the Chromebooks. But you're right, I managed to find an image of a Framework laptop where the switches are visible.

Will this support Linux on ChromeOS (Crostini)?

The ChromeOS doc page "Set Up Linux on your Chromebook" [0] links to a supported models list [1] which does NOT include Framework.

[0] https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/9145439?hl=en

[1] https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/dev/chromium-os/chro...

Looks like a yes: "...you can multitask with ease on top of running heavy Chrome workloads. ChromeOS supports downloading Android™ apps from the Google Play Store, developing on Linux with Crostini, playing PC games with Steam on ChromeOS Alpha, and more."

source: https://community.frame.work/t/introducing-the-framework-lap...

Maybe the support sites will get updated to include Frame.Work

Beyond laptops / more speculative - are there other hardware devices you'd be curious about branching out to some day? AR/VR headsets, robotics, servers for rendering/ML on the edge, etc.?

Will this support Android apps from Google play? If so, could this ChromeOS build be installed on a normal framework? Reason I ask is that ChromeOS flex doesn't support Android apps.

Would an ARM-based mainboard variant be a possibility down the line?

It is truly unfortunate that an ARM-based variant isn't available.

When you don't care about single-core performance and compatibility, there really isn't much reason to use x86 at all. For me personally, my priority is by far battery-life (and LTE support is a nice bonus).

I'm refraining from using Framework until they get an ARM device out to replace my current ARM chromebook (Acer Chromebook Spin 513, my NixOS configuration: https://github.com/L-as/NixOS-lazor)

Lazor's SOC has 1 internal type C port and it was a pain to transform that to 2 external ports via a HUB and complicated muxes.

There really isn't any other performant ARM chip that has more ports, enough to work in a framework 4 port type situation.

If we want to go beyond DP alt mode into USB 4 you could forget it.

I'd also love to see a RISC-V variant at some point when it makes sense.

I'd rather wait for a RISC-V variant than waste any of my time with ARM.

With Coreboot and the ChromeOS Linux kernel running well on the device, how much would it take to release a Framework Laptop Linux Edition based on the Chromebook mainboard, but with a standard keyboard and somewhat optimized for a pre-installed Linux distribution?

I would imagine that regular Linux won't do as well as ChromeOS in terms of battery life, but perhaps still considerably better than the Windows mainboard+firmware.

This is potentially a very attractive replacement for my Pixelbook.

What is the battery life when running Chrome OS?

If I wanted to, could I later put a full Linux or Windows in some sort of dual boot?

They answered battery life questions here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32927094, and bootloader questions here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32926689 (it's possible to install other OSs, but depends on community support, it's not official)

Bit late to the party, I'm in Tasmania and was up a mountain doing various things.

I work in metal fabrication (tradesperson) and run a laser cutter as my full time job, and have an interest in most things metallurgical.

Are you able to talk about the 50% post-consumer recycled aluminium. What were the pros / cons of 50% rather than higher or lower percentages.

What was your process in deciding to pursue this and bring the product to market?

How did you see the niche and do you still see it the same way now it is here?

What do you consider to be the value proposition for potential customers of this product?

What is your assessment of the TAM?

Do you have limits on how many differentiated products you are willing to pursue simultaneously in the market?

Can the motherboard be purchased separately in order to transform an existing Framework laptop into a Framework Chromebook?

Technically, yes! You may also need the Chromebook-specific Input Cover and Webcam though for full functionality.

Are those the only hardware differences from a regular Framework?

Didn’t google make a version of ChromeOS that can be installed on a lot of regular laptops? Seems to me it’s possible there may not be any hardware difference between the Chromebook edition and other Framework laptops.

The Chromebook edition is based on the "brya" motherboard design shared by other Chromebooks with 12th gen Intel processors, so it won't be the same as the usual 12th gen Framework board. You can install Chrome OS Flex on the standard Framework mainboard, though; I think earlier commenters have provided more detail.

Can you provide more information about why the fingerprint module was excluded [0]?

I've grown to rely on Windows Hello / Mac FaceID. It's disappointing not to have a bio metric option.


Would love to see https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=980456 get fixed on ChromeOS. Then I could use my e-reader and Calibre via crostini.

What components from the main Framework laptop are compatible with this version? i.e. keyboard/display

We have compatibility filters in the Marketplace to indicate what is compatible. Technically, every module is compatible, but some will turn it into not a Chromebook. For example, you can drop a regular Framework Laptop Mainboard or Input Cover into it.

Keeping it as a Chromebook with ChromeOS, there are specific firmwares required for the Touchpad and Webcam that required us to create variants. The Fingerprint Module we have is also not compatible with ChromeOS.

Are there any learnings from the touchpad work that will come back to the regular laptop?

Are other language kb variants planned?

We have "Register your interest" set up for other countries currently. Depending on how much interest there is, this is something we will consider as we go forward.

Are there plans to develop a touchscreen and a tablet mode for the the framework? And if so, can we at least re-use some of the existing parts, other than the mainboard?

I understand if you can't make promises here, I'm also on a product team :)

This and other products: are AMD or ARM CPUs planned? I'm hesitant to obtain a Framework Laptop due to intel CPUs.

Is it possible to get the Chrome OS version one of these with a super/win key like on the standard version?

Or at the very least, can the normal keyboard part be installed afterwards?

Any chance of it getting sold in the EU?

How's battery life during the ChromeOS equivalent of sleep/suspend/hibernate?

as someone who has been using chromebooks for years, I'm really excited for this!

1. do you have any plans to provide expansion cards for ltr/5g connectivity?

2. do you have any plans to provide more memory for chromebook edition?

What is the size of the screen? Can't find it on the page.

Can you set a battery charge limit on the chromeOS firmware?

There is some effort here—see chrome://flags#adaptive-charging at https://www.aboutchromebooks.com/news/chromeos-105-release-a....

I wish you success and I hope the collaboration with google was financially rewarding but end of the day everything that doesn't work out would mentally hurt and thereby reduce chances of future successes. I would request you to kindly focus!

I have a couple HP Chromebook 13 G1 laptops that I loved quite a lot for ~5 years as my primary personal laptop. It worked really well for 95% of my needs, especially once it got the Linux container support (which was ~4 years in).

The first one I got was $550 for the 8GB RAM model with i5 and "retina" screen, that was a refurb from Woot, almost half off. The second one I got around a year ago when Linux container support landed, 16GB RAM, i7, "retina" screen. That one I got off ebay for $120 landed. I also got my son one that he used until a few days ago. Pretty decent little machine for that price.

My son switched to a $120 Windows ASUS laptop this past weekend because the Chromebook wouldn't run Windows games. I was half expecting him to give up on the new laptop because 4GB isn't much RAM, but he says it works great.

My mother in law was recently asking for laptop advice for a "ward of the court" she oversees that could do with a laptop to do zoom meetings for the court appearances, and to use for school. I went looking for Chromebooks and found: they are all priced the same as a similarly speced Windows laptop. The things I value about ChromeOS ("instant" updates, "nothing really on the device", "security") aren't things the average person (let alone teen) really care about... Kind of hard to recommend a Chromebook for the average person these days, unless I'm missing something.

I'm having a hard time imagining the audience for this product. EDU most likely isn't going to go with this product due to cost (and can get easily complex, imagine trying to juggle all the expansion ports being lost by students), and typical audiences for ChromeOS devices don't always overlap with audiences who want easy repairability (and most likely are purchasing the device for the lack of nuances that other OSes provide).

I'm on a $150 Chromebook from Costco right now because it has a really nice display for text, it gets 8 hours of battery life at full brightness, and there's nothing I do that I can't do on another computer, somewhere else.

And somehow, this thing got my attention. I don't have any interest in their traditional PC laptop line, but I've been waffling over buying a Pixelbook for years because dealing with Google Support is worse than entering a contract with a devil.

If it helps you reconcile it, Framework doesn't do bulk or business orders right now, anyway, so the target demographic is only individuals.

> there's nothing I do that I can't do on another computer, somewhere else.

Is that a misplaced "can't"? (Something like "there's nothing I can't do that I can do on another computer, somewhere else"?)

Maybe they mean "there's nothing I can't do by sshing to another computer when necessary"?

Bingo. This is a dumb terminal that does some wifi calling, thanks to Google Fi.

Christmas gifts for my parents. I've had them on Chromebooks for the last few years, and my father is a tinkerer (Western Electric in the 70s) who routinely opens up laptops, phones, cameras, etc. for repairs or just because.

"just because" is a great personality trait to have (in the context of learning more) and I'm thankful my father had the same attitude.

When I was a child we used to disassemble mechanical/electrical things around the house simply because I asked "How does that work?". On occasion the reassembly didn't quite go to plan and a replacement kettle/toaster/VCR had to be sourced rather swiftly :-)

I also gave all elderly people a chromebook/box because it's so much easier to manage and much harder to break / make slow

People are sleeping on how awesome Chrome OS is. It really is awesome. The 2020 equivalent of 2005 OS X vs. Windows. From there, Linux container. It's mind-boggling to me because I switched _off_ Apple the last 5 years after realizing how powerful it is to be able to pick up a well-made powerful laptop for $600 instead of $2400. It's so much better to have something thats an iPad and a laptop. Ugh. Anyways. Underrated. Really really underrated. (disclaimer: I work on Android at Google)

I concur! I have a few ChromeOS devices at home and, more often than not, it's a simple pleasure. And now with ChromeOS Flex, even more hardware can become more pleasurable. Yes, I know there are some downsides with Flex, but, in this case, I simply feel more ChromeOS, in either form, is, well, better.

Curious if you've test driven an Mx Mac?

Yes, tl;Dr got one at work for iOS dev a couple months back and I gotta be honest OS X is a real drag at this point. Brings me no pleasure to say this. Was such a huge fan.

Displays wider color range, CPUs faster, that's pretty much it on the positives side.

As someone else said, it’s great for gifts. If you’re “the tech guy/gal” in the family, you have to fix people’s broken tech. With this, it’s a chrome book so it should be easy to use, minimal handholding, and if something breaks it’s easy to fix.

As someone who is a CHRONIC mis-placer of [things], this comment made me chuckle...

I fricken lost my titanium SPORKS from my kitchen, one of which was a "businuss card" gift from JD Blair... and I know that nobody stole my sporks... but for the life of me I have no idea where my sporks are, my THREE pairs of $500 glasses that costo made for me and so many other stupid things...(FFS I literally just bought a pair of $150 BT headset, and left it behind within two days of purchase (i was able to get them back - but, yeah...))

I cant imagine if my laptop had removable parts (I leave shit in Ubers all the time)

Sounds like you need a retractable lanyard expansion for the frame.work laptop

all the googlers now looking for a replacement for their now cancelled slates.

Yeah exactly. $999 isn't exactly Chromebook territory.

Chromebook ecosystem is completely saturated with low end / low cost devices so there is not a segment of the market there that is not being met. Even the "high end" devices are often computationally anemic (Pixelbook series with Y series CPUs and eMMC drives). As a Chromebook user I am glad there are at least 2 high end options now (Framework and HP Elite Dragonfly).

Pixelbook is 5-ish years old, there's a half-dozen models with latest Intel like Framework and Elite Dragonfly

Why would people pay that much for a Chromebook, when you could just install Ubuntu and delete all the icons except for Chrome?

I mean isn't that a fair question all around? Why pay more for a high end laptop when you can just buy a cheap chromebook? The myth that ChromeOS is just a web browser is just that a myth. It can do so much more. Some people like a high end laptop, but also prefer the safety and security that ChromeOS provides. I owned a Pixelbook and loved it. Honestly still miss it. I would absolutely buy another high end ChromeOS device.

Because they want a Chromebook and they don't want Ubuntu with no desktop icons? I'm not sure what you're implying to be honest.

I mean, a desktop with a full-featured OS like Ubuntu (or Windows or Mac or whatever) can do so much more, and that justifies a higher price of the equipment. If I'm paying to have only Chrome and nothing else, I should be getting some kind of huge discount ...

Would you pay more to have a dumb phone that only does calls, than a smart phone?

ChromeOS has real Linux with terminal, Android with any app store you fancy, frequent updates that probably won't break your stuff, it's sandboxed all around, one can skip Chrome and use Firefox (and VLC and others) either from apt, Flatpak AND/or Android, machines are mostly touchscreen, Libre Office full install possible, if your machine is beefy enough you get Krita, you can totally skip the Google experience apart from Parameters (I do), and I'm missing some other good points. What not to love (beside it's Google and whatever you do end up feeding the giant hdd serving ads Google really is)?

As one who always get second hand Chromebooks, right now is the time to get a like new Acer 713 with i5 or a new ThinkPad C13 with R5 on the cheap. I've got both this week (cost C$825 total), will end up keeping the best for my needs, give the other to a relative.

An enterprise chromeos device (usually the higher end ones fall into this category) can run windows via parallels, web pages via the chrome browser, linux CLI and GUI apps via crostini, and android apps with google play support. Out of the box without any major modifications. Which Linux distribution offers that amount of functionality out of the box?

I have the original Pixel 2013 vintage and I do not regret paying for that machine. However, it was exceptional for its time with a user experience that I still believe is the best it can be.

Nowadays I have a Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook with an 11th gen intel, 8Gb RAM and a normal Full HD display. It costs approximately half the Framework laptop. The keyboard is really good and backlit, the speakers are MaxxAudio and that actually means they are really good. The flip hinge, touch screen and pen (in the box) work great.

Out of laziness I do developer things on it. Rather than move to the next room to use my 'proper' computer, I install the linux apps and it works really seamlessly. I get that Android is not quite right, but, if you just want to have your notifications come through, it works great.

USB C is a game changer and I no longer want to be able to take my computers apart. I don't want the fans running more than a gentle breeze and I don't want to be taking the machine apart every year to vacuum out the cruft.

In the early Windows/DOS days you would be spending hours moving dip switches and trying to get the machine to work. It was much like automobiles a century ago where constant fiddling was required.

There is a difference between getting work done and tinkering. With a laptop that just works you are doing work not tinkering.

We all want more RAM, CPU speed and so forth and the upgrade option is fine in principle. But do you buy a car with the 1.6 litre petrol engine with the 'benefit' that you can put a 5 litre V8 in there? Nope. But some people make money off YouTube doing this sort of thing so it seems an acceptable 'use case'.

I am not actually negative about the proliferation of Chromebooks at all expense levels, to me they certainly do not have to be bargain basement - hence Chromebook Pixel. But money talks and half of $999 is an unusual spend on a Chromebook, never mind $999.

I mean, HP's Elite DragonFly Chromebook is 50% more...

I'm not sure if HN is a representative audience regarding interest in ChromeOS, but personally all I hope is the money Framework makes from this allows them to release a larger model on which I can slap Linux on. Lightweight 15" laptops with great Linux compatibility aren't so easy to find.

Got my hands on one. Because the screen is tall and keyboard a bit larger it doesn’t feel nearly as cramped as most 13” notebooks. Believe it is 13.5 as well, helps a bit.

The words chromebook and privacy in the same marketing material for a product that clearly targets power users is an audacious choice

It is indeed. The intent of that is to communicate that no matter what the OS is doing, the privacy switches for the camera and microphone are yours to control. The switches function at hardware level with no possibility of software override.

Soory to be harsh, but advertising hardware features "to give you control over your privacy" for a device that runs Google's tracking-ware OS is questionable to say the least.

>> The intent of that is to communicate that no matter what the OS is doing, the privacy switches for the camera and microphone are yours to control

Then why partner with such an OS ? It is not just the HW switches when I cannot use the very Framework chromebook without a google account - where is the privacy in that.

I was very excited for Framework and I appreciate your responses here but this feels too early a backward move for Framework. Is the market/partnership worth the trust hit ?

I hope I am wrong but this seems like going the Don't be evil way.

An operating system developed by the world's largest advertising corporation and the privacy of hardware camera and microphone switches:

Nuts and gum, together at last.

I hate "performance" Chromebooks but I very much appreciate giving end users the choice to get their weird Google OS if they want it. More consumer choice at no cost in other features is only a good thing.

I wonder if it will have proper CCD (Case Closed Debugging)[0] support.

With CCD, you are pretty much free to mess around with the "BIOS" of the machine, without fear of being put in a bad situation.

It also provides a serial terminal to the "AP" (application processor), e.g. available to the OS.

In other words, the Cr50 provides a controlled and user-controlled (but not user-owned) sideband channel to debug the system, even on consumer hardware.

Why user-controlled? Because it requires asserting presence to "Open", which with the design of ChromeOS basically requires being the owner of the device. Why not user-owned? For official ChromeOS devices, AFAIK that firmware cannot be replaced by a user with their own builds.

[0]: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/platform/ec/+/c...

It will, kind of a requirement to make a testable Chromebook these days.

> the Cr50 provides a controlled and user-controlled

The Cr50 is as far from user-controlled as you can get. It can MITM your keyboard, reflash your firmware, and obeys only the holder of the private key corresponding to `LOADERKEY_A`:


If the Chromebook is Google's take on laptops, then Cr50 is Google's take on the IME.

Thanks for taking the quote of context. It's not like the sentence as a whole could ever have any more meaning than a snippet of it.

As I clearly stated, what is user-controlled is the sideband channel to debug the system on consumer hardware. The sideband channel under the current implementation of Cr50 is entirely user-controlled. This is a fact, as the end-user of the machine has control over the sideband channel.

I did not state any judgement about the GSC itself and its firmware.

And please don't start spreading FUD around hypotheticals of updates changing that. Yes it is possible. But a lot else and worse is possible under that scenario, so it serves no purpose but to spread FUD. And is still irrelevant to the content of the previous comment.

I am asking you, please do not ever derail what I say with FUD or out-of-context quotes ever again.

Thank you.

This makes me afraid that the company might at some point be acquired by Google.

Hopefully someone can take that fear away.

Yeah. Maybe this will turn out to be a genius strategic move, but it just seems weird.

It's the same sort of cognitive dissonance as if a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant just announced they're adding a Subway Footlong sandwich to their menu.

Combining hardware privacy switches with a Google chromebook is like pasting a "vegan" sticker on a slab of meat.

Concerns of spyware are precisely why those switches exist.

Switches won't do much if your photos and videos are on your laptop through some other physical means (e.g. disk/network) or if you put them there when the switch was not active.

Yes they also don't protect you from car accidents or heart disease. What's your point?

The purpose of a privacy switch is to make sure that Google (or anyone else, including hackers) isn't spying on you through your camera or microphone. This one accomplishes exactly that.

How will the switch protect me if I'm in a video call with my SO?

I can trust a Linux system.

A system running Google adware (some even call it spyware), not so much.

> How will the switch protect me if I'm in a video call with my SO?

The switch exists for when you are NOT on a video call. It completely cuts the video feed going into the OS on the hardware level. How is that so hard to understand for people here?

It's not hard for anyone to understand. If you're worried that the OS is hijacking your camera, why would you stop being worried just because you're using the camera.

Because when I'm using my camera I make sure not to do things like walk naked in front of it forgetting that there's a camera there? For other people the thing they don't do while on a video call might be having an affair, or using drugs, or...

Your argument seems similar to "why would you care about a microphone spying on you 24/7 if you're willing to sometimes have conversations that might be overheard?"

Yes obviously when you use your webcam you're aware that it's not impossible you're being spied on, and some people may choose to never have a webcam for that reason. For those of us who are happy to take that risk for video calls, we don't have to also accept that we can be spied on any time the laptop is open.

The other guy is arguing that you don't have to accept that risk at all if you don't use an OS from a data harvesting company.

I don't care who watches me through my camera, I was just trying to point out that people aren't stupid about the hardware switch. Some just find it ironic that there is a hardware shut off for a camera on a computer operated by Google.

Apple, Microsoft and Google are all data harvesting companies. And any other OS, including Linux, can have spyware, rootkits or other malicious software installed all the way down to the BIOS. If you want privacy when around an internet-connected camera and microphone there is no substitute for a hardware switch.

Again, the discussion is about camera security at all times, not just when you're not using it.

I think regardless of the fact that it is technically possible with any hardware and any operating system, it is difficult to argue that the risk is the same on Linux as it is on windows or ChromeOS.

I doubt ChromeOS or windows are spying on you through your camera either when you are or are not using it, but people can be sure their Linux distro isn't.

Never transmit onto the internet anything that would ruin your life if it became public, that's my motto. Regardless of how safe the transmission is in theory.

And the vegan sticker isn’t made of meat.

I hope this works out for them. The largest market for Chromebooks are schools but are schools willing to pay Frameworks price? I don't believe so but I hope I'm wrong.

We bought refurb HP and Lenovo laptops for less than $400. >$900 for student laptops is a big no-go. I guess if you were a bigger University, but I cannot see it for the average school.

Though in theory, upgrading/repairing these over time would be cheaper than spending $400 every few years or each time a kid breaks one.

I don't think that math adds up correct, $400 is over half the cost. If they last 2-3 years and a framework lasts 5-6 years before needing repair, it's at about break even (assuming we need to buy a brand new $400 laptop every 2-3 years).

Buying parts for a Framework will cost more than parts for a $400 laptop of which there are thousands on ebay of every single part. For example let's assume the screen is broken and we have a $400 laptop which can be replaced on. A new screen is about $100-150 (based on a quick ebay look of $400 laptops). A new screen for a frame.work is $180.

Your ONLY option with a frame.work is to buy through them at the moment, there is no other part providers. You are at the mercy of frame.work to provide support for parts and supply.

With a $400 Lenovo a quick ebay search can provide you every single part from all over the world at a variety of costs. As well as the normal companies that provide parts for them (and Lenovo themselves).

Note: I started my comment with "in theory".

I would be disappointed in framework if they locked out 3rd parties from selling replacement parts. That's the whole point of right to repair.

My hope is that if people rally behind a platform like this, it will drive the price down too.

There's also the fact that we currently aren't pricing in the cost of e-waste, much like how gas in the US doesn't currently price in the cost of climate change related damages. It could be that those $400 laptops are artificially cheap for now, but once you start charging companies for planned obsolescence, it doesn't make financial sense anymore.

Well, the thing is, because of COVID and some other factors, we figured it was better just to give it to the student and tell them if they break it, then its their problem. Admittedly, a bit mercenary, but we are a community college and students should lean to be careful. Now, we'll help of course in odd circumstances and we did purchase extended warranties.

Strangely, its easier to get money for purchases than have a repair budget, but that US government funding for you.

Possibly if teachers fully adopted Chromebook, this is great for teachers?

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