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Industry Computer hardware
Founded 2005 (2005)
Headquarters Denver, Colorado, United States
Area served
Key people
Carl Richell, CEO
Products Desktops, netbooks, notebooks, servers

System76 is a Denver, Colorado-based[1][2] computer manufacturer specializing in the sale of notebooks, desktops, and servers. They are notable for their support of open-source software, only offering Ubuntu as the installed operating system.[3]


System76 was founded by Carl Richell and Erik Fetzer.[4] In 2003, Fetzer registered the domain to sell computers with the Linux operating system installed. The idea was not pursued until two years later. In mid 2005, Richell and Fetzer's most important and challenging question in the early stages of the company was which Linux distribution to use. Their quest to bring Linux to the mass market required choosing the best distribution for their customers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenSUSE, Yoper and other distributions were considered and dismissed. Ubuntu was initially dismissed, but Richell and Fetzer changed their mind quickly after evaluating it more thoroughly. Further, Richell was particularly fond of Canonical’s business model: completely free software, which was backed by commercial support as necessary. The first computers sold by System76 shipped with Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger preinstalled.[5]

Company name

The number 76 in the company name alludes to the year 1776, the year in which the American Revolution took place. The company founders hope likewise to ignite an open source revolution, ultimately leading to a situation in which consumers do not rely primarily on proprietary software.[5]


System76's products are typically named after the fauna of Africa.




The servers sold by System76 were some of the first servers to offer the Ubuntu Linux distribution pre-installed.[9] Recent models, as of 2012, have garnered generally positive reviews, which cite value and hardware compatibility as primary advantages.[10]

Community relations

The company actively promotes Ubuntu with its Free Ubuntu Sticker program, sending small stickers labeled "Powered by Ubuntu" and "Ubuntu Key" to fans who send self-addressed, stamped envelopes to the System76 Corporate office in Denver, Colorado.[12]

The company has a history of sponsoring the Ubuntu Developer Summit.[13] Their official support forums are hosted by Canonical, Ltd. , the primary developer of Ubuntu.[14]

System76 is an active member in the Colorado Ubuntu Community, serving as the corporate sponsor for Ubuntu LoCo events and release parties in the area.[15][better source needed]


  1. "About Us". System76. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  2. "Contact". System76. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  3. Stevens, Tim (January 25, 2011). "System 76 brings Sandy Bridge to Ubuntu with Gazelle and Serval laptops". Engadget. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  4. Swapnil Bhartiya (2011-04-30). "Exclusive Interview With System 76 CEO Carl Richell". Muktware. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "How System76 Began". Carl Richell. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  6. "Laptops - System76". System76. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "Laptops - System76". System76. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 "Desktops - System76". System76. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  9. Voicu, Daniel. "System76 Sells Servers with Ubuntu 7.10 Pre-installed". Softpedia. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  10. Hess, Kenneth. "The 7 Best Servers for Linux". Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Servers - System76". System76. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  12. "System76 Community Free Stickers". System76 Community. System76, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  13. "Ubuntu Developer Summit Sponsors". Canonical Ltd. 2012-10-01. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. 
  14. "System76 Support". Ubuntu Forums. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  15. Overcash, David. "Colo Loco Team". LoCoTeams. Wiki.Ubuntu. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 

External links