As I’ve shared on the Fediverse and my gemini capsule, I have purchased at the end of last year a new laptop. I decided to go with the FrameWork, with the 12th generation of intel processor. A new laptop wasn’t planed but as I had to, I decided to go with the FrameWork brand, hoping it will help me reduce some hardware waste. Like last time, I wanted to give money to a company promoting linux installation, which is the case with the FrameWork (fully supported distros are Fedora, Ubuntu, Pop!OS, Manjaro and Linux Mint).
This post starts a series of posts documenting the full installation (and pre/post installation) and configuration of this framework laptop with EndeavourOS. While writing this first post, the only thing I couldn’t configure properly is the hibernation. It seems to work for some people but not for me yet. It might be due to disk encryption but I believe I’ve followed the documentation correctly so not sure what is missing yet.
The DIY kit comes with almost everything being installed and wired, except the RAM and Nvme drive. As opposed to Korruptor, I was pleased to see almost everything setup :). I’ve never opened a laptop before so it was a nice small step to just open it and stick the RAM/Nvme parts and be done with it. Normally, the next time will be in a few years, but for a lot more work :).
I am very happy with the hardware quality, from the inside where everything is neatly placed with QR codes to quick access docs, to the magnetic cover that simplifies closing the input cover, to the screen and keyboard. I’m usually very harsh against laptop keyboards as I’ve used many that I disliked. But I admit this one is very nice to type on! Of course, far from the pleasure of typing on a mechanical keyboard with cherry MX blue, but what is :). For a laptop keyboard, I give it an A!
The screen, while bright, is very confortable and seems to be of good quality. I’ve never been a big expert on screens, but working on this one pleasant so far :). The touchpad is ok. I’ve never been a huge fan of touchpads even though I’m fine using them. I prefer having a real mouse but this one is usable when on the move. I’ve used worse.
The online guides to open the laptop and set everything up are very detailed with pictures and texts, that was quick and painless to do, kudos to the framework team for this great laptop and documentation. My only hopes now is that it stays great for a long time, and that the framework team will continue to provide improvements over the years.
In term of Expansion cards, I decided to buy 1 USB A, 3 USB C and 1 HDMI. At home, I use 1 USB A, 2 USB C and the HDMI. One USB C is used for power, one for a USB C dongle where I connect external keyboard and mouse and 2 screens (via hdmi). The HDMI expansion card is connected to the 3rd external screen. The 3rd USB C may replace the USB A if I buy a smaller USB C dongle because I need a USB A on the move, at least for a yubikey for work (but more on that in a later post).
I haven’t calculated yet the full time the battery can keep running, but seems I could reach 5/6h in power saving mode. But I need to do real tests to check this more.
As said above, their are many supported distributions: Fedora, Ubuntu, Pop!OS, Linux Mint and Manjoro XFCE. I didn’t want to use Ubuntu (or derivated) because of the use of Snap packages that I personally don’t like. I went against Fedora for the same reasons about Flatpak packages. While I understand the ideas and concepts, so far the experience for me has been more negative than positive with these two. I only use them when I have no other choices (eg on the steam deck).
I wanted to use Archlinux again. I’ve used Arch some years ago and always liked it. I moved to Ubuntu when purchasing a dell xps a long time ago with Ubuntu on it and decided to keep it at that time for some reasons. So of course I looked at Archlinux and derivated.
A simple choice was Manjaro, as it is based on Archlinux and officially supports the framework laptop. But I have some personal issue with Manjaro. The separate repo, some past choices and community related stories makes me avoid this distro. Also, the supported Manjaro install is based on xfce, which I don’t want either.
EndeavourOS seemed interesting. It has a pre-configured i3wm installation that is really nice with rofi scripts to manage a launcher, a power profile (performance, power saver, balanced) or power management (lock, suspend, reboot, …). Also, it didn’t change much from the based Archlinux. There is a special EndeavourOS repo but only for specific EndeavourOS tools. Otherwise it uses the Archlinux mirrors.
Also, I loved that pipewire is configured out of the box (and works perfectly)!
The installer is easy to use and worked without a glitch :). So I won’t need to cover it, just look at the documentation and you’ll be fine. There was some things I had to do after the installation process though for the framework laptop itself, but that will be the goal of the next post. The only important detail is that I selected to encrypt fully my hard drive.
That’s it for the first post, next one will be about the post installation setup, to fix some of the issue I found after installing EndeavourOS. There wasn’t many but I’ll cover the basic setup of my laptop also.