System76 Galago Pro First Impressions System76 Galago Pro First Impressions - signalblur
Cover Image

System76 Galago Pro First Impressions

David Burkett | April 08, 2023

System76 Galago Pro First Impressions

Recently, I was in the market for a new laptop and as someone that primarily runs linux, I wanted to ensure I got one that would have great hardware support so I wouldn't need to do a lot of tinkering to get things working. Although I've primarily used Dell and Mac laptops in the past, I decided to explore a laptop specifically designed for Linux: the System76 Galago Pro.


Here are some of my first thoughts and a quick write-up of the things I was most curious about while researching the laptops myself.

Transparency: I have not been paid for this blog post and have no financial ties to System76. All opinions of this should be considered my own, and not an opinion of my current or any former employers.

Why System76

I have been using various Linux distributions as my daily driver for almost a decade, and I strongly believe in open-source software. With System76 being a supporter of FOSS (Free and Open-source Software), as demonstrated by their creation of Pop_OS! and their use of coreboot, I figured I'd try a laptop from a company whose core business is built around a well-supported Linux system.


coreboot (spelled with a lower case c according to the style guide) was largely the deciding factor in what laptop I wanted to buy.

coreboot is a FOSS alternative to propreitary BIOS firmware that most vendors such as Dell, Lenovo, etc use that is often times poorly written that can introduce **security vulnerabilities of their own. **

While open-source software doesn't necessarily "fix" this issue, it does allow me to more closely see what is being run, how actively maintained it is, and judge the code quality for myself.

Hardware Quality

This was honestly my biggest concern as I've not had an opportunity to ever use a System76 laptop, and it is generally the biggest complaint that I had seen online. I've owned various makes and models of laptops ranging from cheap $150 Chromebooks to top of the line Macbook Pro's - so I was curious if it was something I'd be dissapointed in myself or not.

I think the most useful thing for most people would be to describe it as very similar in quality to a Dell with my primary complaint being the trackpad is the type that you have to actually press down on, rather than being one that just responds to a lighter tap. My only other... complaints? (that feels like too strong of a word) are that the built in Microphone quality is garbled and that the webcam could be higher resolution. That said my webcam resolution is almost identical to my 3-4 year old Dell XPS without the lame placement at the bottom of the display rather than the normal top perfectly capturing your worst angle.

System76 Galago Pro - Pros:

  • These things can be made to be beefy little laptops - with 64Gb of RAM, 4 TB SSD's, and the 12th Gen Intel i7's.
  • It uses the open source BIOS firmware coreboot
  • The hardware used seems to be well supported with various linux distros (Pop_OS! 22.04 and Fedora Silverblue 37 tried both with 0 issues or tinkering needed)
  • I enjoy that System76 contributes and supports the FOSS ecosystem and really pushes and shows just how far the linux desktop experience has come. (Insert year of the linux desktop joke here.)

System76 Galago Pro - Cons:

  • I wish the trackpad was a more modern style that only required tapping the pad as a gesture rather than requiring a full button press.
  • The built-in microphone could be better - however I typically only use my airpods when I'm in need of audio.

Final Verdict

I most likely will only buy System76 laptops going forward as my experience thus far has been really great. While the webcam, builtin microphone, and trackpad feel closer to a sidegrade in terms of quality from my 3 year old Dell XPS (which isn't bad - just doesn't feel like a brand new MacOS) everything else is absolutely wonderful - its a machine that supports linux well (duh) with no out of the box tinkering needed to get something working (like Airpods for example), and I love that it runs coreboot!

In closing, if hardware quality is something that you are at all potentially worried about - consider waiting for the new model that is going to be built by System76 in their Denver factory which appears to be coming soon! And if you're the type of person that primarily uses an external mouse / airpods anyways and love Linux I really doubt you'll be disappointed. (Treat yo' self)

I'll update this blog post in the coming weeks with photo's of the actual laptop, and to see if my experience has continued to be positive.

Thanks for reading.

Company Info

Signalblur Cyber Threat Intelligence is a cybersecurity company that delivers exceptional services and empowers organizations with accessible, cutting-edge solutions. Our founder brings years of experience from a Fortune 50 company and building Cyber Security Operations Centers.


For any inquiries, please email us at