Thonkpeasant Store and Guides for Quad Core Librebooted Thinkpads

23 Antworten [Letzter Beitrag]
shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

My store is one of the several that offers librebooted thinkpads. I sell machines with Parabola and Trisquel. There are a few things that make my store a little different than others:

• My T400 and T500 machines all have the extremely fast QX9300 QUAD core CPUs. These chips are are about twice as fast as the maximum clock speed T9800 supported by lenovo.
• I'm an active libreboot/osboot developer.
• I am the only seller officially endorsed by Leah Rowe, founder and lead developer of Libreboot. (https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html)
• My machines all come with spi chip upgrades. A few of my machines have 8MB chips, but most have 16MB chips. I never ship with the measly 4MB chips that lenovo uses.
• My machines come with an updated libreboot build, built from git with my own patches and an aesthetic theme.
• I ship from North America

If you choose to buy from my store, you can see my store: https://store.thonkpeasant.xyz/
Additionally, you don't have to buy from my store at all if you want a machine like this. I maintain a website with highly detailed guides: https://thonkpeasant.xyz

If you want help building your own excellent fully FOSS machine you can see the contact links on my website. Email and IRC (#osboot, #libreboot on liberachat) are the best way to get in contact with me. I love to talk about this stuff. My guides are pretty detailed, but don't hesitate to ask for help.

PublicLewdness
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/15/2020

This is awesome news ! I am very happy to see another place selling Librebooted T400's. Prices look really good as well. I also like that you have a donation option that supports one time donations, I plan on using that. I've bookmarked your site and while I don't know when I will be able to pull the trigger on a T400 I hope it's soon. In the mean time I'll share your site around what little social media I have.

Lèyon di li N.
Offline
Beigetreten: 02/11/2017

The more store to sale free computers all other the world, the better! I think shipment won't be interesting for me personally, but that's a good initiative, I encourage you in it. And this is great to support two qualitative GNU / Linux-Libre distributions.

Vikings_thum
Offline
Beigetreten: 04/04/2017

Very noice, I like the quad core updates!
How warm do they get under load, esp. compared to the dual cores?
You could also offer an upgrade to the stock TN panels, those usually suck, especially the CCFL ones, but are easy to replace.

PS: Shipping to a number of countries isn't working: "Warning: No Shipping options are available. Please contact us for assistance!"

PublicLewdness
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/15/2020

"You could also offer an upgrade to the stock TN panels, those usually suck, especially the CCFL ones, but are easy to replace."

The option for nicer screens and bigger batteries are fantastic features for Vikings. I can't think of too many others that do this.

Vikings_thum
Offline
Beigetreten: 04/04/2017

Thanks for the flowers :-) However modding the cooler so it can support the thermal discharge of a quad core CPU sounds like a bigger feat to me.

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

It's actually not that complicated. I only modify the chasis of the machine itself (not the heatsink assembly). I just have a stencil I use to drill holes directly under the heatsink for extra airflow. I have some benchmarks on my site if you wanna see the heat usage and performance difference.

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

Thank you for that. I actually hadn't noticed that my "world" geozone was disabled in opencart. It should now work for important countries in Europe, as well as India and China. Thank man!

libredrs

I am a member!

Offline
Beigetreten: 01/29/2012

Glad to see another librebooted machine source in the neighborhood. Good luck!

Avron
Offline
Beigetreten: 08/18/2020

Thanks for all the nice guides, so many nice guides freshly updated!!!

I have a few questions.

1) What is the screen resolution of the T500 you are selling? (I may be interested to buy it as a present).

2) Should anyone want to (re)install Trisquel on a laptop you sell, what is the method you recommend? Install Trisquel with separate unencrypted /boot partition using main Trisquel installer and then apply https://thonkpeasant.xyz/guides/other/luks-suspend.html?

3) I have a T400 with osboot (I bought it from Minifree), I installed Trisquel with unencrypted boot (and Parabola on another disk, unencrypted boot as well, root and swap in LVM on LUKS) and I am booting with Seabios. Could I apply the instructions at https://thonkpeasant.xyz/guides/other/luks-suspend.html as well?

On this laptop, I initially tried to install Trisquel 10 and Debian 11 with encrypted boot using the instructions from www.libreboot.org, I used the network installers as recommended. In both cases, at boot, after I enter the passwphrase for cryptsetup, the decoding fails. Using the same instructions on another laptop with Libreboot from 2016 and Trisquel 9 installer, it works. Perhaps the new installers use something not supported by grub.

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

1) All I have in stock right now is the standard 1280 for the T500.
2) Re-installation is always good for security. You should be able to install directly to an encrypted boot partition, provided you put the necessary modules in your grub cmdline in /etc/default/grub.
3) You could always apply the instructions for encrypted boot from my site at any time. You won't be able to boot from seabios anymore though, because seabios doesn't have decryption modules. Is there a reason you use seabios instead of GRUB?
4) It's almost certainly an unsupported encryption algorithm. You must use PKBDF2 on your boot part if you want to decrypt with GRUB. I think I'll write a trisquel guide for my site at some point.

Avron
Offline
Beigetreten: 08/18/2020

> You should be able to install directly to an encrypted boot partition, provided you put the necessary modules in your grub cmdline in /etc/default/grub.

For Parabola, yes. For Trisquel, the only documented installation procedure is ubiquity or the netinstaller and I don't think they include the possibility to configure that. There are probably other ways to install Trisquel with more flexibility but this is not documented. Sticking to documented procedures, the only idea I have is to install Trisquel with unencrypted boot first and then apply your procedure.

> Is there a reason you use seabios instead of GRUB?

I followed the documentation from osboot to install Debian, it failed to boot. I followed the old documentation of libreboot to install Trisquel, it failed to boot. I found no other documentation, so I went for seabios as I knew it would work just following the normal Trisquel instructions for any computer, not specifically osboot or libreboot.

Besides, I don't know whether it has changed, but the documentation I read was saying to use a single logical volume for boot and root, and I understood this requires using not the best encryption for root since that is not supported by Grub. That made me think unencrypted boot but better encryption of root was better than not as good encryption for everything.

But now I read your guide that explains how to make encrypted boot with the best encryption supported by GRUB and root with the best encryption, not supported by GRUB, which is clearly better. I want to try it but I'd prefer not to do any flashing since it can go wrong and I would have to do external flashing, which I'd rather not try for the first time alone on some hardware I really don't want to break (also, my vision is 2D only and I am rather clumsy).

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

If you're worried about flashing a bad build then I can build and test one for you and send it your way along with the hash. Do you have the 16MB (8+8) chip x230? Leah and I only got that working a little while ago, so older machines will only have the 12MB (8+4) chips. Right now, internal flashing will only work for the 12mb 8+4. Just to clarify: are you booting from seabios via GRUB, or are you using a specifically seabios rom?

PS: I'll look into updating the encryption docs.

Lef
Lef
Offline
Beigetreten: 11/20/2021

Some notes:

I failed to find a license in your repository:

https://github.com/shmalebx9/Bleeding-Libreboot

It's unclear to me if the prices are CAD or USD.

What's the point of the SPI upgrade?

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

Thank you so much for reminding me about not having a license. Github never reminds users to add one. Thankfully, I've had no contributors yet other than me, so I added one right now.

Prices are USD.

The point of an SPI upgrade is future-proofing. One main advantage of 16MB flash is that you have enough space for linux in flash. An example of linux-in-flash firmware is heads: https://github.com/osresearch/heads. This would allow your firmware to take advantage of all of the drivers and modules currently available for linux. A linux-in-flash implementation is on the roadmap for osboot right now. Porting to libreboot would be difficult but doable (with linux-libre).

andyprough
Online
Beigetreten: 02/12/2015

Good morning to the OP, and thank you for offering these interesting laptops for sale on your site. I have a few questions about your offerings. I know a good bit about libre distros and use several of them including Trisquel, but I know almost nothing about old Thinkpads, so please bear with me as some of my questions may seem quite silly.

a) Why is the X200 being sold for $500 on your site, but the T500 (which seems more powerful) being sold for just $375 when fully loaded? I'm just curious about this point - maybe the X200 is actually more powerful and I just don't see it in the specs? Or maybe the X200's are harder for you to obtain? Or maybe the P8600 processors are more expensive because of the lower TDP?

b) Are there any old Thinkpads you can offer that can be upgraded to 16GB of memory? I began using a 16GB laptop a few years ago as my primary laptop, and I don't think I could ever go back. I do use some older 2GB to 8GB systems for simple tasks such as web browsing and editing documents, but for doing any hardcore work in my line of work, less than 16GB grinds the system to a halt pretty quickly.

c) Do you offer a larger SSD option? Or if I bought one and swapped out the smaller SSD for a 1TB or 2TB SSD, would there be any non-free firmware implications of me making that change?

Malsasa
Offline
Beigetreten: 12/01/2016

Thank you, I am glad there is a new shop selling GNU/Linux laptops. I
wish you success.

Sincerely yours,

Malsasa

shmalebx9
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/09/2022

Edit: @andyprough

a) It's your third intuition. GM45 hardware (librebootable thinkpads) are disappearing day by day. Lots of people buy their own and libreboot it. Other libreboot sellers like vikings also sell this machine; which entails them buying it used. GM45 hardware hasn't been produced in over a decade, so there is a limited number of machines to go around, and the supply dwindles day by day. Demand for librebooted machines, on the other hand, is fairly static. So the price of GM45 is now going up rather than down. This framework applies to all GM45. The X200 is however, by far the most popular GM45 machine. That all basically means that there are very few X200s around and the price reflects that scarcity; for consumers and for sellers who have to buy second-hand. In fact, I actually stopped searching for X200s a while back, I simply don't put the effort into buying them. The X200s on my site are purchased wholesale from leah (the libreboot founder) as she still has a reasonably robust supply chain in Europe.

b) There are decent old thinkpads that support up to 16GB of ram from the '20 generation (T420 for example). None of those machines can be librebooted though. 8GB is a hardware limit of GM45 hardware. No amount of hackery can change the hard memory limit of those machines. I currently use a T400 as my daily driver with 8GB and it works for me. It, of course, always depends on your use case. There are almost always more minimalist alternatives to memory-hungry programs. For example, I'm typing this right now with a dozen tabs open, neovim with a half dozen buffers, and a few other programs open and I'm hitting under a gig of memory right now. Obviously, there are tasks like video editing that simply require the latest and most performant hardware. If your job forces you to use a memory-instensive program then you basically just have to accept it. Feeding your family and paying bills has to come before a freedom ideology.

c1) I'm pretty much the most flexible seller you'll meet. I only care about getting good freedom-respecting hardware into the hands of as many people as possible. I could always source a larger SSD on request, or just ship without one, and let you put your own ssd in there.

c2) Your question about the freedom implications of a new ssd actually hits an a very very very important point. The tldr is that there's no freedom to using a larger SSD OVER a smaller one. There is however, a massive freedom implication to using ssds/hdds in general. The fact is, libreboot only replaces the eeprom of your machine. EC, hdd/ssd firmware, and the firmware for several other components is still nonfree (with NO free alternatives). Using a librebooted machine means you have the "most free" computer you can get, but there's still nonfree firmware on other chips on your machine. You can read more here: https://libreboot.org/news/policy.html

andyprough
Online
Beigetreten: 02/12/2015

@shmalebx9 - OK sounds good, you've given me a lot to think about. I know for certain that I cannot reduce my memory needs due to the particular type of work I do. It's not the size of the program, but the size of the data that I have to manipulate inside the program which is the problem. Similar to your example of video editing. Probably my librebooted computer will ultimately need to be a workstation with one of those nice D16 motherboards that Vikings sells.

PublicLewdness
Offline
Beigetreten: 03/15/2020

"I currently use a T400 as my daily driver with 8GB and it works for me. It, of course, always depends on your use case. There are almost always more minimalist alternatives to memory-hungry programs. For example, I'm typing this right now with a dozen tabs open, neovim with a half dozen buffers, and a few other programs open and I'm hitting under a gig of memory right now."

This puts my mind at ease as I was wondering how the T400 would handle modern web browsing. My T61 doesn't do well on Nouveau drivers, so I was worried about the old Intel GMA graphics the T400 has, but I figured that had more to do with Nouveau. Glad to see my hunch was right.

cubalibre
Offline
Beigetreten: 10/14/2015

https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html now directly goes to minifree.org. Obviously that means that your store is no longer endorsed. What happened?

arielenter

I am a member!

I am a translator!

Offline
Beigetreten: 08/25/2010

:O

jxself
Offline
Beigetreten: 09/13/2010

Probably nothing more than Leah changing her mind. These types of things seem to happen fairly regularly. In this way all sales are referred to Leah herself, as if there were no other suppliers.

prospero
Offline
Beigetreten: 05/20/2022

Maybe the business relationship recently came to an end:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220309230711/https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html