2530p laptop question

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/22/2019


My laptop is dying and I found a very cheap HP elitebook 2530p. I looked up here:

According to h-node, it should work with trisquel except for wireless card. But the most interesting thing on that page is that there is no BIOS whitelist for wifi chips, if I correctly understood.

Does anybody has experience with this laptop? Can you really swap wifi cards? Because I have some which works with libre, but in other HP there was a BIOS whitelist, which did not allowed to change wifi cards.

Also, is there any security concerns with this laptop, like IME or AMT?
Does trisquel support that "Trusted Platform Module" (is this a good or bad thing for encryptions from security viewpoint)?

Thanks for any advice

I'm tired of laptops with low build quality, but I also heard that there is some issues with these elitebooks and libre software...

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Joined: 07/24/2010

I have no experience with that laptop. That is why cannot confirm whether the BIOS will let another Wifi card run. I would trust h-node though. As for the processor, https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/36689/intel-core-2-duo-processor-sl9400-6m-cache-1-86-ghz-1066-mhz-fsb.html confirms it has Intel TXT DRM. That "trusted computing" technology means you cannot entirely trust your processor (newspeak...), which ultimately obeys Intel. Trisquel will run on it anyway.

Joined: 03/22/2019

I find it difficult to pick a laptop which has

1. Libre hardware (or no whitelist for wifis and no old unsupported ATI graphics, even a "B-gold" grade from h-node)
2. a CPU without spyware (like intel AMT, ME or AMD PSP)
3. good build quality

As far as I know AMD processors are PSP free till year 2013, and intel iME free till 2008, except for some intel atoms. Unfortunately intel atom is considered a "low end" processor so is nowhere to be found on good build quality laptops. I find this issue very important, because I work with some cryptography / PGP and I believe that cryptographic keys can be stolen via those cpu "features".

There are some laptops with 15-17 inch displays, but I'm looking for 12 inch and it is almost impossible to find a laptop meeting all these criteria. Also i do not need a "new" or "fast" laptop, I'm using an old acer (2006) with AMD turion 64, meeting all these criteria, which runs fine for me (except for ATI - no suspend), but the plastic parts are just falling apart because of very low build quality.

By the way, I looked over all laptops from technoethical just to find that all of them were intels with ME.
Even though they all would run trisquel, I can see some conflict of interest here.

Any recommendations?

Joined: 05/01/2018

If you just want a 12-inch notebook, there are so many options. ThinkPad X200/s/t, X201/s/t, X220/t and X230/s/t all meet your requirements. Simply flash coreboot on it and all anti-features are gone.

It is true that, starting Nehalem, ME cannot be totally wiped out, but coreboot has done its best to both neutralize the anti-features of ME and defuse the 30-minute time bomb. There is a minimized ME remnant, but it's totally non-functional and therefore can be treated as "circuit" (i.e. dead). So coreboot is far superior to libreboot, due to latter's total refusal to do anything for newer platform users' freedom.