How to install Libreboot on unsupported device? And I need free firmwares for ALL my hardware.

22 réponses [Dernière contribution]
anonymous

I want to completely free my laptop. I hate proprietary programs. I didn't want to see any proprietary program on my laptop.
But my laptop is SAMSUNG RV508. And I can't find Libreboot for my laptop.
I need firmware for hard drive and for all hardware, that have firmwares.
Are there any free firmware for HDD and USB Flash Storage? How to port Libreboot to my laptop?

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

First it must support Coreboot. Have a look on this list for your model (if it is an ARM Chromebook you are in luck): https://www.coreboot.org/Supported_Motherboards
Then, we would need to see whether it can boot without blobs. It may well do, and if it did it would be added to Libreboot
Then you need to install a free GNU/Linux system.
Or just buy a laptop from Minifree which run Libreboot. That is probably what you are best to do right now.

stas730 (non vérifié)

If it isn't supported (I didn't normally checked support list), I need to port Coreboot firstly?
And how about firmwares to other hardware?
And if it is ported, how to test it without breaking device?
I think it cannot be run on QEMU (I know about QEMU binaries).

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

That is really difficult.
It is not as simple as just writing drivers for hardware.
You need to know how the board initialises itself, which is really painful reverse-engineering.
Are you even a software developer, or just comfortable using GNU/Linux? Because this is harder than most of what most software developers do. You can only test it on real hardware because we do not know how to emulate it. If we did we probably would already have Coreboot on it.
I also suspect it is a computer with an Intel chip. If it is even 10 years old it will probably require Intel "firmware support package" to use with Coreboot, which does not solve the problems with Intel backdoors.
So if you want Libreboot now (not in 5 years) then just buy a laptop from Minifree.

stas730 (non vérifié)

I can't buy Minifree laptop now.
I have bad blocks on my hard drive. How to do with this? I can't sell my laptop without rewriting ALL DATA using /dev/zero and installing FreeDOS (it was preinstalled).
P. S. Are there free HDD/camera/etc firmwares on laptops from Minifree? Or I need to buy different hardware, not full laptop?

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

Just stick with what you have until you have enough money for your laptop. Having bad blocks is something hard drives do after a while. It means they could fail some time so back up your data regularly. Don't sell your laptop unless you are absolutely sure you want a Minifree laptop, and even then it is good to have a "backup" so to speak. You should consider all your options.
Re firmwares, some Libreboot-supported laptops have cameras, some don't. The Macbooks have one, I don't think the Thinkpads have them. The cameras do indeed need some proprietary firmware blob.

stas730 (non vérifié)

Thinkpad X200 have camera.
I can buy something hardware and use only free firmwares? I need to have a list of hardware and buy this hardware, when I will be have enough money.

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

I did not know that.
If the X200 is sold by Minifree, then the camera probably has free firmware otherwise FSF would not have given it "respect your freedom" certification.
At any rate, if you found a cheap X200, installed it with Libreboot and Trisquel, then it would probably work. At any rate, even if the firmware was not free, you just wouldn't load the firmware, would you? You could attach a camera if you needed it yourself.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/31/2014

X200 has 2 proprietary firmware: EC (embedded controller) and the hard drive.

stas730 (non vérifié)

Are there any Minifree/other laptop with fully free firmwares. I need a camera/microphone for free (as in freedom) telephony. If it is enough USB ports, I can buy other camera and remove embedded.
Shortly, I need a laptop with fully free software & firnwares.
If only SSD have free firmwares, I need to switch from HDD to SSD.

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

Chromebooks have free embedded controller (EC) firmware, but the only ARM-based Chromebook supported in Libreboot has poor graphics support, and a soldered Broadcomm wireless. So even when free EC firmware exists - which is not sophisticated enough to pose any real threat to privacy and security - there are other far worse flaws.
The Minifree computers are the most freedom respecting computers. EC firmware is trivial compared to wireless firmware or firmware for graphics processors.
Have a look here regarding firmware for HDDs and SSDs: https://libreboot.org/faq/#firmware-hddssd

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/31/2014

>So even when free EC firmware exists - which is not sophisticated enough to pose any real threat to privacy and security - there are other far worse flaws.

Actually a malicious EC can do a lot of harm, potentially -> http://hemingway.softwarelivre.org/fisl16/high/40t/sala_40t-high-201507111600.ogv

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

I think that in comparison to Windows, the Intel backdoors, etc, it is probably not such a big concern.
Luckily there is an effort to write free EC firmware for the X200, so hopefully we'll be all right until then.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/31/2014

In comparison to Windows an unpatched distro of GNU from 2006 is probably more secure hehe x_X

EDIT: watch that vid, very instructive.

stas730 (non vérifié)

I need FULLY FREE firmwares. I need to buy Chromebook ARM, then replace HDD with SSD? And I can install Trisquel GNU/Linux to ARM?
I think, if I have money, and list of free hardware for upgrade, I can buy it. Freedom is better than convenience.

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

> I need FULLY FREE firmwares.
It can't be done, sorry. We might all need them, but the phrase "I want doesn't get" comes to mind.
Seriously, the Libreboot laptops are currently the best we have in terms of freedom. Alas, you can't have something that doesn't exist.
Remember, the ARM Chromebooks do not respect your freedom! If you want freedom you will not get one with one of those. There are too many non-free firmware blobs (to which you appear to vehemently despise) required to make them fully functional.
The firmware on the HDD or SSD is not loaded by the BIOS or by the operating system, it is flashed onto a controller on the actuall HDD/SSD. Buying an SSD won't magically give you free firmware on it. In fact, I have no idea if free firmware exists for SSDs; the answer is, probably not.
Regarding ARM, Trisquel does not provide binary packages for ARM, at any rate. You can install Parabola (a libre rolling-release distribution based on Arch), or Debian which is probably what you will be used to.

stas730 (non vérifié)

The hardware is SECRET? Why we cannot create this hardware with free firmwares? Are there any projects for cameras, EC and other bad firmware replacements?
FSF says anything about other firmwares (not BIOS)? Or it is not interest for FSF?
I will be need to create project "Free Computer", but I cannot develop firmwares. Where I can find developers?

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

> The hardware is SECRET? Why we cannot create this hardware with free firmwares?

Because we don't have the capability to make our own processors and other low-level hardware. Manufacturing this hardware requires investment in very expensive factories. The most we can realistically do right now is take what the massive companies responsible for manufacturing the basic components offer and use the best components we can in our computers. Even that is quite expensive, but at least it's something we can manage to do.

stas730 (non vérifié)

And where I can find developers?

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

Raptor Engineering are developing a POWER8-based computer with just free software: https://www.raptorengineering.com/TALOS/prerelease.php
You should register your interest. It will apparently cost 2900 USD. Expensive but that's how much what you want will cost.

stas730 (non vérifié)

I can't earn 2900 USD. I will be try… maybe.
P. S. I found free BIOS implementation — SeaBIOS. I can flash this or I give "brick"? I can't find support list.

root_vegetable
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/27/2015

Find developers who will work on hardware free of charge? No chance. There are already people who contribute to Coreboot. It is not a trivial task you can do in your spare time.
Do not flash SeaBIOS! SeaBIOS implements BIOS functions. It does not replace the boot firmware, that is what Coreboot does. Coreboot can use SeaBIOS as a payload to start systems, but SeaBIOS does not work on its own. You will brick your system if you attempt to flash SeaBIOS.
You will need to buy new hardware. Just stick with what you have until you have saved up money.

tdlnx

I am a member!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/09/2014

I have to agree with the others who have posted in this thread, Minifree (or Libiquity) laptops are the absolute most free laptops you can currently buy. They're expensive, but since you seem to be so passionate about rejecting any and all forms of proprietary firmware/software/etc it looks like your options are to save up and spend the cash, or go without computing all together.

I was lucky enough to find a x200 with libreboot installed on eBay and only paid about $100(US), so if you keep an eye out you may be able to find a deal as well. That being said, buying third-party doesn't benefit the libreboot developers or Minifree at all..