Question about libreboot T400 and X200 laptops

40 respostas [Última entrada]
8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Hi

http://minifree.org/product-category/laptops/

I was looking at the website gnu.org and i seen this laptops as one of the recommended 100% FREEDOM hardware.

Now what i found online is that CPU,GPU and all other components are old,and some people say that those laptops are actually rip OFFS of lenovo laptops.

I started to do deeper research and i seen that these laptops are completely cracked down,their hardware unlocked 100%.

Now what weird to me is where they get hardware from?Are they running their own manufacturing,or are they old lenovo laptops that were took long time ago and never sold out,and now they are being sold as libre laptops???

When it comes to these kind of websites,old look does not mean anything,and i am trying to grasp what is actually happening here.

I didnt contacted official sellers yet,i am planning doing so,and i seen that a lot of people here have these laptops so if they could provide more info,that would be great.

PS:

I guess that OS like trisquel are actually made for this kind of hardware,because i tried it on my new laptop(2013 manufacturing year,one of the first Richland based AMDs APU with R7 M260 graphics)and my graphics card performance on both GPU and APU was 5% which is disaster.

Now seeing newest ubuntu LTS 14.04.3,and its drivers that are great,hardware accelerated,openGL performance works the same as on windows ,closedsource are faster to be honest,much more,and even better performance on openGL rendering with Ubuntu than on WIndows,but they have some bugs and were causing my laptop to freeze at random so i decided to keep free drivers.

Now seeing this not available in trisquel at all,even if its free,i am interested in buying some supported hardware,but i dont want to buy old peace of crap that is sitting on some shelf for 8 years.

I get that model itself is old,but is actual manufacturing of those components finished long time ago,or this is new manufactured hardware ready to be sold as a piece of freedom hardware for freedom software???

Regards

jxself
Desconectado
Joined: 09/13/2010

Minifree does not manufacture. They buy them, in a used condition, refurbish them into good condition and put libreboot on them (along with Trisquel) and then sell them.

"but i dont want to buy old peace of crap that is sitting on some shelf for 8 years."

At the moment, older computers are the only ones that are capable of getting the Respects Your Freedom certification. All of the newer machines have fatal freedom problems. Read through the libreboot FAQ to become familiar with the issues: https://libreboot.org/faq/

And so you're faced with a decision: Do you want stuff that Respects Your Freedom or do you want it to be new? Because we cannot have it both ways right now. You must pick one or the other. The question becomes: Which will you choose?

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Desconectado
Joined: 10/31/2014

**Do not take the blue pill**
X_X

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Hi

Its just weird to me.I am trying to grasp what is happening here.

On gnu.org and fsf.org we have hardware database of hardware which is non free but marked as free and opensource,but at the same time,we have hardware vendors list that sell GNU/linux endorsed distros ,which use non free hardware.

In this situation,are they OK by using it?Please take look at the links below:

GNu list
http://www.gnu.org/links/companies.en.html
Please take a note about this website inside gnu list
http://laclinux.com/gnu/Start
And take a look at their components on their laptops

Now FSF list
https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/respects-your-freedom
one of their supported hardwaare list
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/snares-penguin-gnu-linux-notebook
Does recommend Linux Mind and other ubuntu Distros,also take a look at hardware specs

Now we are coming to most interesting part

Single board computers:
https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/single-board-computers

List of all SBC marked as non free hardware,but actually original devs and creators claim that its free

Its not a full list,but i dug out some board that seems legit,active manufacturing and FREE

http://wiki.minnowboard.org/MinnowBoard_Wiki_Home

Now if someone could take a look at the components and check if everything is FREE,that would be great.

To me ,its seems really good,what do you think guys

I found out their original model among the others have coreboot,you can locate it here
https://www.coreboot.org/Supported_Motherboards

Now what i dont understand,they also dont seem to endorse GNU/linux official distro list,they do recommend Ubuntu and Debian among the others.

Keep me posted and let me know what did you find out?

Regards

onpon4
Desconectado
Joined: 05/30/2012

The FSF isn't a religious organization. It's not a sin to use imperfect hardware. The FSF only gives the best recommendations it can.

The "Respects Your Freedom" page lists hardware which has no proprietary firmware requirements, with the exception of firmware that is burnt onto a ROM and embedded into the hardware itself (such as the firmware in the hard drive and the firmware in the keyboard).

The "companies that sell computers pre-installed with GNU/Linux" page is just that: a list of companies that offer the option to buy their computers pre-installed with an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distro. This does not mean that the computer has no proprietary software. But after RYF-endorsed devices, this is the second-best choice. (Think Penguin, in particular, makes an effort to ensure that all of its hardware works out-of-the-box with Linux-libre.)

The list of single-board computers gives information on single-board computers available, i.e. what flaws each of them has.

There is no such thing today as "free hardware". All hardware manufactured today includes components sourced from one of a few very large corporations; this is currently an economic necessity. Designs for these components are not available. There isn't even a such a thing as a computer that includes absolutely no proprietary software, since as I alluded to earlier all of them have embedded firmware in things like keyboards and hard drives. Heck, every single USB device you use has some sort of firmware embedded into it, and this is proprietary firmware. That's why the FSF makes an exception for embedded firmware; a device running only libre software in every component just isn't feasible, at least not today.

onpon4
Desconectado
Joined: 05/30/2012

You're thinking too much. The FSF isn't a religious organization. It's not a
sin to use hardware that mistreats you. The FSF only gives the best
recommendations it can.

The "Respects Your Freedom" page lists hardware which has no proprietary
firmware requirements, with the exception of firmware that is burnt onto a
ROM and embedded into the hardware itself (such as the firmware in the hard
drive and the firmware in the keyboard).

The "companies that sell computers pre-installed with GNU/Linux" page is just
that: a list of companies that offer the option to buy their computers
pre-installed with an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distro. This does not mean that
the computer has no proprietary software. But after RYF-endorsed devices,
this is the second-best choice. (Think Penguin, in particular, makes an
effort to ensure that all of its hardware works out-of-the-box with
Linux-libre.)

The list of single-board computers gives information on single-board
computers available, i.e. what flaws each of them has.

There is no such thing today as "free hardware". All hardware manufactured
today includes components sourced from one of a few very large corporations;
this is currently an economic necessity. Designs for these components are not
available. There isn't even a such a thing as a computer that includes
absolutely no proprietary software, since as I alluded to earlier all of them
have embedded firmware in things like keyboards and hard drives. Heck, every
single USB device you use has some sort of firmware embedded into it, and
this is proprietary firmware. That's why the FSF makes an exception for
embedded firmware; a device running only libre software in every component
just isn't feasible, at least not today.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Desconectado
Joined: 10/31/2014

**Do not take the blue pill**
X_X

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Hi

Its just weird to me.I am trying to grasp what is happening here.

On gnu.org and fsf.org we have hardware database of hardware which is non
free but marked as free and opensource,but at the same time,we have hardware
vendors list that sell GNU/linux endorsed distros ,which use non free
hardware.

In this situation,are they OK by using it?Please take look at the links
below:

GNu list
http://www.gnu.org/links/companies.en.html
Please take a note about this website inside gnu list
http://laclinux.com/gnu/Start
And take a look at their components on their laptops

Now FSF list
https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/respects-your-freedom
one of their supported hardwaare list
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/snares-penguin-gnu-linux-notebook
Does recommend Linux Mind and other ubuntu Distros,also take a look at
hardware specs

Now we are coming to most interesting part

Single board computers:
https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/single-board-computers

List of all SBC marked as non free hardware,but actually original devs and
creators claim that its free

Its not a full list,but i dug out some board that seems legit,active
manufacturing and FREE

http://wiki.minnowboard.org/MinnowBoard_Wiki_Home

Now if someone could take a look at the components and check if everything is
FREE,that would be great.

To me ,its seems really good,what do you think guys

I found out their original model among the others have coreboot,you can
locate it here
https://www.coreboot.org/Supported_Motherboards

Now what i dont understand,they also dont seem to endorse GNU/linux official
distro list,they do recommend Ubuntu and Debian among the others.

Keep me posted and let me know what did you find out?

Regards

davidnotcoulthard (non verificado)
davidnotcoulthard

Ciomputers don't rot so what's wrong with one that spent 8 years on a shelf (though I don't think that applies to any T400's or X200's)?

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Yes they do rot ;-]

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Yes they do rot ;-]

Embracer245
Desconectado
Joined: 08/24/2015

I would personally prefer a new computer with GNU/linux installed, but these computers with libreboot are OK if you really care about your freedom (no Windows through, too proprietary for libreboot)

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

I just think i found something

http://wiki.minnowboard.org/MinnowBoard_Wiki_Home

Still looking into it.

If you see some proprietary component,please let me know!

Regards

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

I just think i found something

http://wiki.minnowboard.org/MinnowBoard_Wiki_Home

Still looking into it.

If you see some proprietary component,please let me know!

Regards

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado
Joined: 07/24/2010

I guess that OS like trisquel are actually made for this kind of hardware,because i tried it on my new laptop(2013 manufacturing year,one of the first Richland based AMDs APU with R7 M260 graphics)and my graphics card performance on both GPU and APU was 5% which is disaster.

Trisquel's Linux-libre kernel can easily be updated: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/update-linux-libre-kernel

The performance of the free software drivers on a same version of Linux or Linux-libre should be the same, regardless of the distribution. But if you use the proprietary AMD firmware on a distribution and not on the other, then the performance will be dramatically different... and so will the control you have on that software!

AMD is a terrible choice from a free software perspective: in particular, no proprietary firmware means no 3D acceleration. Either choose an old nVidia board or an Intel integrated chipset.

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Please re read my original post where i was talking on which driver i use.

I use open source drivers on my newest Ubuntu LTS and compared to trisquel drivers ,well,its not comparable at all.

Thats why i was asking about OS development,are they just supporting particular hardware,because there are free drivers out there,and they just dont seem to want to implement them to me,or simply development of trisquel is too slow,i just want to know what is happening here?

Please re read original post!

Regards

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado
Joined: 07/24/2010

I read your posts. You did not understand mine.

The kernels in Ubuntu's repositories include proprietary firmware. In particular, they include proprietary firmware for the AMD graphic card that the libre "radeon" driver uses. The kernels in Trisquel's repositories do not include that firmware (or any other proprietary firmware), hence more freedom... and less features (e.g., no 3D acceleration).

jxself
Desconectado
Joined: 09/13/2010

This is because those "open source drivers" as you call them include proprietary junk inside of them, as Magic Banana says.

For an example, check out all of the stuff that gets ripped out in order to make Linux-libre: http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/pub/linux-libre/releases/4.4-gnu/linux-libre-4.4-gnu.log

(And this is just the standard kernel from kernel.org - The one used by Ubuntu contains even more than this because they add even more proprietary junk in!)

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado
Joined: 07/24/2010

I read your posts. You did not understand mine.

The kernels in Ubuntu's repositories include proprietary firmware. In
particular, they include proprietary firmware for the AMD graphic card that
the libre "radeon" driver uses. The kernels in Trisquel's repository do not
include that firmware (or any other proprietary firmware), hence more
freedom... and less features (e.g., no 3D acceleration).

jxself
Desconectado
Joined: 09/13/2010

This is because those "open source drivers" as you call them include
proprietary junk inside of them, as Magic Banana says.

For an example, check out all of the stuff that gets ripped out in order to
make Linux-libre:
http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/pub/linux-libre/releases/4.4-gnu/linux-libre-4.4-gnu.log

(And this is just the standard kernel from kernel.org - The one used by
Ubuntu contains even more than this because they add even more proprietary
junk in!)

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Thank you for this one,i really didn't knew that firmware can make such a problem,thought that it goes together with open source driver as a all together package!

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Hi

http://minifree.org/product-category/laptops/

I was looking at the website gnu.org and i seen this laptops as one of the
recommended 100% FREEDOM hardware.

Now what i found online is that CPU,GPU and all other components are old,and
some people say that those laptops are actually rip OFFS of lenovo laptops.

I started to do deeper research and i seen that these laptops are completely
cracked down,their hardware unlocked 100%.

Now what weird to me is where they get hardware from?Are they running their
own manufacturing,or are they old lenovo laptops that were took long time ago
and never sold out,and now they are being sold as libre laptops???

When it comes to these kind of websites,old look does not mean anything,and i
am trying to grasp what is actually happening here.

I didnt contacted official sellers yet,i am planning doing so,and i seen that
a lot of people here have these laptops so if they could provide more
info,that would be great.

PS:

I guess that OS like trisquel are actually made for this kind of
hardware,because i tried it on my new laptop(2013 manufacturing year,one of
the first Richland based AMDs APU with R7 M260 graphics)and my graphics card
performance on both GPU and APU was 5% which is disaster.

Now seeing newest ubuntu LTS 14.04.3,and its drivers that are great,hardware
accelerated,openGL performance works the same as on windows ,closedsource are
faster to be honest,much more,and even better performance on openGL rendering
with Ubuntu than on WIndows,but they have some bugs and were causing my
laptop to freeze at random so i decided to keep free drivers.

Now seeing this not available in trisquel at all,even if its free,i am
interested in buying some supported hardware,but i dont want to buy old peace
of crap that is sitting on some shelf for 8 years.

I get that model itself is old,but is actual manufacturing of those
components finished long time ago,or this is new manufactured hardware ready
to be sold as a piece of freedom hardware for freedom software???

Regards

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Desconectado
Joined: 10/31/2014

>I started to do deeper research and i seen that these laptops are completely
cracked down,their hardware unlocked 100%.

Not correct. Proprietary firmware is required and used for the hard drive and the embedded controller.

>Now what weird to me is where they get hardware from?

Those are just refurbished Lenovo laptops.

>I guess that OS like trisquel are actually made for this kind of
hardware,because i tried it on my new laptop(2013 manufacturing year,one of
the first Richland based AMDs APU with R7 M260 graphics)and my graphics card
performance on both GPU and APU was 5% which is disaster.

Trisquel's kernel was deblobbed. Buguntu's kernel is the vanilla Linux which ships a trizillion of proprietary firmware on which (particularly in the case of AMD) 3d acceleration depends. Hence the super crappy performance in the absence of the latter in Trisquel.

>Now seeing newest ubuntu LTS 14.04.3,and its drivers that are great,hardware
accelerated,openGL performance works the same as on windows ,closedsource are
faster to be honest,much more,and even better performance on openGL rendering
with Ubuntu than on WIndows,but they have some bugs and were causing my
laptop to freeze at random so i decided to keep free drivers.

Proprietary software is never *great*, it is never a solution, on the contrary it is a huge problem.

>Now seeing this not available in trisquel at all,even if its free,i am
interested in buying some supported hardware,but i dont want to buy old peace
of crap that is sitting on some shelf for 8 years.

ATI drivers (xorg) are free indeed but without the non-free firmware loaded in the kernel you would still have 5% of the desired performance. There is nothing "great" about the drivers in Buguntu, it's just that in Buguntu you are using the non-free firmware (3d acceleration depends on it). You would have the same performance in any other distro, Trisquel included, if it shipped the non-free firmware.

As far as "old crap" goes, libreboot is installable *only* on older hardware, so, excluding the case (which is, lets say, a possibility) the two proprietary firmware still present in the librebooted hardware - hard drive and embedded controller - are not doing nasty things, then you are left with a choice: buy an "old crap" that respects your freedom and is not backdoored or buy whatever modern lappy which respects the producer's greed and is without any doubt backdoored.

onpon4
Desconectado
Joined: 05/30/2012

To be perfectly clear, Trisquel works perfectly on some modern hardware. But that modern hardware has obstacles to freedom, and depends on proprietary boot firmware. See here for details:

https://libreboot.org/faq/

Think Penguin is a company that uses this modern hardware to produce computers that at least work perfectly with Linux-libre (and hence Trisquel), but they depend on (and are shipped with) proprietary boot firmware. So it's a fallacy to assume that Trisquel needs 8-year-old hardware to perform well. It's just that you need 8-year-old hardware to get an x86 system that works with 100% libre software... with the exception of embedded, unchangeable firmware found in various components.

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

Please re read my original post where i was talking on which driver i use.

I use open source drivers on my newest Ubuntu LTS and compared to trisquel
drivers ,well,its not comparable at all.

Thats why i was asking about OS development,are they just supporting
particular hardware,because there are free drivers out there,and they just
dont seem to want to implement them to me,or simply development of trisquel
is too slow,i just want to know what is happening here?

Please re read original post!

Regards

vita_cell
Desconectado
Joined: 07/19/2015

AMD GPUs are trash, you need non-free firmware to run them. And this firmware is removed from Trisquel and libre kernels. If you want a nice compatibility you need to use built-in Intel's GPU, most of them work, but not the latest, Skylake, which need non-free software. With Nvidia you will get a nice compatibility, it works with free software, and, if you need the best performance, forget Intel, and buy some mid/high end nVidia Kepler and reclock it with 4.4 libre-linux. (gtx650,gtx770..,...,...).

onpon4
Desconectado
Joined: 05/30/2012

You seem to be a big fan of overclocking, and that's fine, but do keep in mind that overclocking some hardware can cause problems, like overheating and reducing lifespan. I wouldn't recommend it to new people so readily; anyone doing it should really know what they're doing.

vita_cell
Desconectado
Joined: 07/19/2015

I talking about "reclock", not "overclock", which is different thing. Reclock is for get the stock core and memory clocks, raising to the highest GPU's pstate (this is not overclock). When you use a Nvidia GPU, with free drivers with no reclock, you using it with the lowest pstate. This is why the performance is a full crap (I talking about performance, not compatibility with free drivers).

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

True

This is why i see free BIOS as really important component of the PC,but so far OS with BIOS OS does not seam to bond itself properly.

Its hard to find all in one solution,i am really truing to dig something up.

I am sick of having to run BIOS update,only way for update through windows and .exe ,BIOS having tons of different updates,corrections,even can normalize workflow,OEMs does not give a crap at least providing errata page about BIOS update itself,i dont like it at all

I will keep you posted !

Regards

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

True

This is why i see free BIOS as really important component of the PC,but so
far OS with BIOS OS does not seam to bond itself properly.

Its hard to find all in one solution,i am really truing to dig something up.

I am sick of having to run BIOS update,only way for update through windows
and .exe ,BIOS having tons of different updates,corrections,even can
normalize workflow,OEMs does not give a crap at least providing errata page
about BIOS update itself,i dont like it at all

I will keep you posted !

Regards

vita_cell
Desconectado
Joined: 07/19/2015

I talking about "reclock", not "overclock", which is different thing. Reclock
is for get the stock core and memory clocks, raising to the highest GPU's
pstate (this is not overclock). When you use a Nvidia GPU, with free drivers
with no reclock, you using it with the lowest pstate. This is why the
performance is a full crap (I talking about performance, not compatibility
with free drivers).

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

I am using opensource drivers(at least marked as such in Ubuntu)and they are great and they are hardware accelerated.

Please re read original post.

Also if they are just marked that way and actually contains some proprietary non free software,please let me know!

Regards

onpon4
Desconectado
Joined: 05/30/2012

You seem to be a big fan of overclocking, and that's fine, but do keep in
mind that overclocking some hardware can cause problems, like overheating and
reducing lifespan. I wouldn't recommend it to new people so readily; anyone
doing it should really know what they're doing.

8bitDev
Desconectado
Joined: 09/27/2015

I am using opensource drivers(at least marked as such in Ubuntu)and they are
great and they are hardware accelerated.

Please re read original post.

Also if they are just marked that way and actually contains some proprietary
non free software,please let me know!

Regards

Allanitomwesh
Desconectado
Joined: 10/24/2015

Well,if you want total freedom,Libreboot laptop is the way to go.
If you want a newer model laptop,Thinkpenguin is the way to go. The BIOS isn't completely free,but they make an effort to run everything with free drivers,and preinstall trisquel.
If you want a modern,fancy, laptop,then you'd have to buy the Librem 13 (note they charge extra for the kill switches) ,and manually flash Coreboot on it yourself,then install Trisquel. This should get you to about the same level as a Thinkpenguin.
Anything else is a trap really,except the boards listed on coreboot (mostly free) and Libreboot (fully free)

jxself
Desconectado
Joined: 09/13/2010

Minifree does not manufacture. They buy them, in a used condition, refurbish
them into good condition and put libreboot on them (along with Trisquel) and
then sell them.

"but i dont want to buy old peace of crap that is sitting on some shelf for 8
years."

At the moment, older computers are the only ones that are capable of getting
the Respects Your Freedom certification. All of the newer machines have fatal
freedom problems. Read through the libreboot FAQ to become familiar with the
issues: https://libreboot.org/faq/

And so you're faced with a decision: Do you want stuff that Respects Your
Freedom or do you want it to be new? Because we cannot have it both ways
right now. You must pick one or the other. The question becomes: Which will
you choose?

davidnotcoulthard (non verificado)
davidnotcoulthard

Ciomputers don't rot so what's wrong with one that spent 8 years on a shelf
(though I don't think that applies to any T400's or X200's)?

Embracer245
Desconectado
Joined: 08/24/2015

I would personally prefer a new computer with GNU/linux installed, but these
computers with libreboot are OK if you really care about your freedom (no
Windows through, too proprietary for libreboot)

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado
Joined: 07/24/2010

I guess that OS like trisquel are actually made for this kind of
hardware,because i tried it on my new laptop(2013 manufacturing year,one of
the first Richland based AMDs APU with R7 M260 graphics)and my graphics card
performance on both GPU and APU was 5% which is disaster.

Trisquel's Linux-libre kernel can easily be updated:
https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/update-linux-libre-kernel

The performance of the free software drivers on a same version of Linux or
Linux-libre should be the same, regardless of the distribution.

vita_cell
Desconectado
Joined: 07/19/2015

AMD GPUs are trash, you need non-free firmware to run them. And this firmware
is removed from Trisquel and libre kernels. If you want a nice compatibility
you need to use built-in Intel's GPU, most of them work, but not the latest,
Skylake, which need non-free software. With Nvidia you will get a nice
compatibility, it works with free software, and, if you need the best
performance, forget Intel, and buy some mid/high end nVidia Kepler and
reclock it with 4.4 libre-linux. (gtx650,gtx770..,...,...).

Allanitomwesh
Desconectado
Joined: 10/24/2015

Well,if you want total freedom,Libreboot laptop is the way to go.
If you want a newer model laptop,Thinkpinguin is the way to go. The BIOS
isn't completely free,but they make an effort to run everything with free
drivers,and preinstall trisquel.
If you want a modern,fancy, laptop,then you'd have to buy the Librem 13 (note
they charge extra for the kill switches) ,and manually flash Coreboot on it
yourself,then install Trisquel. This should get you to about the same level
as a Thinkpenguin.
Anything else is a trap really,except the boards listed on coreboot (mostly
free) and Libreboot (fully free)