Libreboot
Original author(s)Leah Rowe
Developer(s)Leah Rowe
Initial release12 December 2013; 10 years ago (2013-12-12)
Stable release20231106 (November 6, 2023; 2 months ago (2023-11-06)) [±][1]
Repositorycodeberg.org/libreboot/lbmk
Written inC, Shell, Python
TypeOpen-source firmware
LicenseGNU General Public License, version 3
Websitelibreboot.org

Libreboot (briefly known as GNU Libreboot[2][3]) is a free software project based on coreboot, aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware contained by most computers. Libreboot is a lightweight system designed to perform only the minimum number of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.

Characteristics

Libreboot is established as a distribution of coreboot, but with some[4] proprietary binary blobs removed from coreboot.[5] Libreboot makes coreboot easy to use by automating the build and installation processes.[6][7][8][9]

On some devices, Libreboot developers have reverse engineered the firmware from Intel and created a utility to create a free firmware that meets the specifications from Intel.[10] Hardware support includes but is not limited to the ASUS KGPE-D16,[11] ThinkPad T400,[12][13] X60[6][7] and X200.[13][14] Libreboot is officially endorsed by the upstream coreboot project.[15]

History

The Libreboot project was started in December 2013[5] as a distribution of coreboot, which excludes non-free binary blobs. Coreboot began as LinuxBIOS in 1999 at Los Alamos National Labs (LANL), and was renamed "coreboot" in 2008.[16]

Libreboot has been endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, and was an official part of the GNU Project since May 2016. In January 2017, the project's maintainer Leah Rowe pulled Libreboot from the GNU Project, after a months-long dispute with the Free Software Foundation which oversees GNU.[17][18]

Reception

In 2015, Kyle Rankin stated in Linux Journal that Libreboot "greatly simplified and automated" the flashing process, "with a few caveats".[6][7] In 2016, Bryan Cockfield stated in Hackaday that Libreboot installation was "harrowing" and "not as easy as you'd think".[8]

References

  1. ^ "Libreboot - Libreboot news". Libreboot. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  2. ^ "List of GNU software packages on 22 May 2016". GNU project. 22 May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ "[Libreboot] GNU Libreboot, version 20160818 released". lists.gnu.org. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Binary Blob Reduction Policy". 1 November 2023. Archived from the original on 1 November 2023. Retrieved 1 November 2023.
  5. ^ a b Bärwaldt, Erik. "Liberated » Linux Magazine". Linux Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Rankin, Kyle (28 September 2015). "Libreboot on an X60, Part I: the Setup". Linux Journal. Archived from the original on 22 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Rankin, Kyle (28 October 2015). "Libreboot on an x60, Part II: the Installation". Linux Journal. Archived from the original on 22 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b Cockfield, Bryan (16 December 2016). "Harrowing Story Of Installing Libreboot On ThinkPad". Hackaday. Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  9. ^ Nardi, Tom (20 August 2018). "Installing LibreBoot The (Very) Lazy Way". Hackaday. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  10. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "Taurinus X200: Now the most 'Free Software' laptop on the planet". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Minifree Ltd.'s GNU+Linux Computers". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  12. ^ Biggs, John (11 August 2017). "The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  13. ^ a b Benchoff, Brian (28 October 2016). "Apple Sucks Now, Here's A ThinkPad Buyer's Guide". Hackaday. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Flash ROMs with a Raspberry Pi". Linux Journal. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  15. ^ "coreboot for end users". coreboot.org. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  16. ^ Sun, Jiming; Jones, Marc; Reinauer, Stefan; Zimmer, Vincent (2015), "Building coreboot with Intel FSP", Embedded Firmware Solutions: Development Best Practices for the Internet of Things, Berkeley, CA: Apress, pp. 55–95, doi:10.1007/978-1-4842-0070-4_4, ISBN 978-1-4842-0070-4, retrieved 27 May 2023
  17. ^ Hall, Christine (6 January 2017). "GNU Officially Boots Libreboot". FOSS Force. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  18. ^ Hall, Christine (16 September 2016). "Libreboot Leaves GNU Claiming Gender Identity Discrimination by FSF". FOSS Force. Retrieved 7 June 2023.