About the libreboot project
Libreboot is a coreboot distribution (distro) with proprietary software removed,
intended to be a free
(libre) 'BIOS' replacement for your computer. The project is aimed at users, attempting to make
coreboot as easy to use as possible.
Read the full Free Software definition.
Libreboot also has many practical advantages over proprietary boot firmware,
such as faster boot speeds and better security. You can
install GNU/Linux with encrypted /boot/,
verify GPG signatures on your kernel,
run a full operating system directly
from the flash chip (planned for a future release), and more.
The libreboot project has three main goals:
Recommend and distribute only free software.
Coreboot distributes certain pieces of proprietary software which is needed on some systems.
Examples can include things like CPU microcode updates, memory initialization blobs and so on.
The coreboot project sometimes recommends adding more blobs which it does not distribute, such
as the Video BIOS or Intel's Management Engine. However, a lot of dedicated and talented
individuals in coreboot work hard to replace these blobs whenever possible.
Support as much hardware as possible!
Libreboot supports less hardware than coreboot, because most systems from coreboot still require
certain proprietary software to work properly. Libreboot is an attempt to support as much
hardware as possible, without any proprietary software.
Make coreboot easy to use.
Coreboot is notoriously difficult to install, due to an overall lack of user-focussed
documentation and support. Most people will simply give up before attempting to install coreboot.
Libreboot attempts to bridge this divide, making sure that everything from building
to installing coreboot is automated, as much as is feasibly possible. Secondly, the project
produces documentation aimed at non-technical users. Thirdly, the project attempts
to provide excellent user support via mailing lists and IRC.
Libreboot already comes with a payload (GRUB), flashrom and other needed parts. Everything
is fully integrated, in a way where most of the complicated steps that are otherwise required,
are instead done for the user in advance.
You can download ROM images for your libreboot system and install them, without having
to build anything from source. The build system is also fully automated, so building
from source is easy if you wanted to do that (for whatever reason).
Libreboot is a coreboot distribution, not a coreboot fork
Libreboot is not a fork of coreboot. Every so often, the project re-based on the latest
version of coreboot, with the number of custom patches in use minimized.
All new coreboot development should be done in coreboot (upstream), not libreboot!
Libreboot is about deblobbing and packaging coreboot in a user-friendly way, where most work
is already done for the user.
For example, if you wanted to add a new board to libreboot, you should add it to coreboot first.
Libreboot will automatically receive your code at a later date, when it updates itself.
The deblobbed coreboot tree used in libreboot is referred to as coreboot-libre,
to distinguish it as a component of libreboot.
Libreboot is a 'stable' version of coreboot
Coreboot uses the rolling release model,
which means that it is not guaranteed to be stable, or to even work at all on a given day.
Coreboot does have a strict code review process, but being such a large project with so many contributors, regressions
are always possible.
Libreboot freezes on a particular revision of coreboot, making sure that everything works properly,
making fixes on top of that and repeating this during each subsequent update to a later version
of coreboot. By doing this, it provides a stronger guarantee to the user that the firmware
will be reliable, and not break their system.
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Copyright © 2014, 2015 Francis Rowe <email@example.com>
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This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
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