Libreboot project

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Libreboot is freedom-respecting boot firmware that initializes the hardware (e.g. memory controller, CPU, peripherals) on specific Intel/AMD x86 computers and starts a bootloader for your operating system. GNU+Linux and BSD are well-supported. It replaces proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware. Help is available via #libreboot on Libera IRC.

The latest version is Libreboot 20220710, released on 10 July 2022.

Why use Libreboot?

You have rights. The right to privacy, freedom of thought, freedom of speech and the right to read. Free software gives you these rights. Your freedom matters. Right to repair matters. Many people use proprietary boot firmware, even if they use GNU+Linux. Non-free firmware often contains backdoors, and can be buggy. Libreboot was founded in in December 2013, with the express purpose of making Free Software accessible for non-technical users at the firmware level. Libreboot can be called Open Source, but you should call it Free Software.

Libreboot uses coreboot for hardware initialization. Coreboot is notoriously difficult to install for most non-technical users; it handles only basic initialization and jumps to a separate payload program (e.g. GRUB, Tianocore), which must also be configured. Libreboot solves this problem; it is a coreboot distribution with an automated build system that builds complete ROM images, for more robust installation. Documentation is provided.

Libreboot excludes binary blobs, shipping only Free Software and, as such, only supports a handful of machines from coreboot. You can read Libreboot’s zero-blobs policy on the Libreboot blob policy page.

How does Libreboot differ from regular coreboot?

Contrary to popular opinion, Libreboot’s primary purpose is not to provide a de-blobbed coreboot setup; it is merely one of Libreboot’s policies, and an important one, but it is nonetheless a minor aspect of Libreboot.

In the same way that Trisquel is a GNU+Linux distribution, Libreboot is a coreboot distribution. If you want to build a ROM image from scratch, you otherwise have to perform expert-level configuration of coreboot, GRUB and whatever other software you need, to prepare the ROM image. With Libreboot, you can literally download from Git or a source archive, and run make, and it will build entire ROM images. Libreboot’s automated build system, named lbmk (Libreboot MaKe), builds these ROM images automatically, without any user input or intervention required. Configuration has already been performed in advance.

If you were to build regular coreboot, without using Libreboot’s automated build system, it would require a lot more intervention and decent technical knowledge to produce a working configuration.

Reguar binary releases of Libreboot provide these ROM images pre-compiled, and you can simply install them, with no special knowledge or skill except the ability to follow simplified instructions, written for non-technical users.

How to help

Check the tasks page and pick a task to work on. You can also check bugs listed on the bug tracker.

If you spot a bug and have a fix, here are instructions for how to send patches, and you can also report it. Also, this entire website is written in Markdown and hosted in a separate repository where you can send patches.

Libreboot development discussion and user support are all done on the IRC channel. More information is on the contact page.

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