Libreboot project


The libreboot project provides libre boot firmware that initializes the hardware (e.g. memory controller, CPU, peripherals) on specific Intel/AMD x86 and ARM targets, which then 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.

Osboot recently merged with and became part of Libreboot. Many new targets are now supported but as of this date, 16 November 2022, you should (for now) expect bugs in the build system and some documentation is missing. This is being worked on, so that a new testing release of Libreboot can be completed as soon as possible.

Why should you use libreboot?

Libreboot gives you freedoms that you otherwise can’t get with most other boot firmware. It’s extremely powerful and configurable for many use cases.

You have rights. The right to privacy, freedom of thought, freedom of speech and the right to read. In this context, Libreboot gives you these rights. Your freedom matters. Right to repair matters. Many people use proprietary (non-libre) boot firmware, even if they use a libre OS. Proprietary firmware often contains backdoors, and can be buggy. The libreboot project was founded in in December 2013, with the express purpose of making coreboot firmware accessible for non-technical users.

The libreboot project uses coreboot for hardware initialisation. 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. The libreboot software 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.

How does libreboot differ from regular coreboot?

In the same way that Debian 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. An 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.

Regular 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

You can 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.

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

Markdown file for this page: https://libreboot.org/index.md

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