Project contributors


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This list does not necessarily reflect who is currently working on the project, but it lists some people who have contributed to the project in meaningful ways.

If we forgot to mention you here, let us know and we’ll add you. (or if you don’t want to be mentioned, let us know and we’ll remove your entry)

Information about who works on Libreboot, and how the project is run, can be found on this page: who.html

You can know the history of the Libreboot project, simply by reading this page. It goes into detail about all of the major contributions to the project, and in general how the project was created (and who helped create it).

Leah Rowe

Founder of the Libreboot project, and currently the lead developer. Leah works on all aspects of Libreboot, such as:

Leah is also responsible for osboot.org which is heavily based on Libreboot, but with different project goals.

Other people are listed below, in alphabetical order:

Alyssa Rosenzweig

Switched the website to use markdown in lieu of handwritten HTML and custom PHP. Former libreboot project maintainer (sysadmin for libreboot.org).

Alyssa wrote the original static site generator (bash scripts converting markdown to html, via pandoc) for libreboot.org. This static site generator has now been heavily modified and forked into a formal project, by Leah Rowe:

https://untitled.vimuser.org/ (untitled is Leah’s work, not Alyssa’s, but it’s based on Alyssa’s original work on the static site generator that Libreboot used to use; the Libreboot website is now built with Untitled)

Andrew Robbins

Worked on large parts of Libreboot’s old build system and related documentation. Andrew joined the Libreboot project as a full time developer during June 2017, until his departure in March 2021.

I, Leah Rowe, am very grateful to Andrew Robbins for his numerous contributions over the years.

Arthur Heymans

Merged a patch from coreboot into libreboot, enabling C3 and C4 power states to work correctly on GM45 laptops. This was a long-standing issue before Athur’s contribution. Arthur also fixed VRAM size on i945 on GM45 systems, allowing maximum VRAM allocation for the onboard GPUs on these systems, another longstanding issue in libreboot.

Arthur also did work on the Libreboot build system, when he was a member of the project. He still works on coreboot, to this day, and Libreboot greatly benefits from his work. His contributions to the coreboot project, and Libreboot, are invaluable.

Damien Zammit

Maintains the Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L coreboot port, which is integrated in libreboot. Also works on other hardware for the benefit of the libreboot project.

Damien didn’t work directly on Libreboot itself, but he worked heavily with Leah Rowe, integrating patches and new board ports into Libreboot, based on Damien’s upstream work on coreboot.

Denis Carikli

Based on the work done by Peter Stuge, Vladimir Serbineko and others in the coreboot project, got native graphics initialization to work on the ThinkPad X60, allowing it to be supported in libreboot. Denis gave a lot of advice and helped found the libreboot project.

Denis was a mentor to Leah Rowe in the early days, when she founded the Libreboot project. A lot of the decision decisions taken, especially with the Libreboot build system (lbmk), were inspired from talks with Denis.

Denis taught Leah about registers used by Intel GPUs for backlight control. In the early days, the ThinkPad X60 and T60 laptops in Libreboot did not have backlight control working, so the brightness was always 100%. With Denis’s help, Leah was able to get backlight controls working by reverse engineering the correct values to write in those registers. Based on this, a simple fix was written in coreboot; however, the fix just wrote directly to the register and didn’t work with ACPI based brightness controls. Others in coreboot later improved it, making ACPI-based backlight controls work properly, based on this earlier work.

Jeroen Quint

Contributed several fixes to the libreboot documentation, relating to installing Parabola with full disk encryption on libreboot systems.

Joshua Gay

Joshua is former FSF staff.

Joshua helped with the early founding of the Libreboot project, in his capacity (at that time) as the FSF’s licensing and compliance manager. It was his job to review products sent into to the FSF for review; the FSF has a certification program called Respects Your Freedom (RYF) where the FSF will promote your company’s products if it comes with all Free Software.

I, Leah Rowe, was initially just selling ThinkPad X60 laptops with regular coreboot on them, and this included CPU microcode updates. At the time, I didn’t think much of that. Joshua contacted me, in his capacity at the FSF, and asked if I would be interested in the FSF’s RYF program; I was very surprised that the FSF would take me seriously, and I said yes. This is what started the early work on Libreboot. Joshua showed me all the problems my products had, and from that, the solution was clear:

A project needed to exist, providing a fully free version of coreboot, without any binary blobs. At the time (and this is still true today), coreboot was not entirely free software and shipped with binary blobs by default. In particular, CPU microcode updates were included by default, on all x86 machines. Working with Joshua who reviewed my work, I created a fully free version of coreboot. At first, it wasn’t called Libreboot, and the work was purely intended for my company (at that time called Gluglug) to be promoted by the FSF.

Joshua used his media connections at the FSF to heavily promote my work, and on December 13th, 2013, the Libreboot project was born (but not called that). Joshua made sure that everyone knew what I was doing!

A few months later, the name Libreboot was coined, and the domain name libreboot.org was registered. At that point, the Libreboot project (in early 2014) was officially born. Once again, Joshua provided every bit of help he could, heavily promoting the project and he even wrote this article on the FSF website, announcing it:

https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/replace-your-proprietary-bios-with-libreboot

Klemens Nanni

Made many fixes and improvements to the GRUB configuration used in libreboot, and several tweaks to the build system.

Leah Rowe initially helped Klemens get his project, autoboot, off the ground. Autoboot (website autoboot.org) is no longer online, but was a fork of Libreboot with different project goals; in late 2020, Leah Rowe decided to create her own new fork of Libreboot called osboot, heavily inspired by Klemens’s earlier work. See: https://osboot.org/

The following is an archive of autoboot.org, from when it was online back in 2016: http://web.archive.org/web/20160414205513/http://autoboot.org/ (the autoboot website went offline a few months later, after Klemens abandoned the project)

Lisa Marie Maginnis

Lisa is a former sysadmin at the Free Software Foundation. In the early days of the project, she provided Leah with a lot of technical advice. She initially created Libreboot IRC channel, when Leah did not know how to use IRC, and also handed +F founder status to Leah for the channel. As an FSF sysadmin, it was Lisa’s job to maintain a lot of the infrastructure used by Libreboot; at the time, mailing lists on the GNU Savannah website were used by the Libreboot project. Lisa was also the one who originally encouraged Leah to have Libreboot join the GNU project (a decision that was later, rather regrettably, reversed). When Paul Kocialkowski was a member of the project in 2016, she helped him get help from the FSF; he was the leader of the Replicant project at the time, which had funding from the FSF, and the FSF authorized him to use some of that funding for his work on Libreboot, thanks to Lisa’s encouragement while she worked at the FSF.

Lisa also stepped in when Leah Rowe missed her LibrePlanet 2016 talk. Leah was scheduled to do a talk about Libreboot, but didn’t show up in time. Lisa, along with Patrick McDermott (former Libreboot developer, who was present at that conference) did the talk in Leah’s place. The talk was never recorded, but the Free Software Foundation has these photos of that talk on their LibrePlanet website (the woman with the blue hair is Lisa, and the long-haired dude with the moustache is Patrick):

https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/session-02-c-mws-png-libreplanet-2016-sessions/ (archive link: http://web.archive.org/web/20170319043913/https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/session-02-c-mws-png-libreplanet-2016-sessions/)

https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/session-02-c-wide-png-libreplanet-2016-sessions/ (archive link: http://web.archive.org/web/20170319043915/https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/session-02-c-wide-png-libreplanet-2016-sessions/)

Fun fact: Patrick is also the lead developer of ProteanOS, an FSF-endorsed embedded OS project: http://proteanos.com/ (uses BusyBox and Linux-libre)

Leah Rowe ran 2 LibrePlanet workshops; one in 2015 and another in 2016, while visiting Boston, MA, USA on both occasions to attend these conferences. These workshops were for Libreboot installations. People came to both workshops, to have Libreboot installed onto their computers. As FSF sysadmin, at that time, Lisa provided all of the infrastructure and equipment used at those workshops. Without her help, those workshops would have not been possible.

When the ASUS KGPE-D16 mainboard (high-end server board) was ported to Libreboot, Leah, working with Timothy Pearson (the one who ported it), shared patches back and forth with Lisa around mid 2016, mostly raminit patches, to get the board running at the FSF offices. This work ultimately lead to a most wonderful achievement:

The https://www.gnu.org/ and https://www.fsf.org/ websites now run on Librebooted ASUS KGPE-D16 based servers, on a fully free GNU+Linux distro. This means that the FSF now has full software freedom for their hosting infrastructure.

The FSF also provides access to this infrastructure for many other projects (besides GNU projects); for example, Trisquel uses a D16 provided by the FSF for their development server used for building Trisquel releases and testing changes to the Trisquel GNU+Linux distribution. Trisquel is a fully free GNU+Linux distribution, heavily promoted by the FSF.

Lisa was a strong supporter of Libreboot in the very early days of the project, and her contributions were invaluable. I, Leah Rowe, owe her a debt of gratitude.

Marcus Moeller

Made the libreboot logo.

Patrick “P. J.” McDermott

Patrick also did a lot of research and wrote the libreboot FAQ section relating to the Intel Management Engine, in addition to making several improvements to the build system in libreboot. Former libreboot project maintainer.

In 2016, Leah Rowe ran a Libreboot installation workshop at the FSF’s LibrePlanet conference. Working alongside Leah, Patrick helped run the workshop and assisted with installing Libreboot onto people’s machines.

Paul Kocialkowski

Ported the ARM (Rockchip RK3288 SoC) based Chromebook laptops to libreboot. Also one of the main Replicant developers.

Paul Menzel

Investigated and fixed a bug in coreboot on the ThinkPad X60/T60 exposed by Linux kernel 3.12 and up, which caused 3D acceleration to stop working and video generally to become unstable. The issue was that coreboot, when initializing the Intel video chipset, was mapping GTT Stolen Memory in the wrong place, because the code was based on kernel code and the Linux kernel had the same bug. When Linux fixed it, it exposed the same bug in coreboot.

Paul worked with Libreboot on this, sending patches to test periodically until the bug was fixed in coreboot, and then helped her integrate the fix in libreboot.

Peter Stuge

Helped write the FAQ section about DMA, and provided general advice in the early days of the project. Peter was a coreboot developer in those days, and a major developer in the libusb project (which flashrom makes heavy use of).

Peter also wrote the bucts utility used to set Backup Control (BUC) Top Swap (TS) bit on i945 laptops such as ThinkPad X60/T60, which is useful for a workaround to flash Libreboot without using external hardware; on this machine, with Lenovo BIOS present, it’s possible to flash everything except the main bootblock, but Intel platforms have 2 bootblocks, and you specify which one is to be used by setting the TS bit. You then boot with only one bootblock flashed (by the coreboot project’s bootblock on that machine), and afterwards you reset bucts before flashing the ROM again, to flash the main bootblock. Libreboot hosts a copy of his work, because his website hosting bucts is no longer responsive.

Steve Shenton

Steve did the early reverse engineering work on the Intel Flash Descriptor used by ICH9M machines such as ThinkPad X200. He created a C struct defining (using bitfields in C) this descriptor region. With some clever tricks, he was able to discover the existence of a bit in the descriptor for disabling the Intel ME (management engine) on those platforms.

His initial proof of concept only defined the descriptor, and would do this:

In the early days, before Libreboot supported GM45+ICH9M platforms such as ThinkPad X200/T400, you could use those machines but to avoid the Intel ME you had to flash it without a descriptor region. This worked fine in those days, because the ME only handled TPM and AMT on those machines, and the system would work normally, but that Intel Flash Descriptor also handles the Intel GbE NVM region in flash, which is used for the Intel Gigabit Ethernet interface.

So you either had Intel ME, or no ethernet support. Steve figured out how to disable the Intel ME via 2 toggle bits in the descriptor, and also how to remove the Intel ME region from flash.

Based on his research, I, Leah Rowe, working alongside Steve, also reverse engineered the layout of the Intel GbE NVM (non-volatile memory) region in the boot flash. This region defines configuration options for the onboard Intel GbE NIC, if present.

Based on this, I was able to take Steve’s initial proof of concept and write the ich9gen utility, which generates an Intel Flash Descriptor and GbE NVM region, from scratch, without an Intel ME region defined. It is this tool, the ich9gen tool, that Libreboot uses to provide ROM images for GM45+ICH9M platforms (such as ThinkPad X200/T400/T500/W500), with a fully functional descriptor and functional Gigabit Ethernet, but without needing Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware, thus making those machines libre (the ME is fully disabled, when you use a descriptor+gbe image generated by ich9gen).

With my ich9gen tool (Steve’s tool was called ich9deblob), you didn’t need a dump of the original Lenovo BIOS firmware anymore! I could not have written this tool, without Steve’s initial proof of concept. I worked with him, extensively, for many months. All GM45+ICH9M support (X200, T400, etc) in Libreboot is made possible because of the work he did, back in 2014.

Swift Geek

Contributed a patch for ich9gen to generate 16MiB descriptors.

After that, Swift Geek slowly became more involved until he became a full time developer. Swift Geeks contributions were never really in the form of code, but what he lacked in code, he made up for in providing excellent support, both to users and other developers, helping others learn more about technology at a low level.

When Swift Geek was a member of the project, his role was largely providing user support (in the IRC channel), and conducting research. Swift Geek knows a lot about hardware. Swift Geek also did some upstream development on GNU GRUB.

Swift Geek has provided technical advice on numerous occasions, to Leah Rowe, and helped her to improve her soldering skills in addition to teaching her some repair skills, to the point where she can now repair most faults on ThinkPad mainboards (while looking at the schematics and boardview).

Swiftgeek left the project in March 2021. I, Leah Rowe, wish him all the best in his endeavours, and I’m very grateful to his numerous contributions over the years.

Timothy Pearson

Ported the ASUS KGPE-D16 board to coreboot for the company Raptor Engineering of which Timothy is the CEO. Timothy maintains this code in coreboot, helping the project with the libreboot integration for it. This person’s contact details are on the raptor site, or you can ping tpearson on the Libera IRC network.

vitali64

Added cstate 3 support on macbook21, enabling higher battery life and cooler CPU temperatures on idle usage. vitali64 on irc

Vladimir Serbinenko

Ported many of the thinkpads supported in libreboot, to coreboot, and made many fixes in coreboot which benefited the libreboot project.

Vladimir wrote a lot of the original video initialization code used by various Intel platforms in Libreboot, when flashing it (now rewritten by others in Ada, for libgfxinit in coreboot, but originally it was written in C and included directly in coreboot; libgfxinit is a 3rdparty submodule of coreboot).

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

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