Canoeboot project launched (new Libreboot fork)

Leah Rowe

26 October 2023

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Article published by: Leah Rowe

Date of publication: 26 October 2023

I’ve started a new sister project of Libreboot, that I will maintain in parallel; whenever there is a new Libreboot release, I will then use it to create a new release of Canoeboot.

You can find Canoeboot here:

The first release, Canoeboot 20231026, is here (created on 26 October 2023): - it is based on the recent Libreboot 20231021 release.

Canoeboot is a proof of concept that provides a technical implementation of Libreboot, but without the Binary Blob Reduction Policy; instead, Canoeboot implements the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG) as policy. GNU FSDG is the policy that Libreboot previously implemented, until 16 November 2022 when the new Binary Blob Reduction Policy was enacted.

The reduction policy has resulted in more hardware being supported from coreboot, thus bringing free software to more people, and it is handled in the manner described by Libreboot’s Freedom Status page.

The purpose of Canoeboot is to demonstrate the inferior state Libreboot would be in today, if it still adhered to the old GNU policy. The goal of Libreboot is to help as many people as possible achieve a level of software freedom, so that they may rid themselves of proprietary software. This is done, because every user deserves to have the freedom to study, adapt, share and use software infinitely, without restrictions.

By implementing the policies that it has, Libreboot is in a position to do this in the most optimal way, whereas Canoeboot can only support a limited subset of hardware compared to Libreboot; in other words, Canoeboot’s policies are a liability to the adoption of free software by normal people everywhere.

Canoeboot is still a good option if your hardware supports it, but you should know: Libreboot also provides the very same blob-free, entirely free software config on all of the mainboards that Canoeboot supports. Canoeboot is a proof of concept, but you can use it, if you wish.

Patches are also welcome in Canoeboot, if you spot something wrong that ought to be fixed or improved.

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