What level of Software Freedom does Libreboot give me?

Leah Rowe

20 March 2023

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Article published by: Leah Rowe

Date of publication: 20 March 2023

Quite a while ago, I wrote a policy in Libreboot that defines, precisely, the standards of what Libreboot will accept in releases as it pertains to Software Freedom. This policy was written, because a lack of clarity existed, so I wanted to make sure that people knew exactly what the Libreboot project is all about, and what they can expect. It is essentially a manifesto, describing the ideology of the Libreboot project.

Now, ideology is all well and good, but it must be translated into something concrete that exists in the real world. You can’t get there with thought!

Today, I published a follow-up article that defines how the policy is implemented in practise. There has been some confusion among some members of the community, about what the policy means in practise.

Refer here to the new article, thus:

Software and hardware freedom status for each mainboard supported by Libreboot

The article describes, in great detail, the current status of licensing for various components of Libreboot. It is the goal of Libreboot to promote software freedom, helping as many people as possible achieve a level of sovereignty in their personal computing, reducing (or eliminating) the power that proprietary software developers would otherwise have over them. Libreboot makes great strides to provide boot firmware, based on coreboot, with as much libre source code as possible. It is the goal of the Libreboot project to help bring about a world where software freedom is the default for everyone.

I hope that the article clears up any confusion, and I’m open to questions if people have any. My info is on the contact page, or you can find me as leah in the #libreboot channel on libera IRC.

The article will be maintained over time, to reflect the status of Libreboot.


Also, a new version of Libreboot was released yesterday. See:

Libreboot 20230319 release announcement

It made several major fixes, and massively updated the revisions for each part used in ROM images (containing coreboot, GRUB and SeaBIOS).

I have a bunch of mainboards that I’m working on, and I hope to make another release available as soon as possible. My priority for the next Libreboot release is to add as many new boards as possible from coreboot, with minimal changes to the build system itself; another focus this time is on improvements to the documentation. Several installation guides are missing, for example, on specific mainboards.

Specifically, I have focus on some AMD platforms, Intel sandybridge/ivybridge, Intel Haswell and (more) GM45 platforms. Several boards exist in coreboot that are viable to be added, both under the current policy and adhering to the current freedom status in how the policy is implemented.

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

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