Article published by: Leah Rowe
Date of publication: 22 November 2021
Libreboot is free (as in freedom) boot firmware, which initializes the hardware (e.g. memory controller, CPU, peripherals) in your computer so that software can run. Libreboot then starts a bootloader to load your operating system. It replaces the proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware typically found on a computer. Libreboot is compatible with specifical computer models that use the Intel/AMD x86 architecture. Libreboot works well with GNU+Linux and BSD operating systems.
The last Libreboot release, version 20210522, was released on May 22nd in 2021. This new release, Libreboot 20211122, is released today on November 22nd, 2021. This is yet another testing release, so expect there to be some bugs. Every effort has been made to ensure reliability on all boards, however.
You can find this release in the
testing directory on Libreboot release mirrors. If you check in the
stable directory, you’ll still only find the 20160907 release in there, so please ensure that you check the
This is a bug fix release, relative to 20210522. No new boards or major features have been added, but several problems that existed in the previous release have now been fixed.
memtest86+included on more ROMs by default (where text mode startup is used)
memtest86+: Now coreboot’s own fork is used, instead of upstream. This fork works much more reliably on coreboot targets, when running on bare metal.
lbmk.git. If you upgrade the default SPI flash to 16MByte / 128MBit (maximum size possible), you can then easily put an entire busybox+linux system in the flash.
coreboot: Added persmule’s 2016 patch to enable more SATA/eSATA ports on ThinkPad T400. This change benefits T400S users.
grub.cfg: LUKS setups are now detected on mdraid setups.
grub.cfg: Default timeout changed to 10 seconds, instead of 1. This benefit desktop users, who previously complained about not having time to respond if they wanted to interact with the boot menu.
grub.cfg: Performance optimization when scanning for encrypted LUKS volumes. GRUB will stall a lot less often, and feel more responsive, when dealing with LUKS-encrypted setups.
coreboot: cstate 3 now supported on MacBook2,1 and Macbook1,1. This results in lower CPU temperatures and higher battery life on idle. Thanks go to vitali64 on IRC for this fix
envinstead of hardcoding the bash path, in bash scripts. This should make the build system slightly more portable between distros.
The 20210522 release happened to coincide with coreboot 4.14’s release, more or less.
This release also coincides roughly with the coreboot 4.15 release, which came out on November 5th. See: https://doc.coreboot.org/releases/coreboot-4.15-relnotes.html
Coreboot has, since the 4.15 release, decided to release every 3 months instead of every 6. That means the coreboot 4.16 release is planned for February 2022.
I’m considering this: 2 releases every 3 months, of Libreboot. A testing release and then a fork of that is created, to fix bugs ready for a stable release 3 months later, while simultaneously working (in the lbmk master branch) towards another testing release. If no stable release is available at the same time as a testing release, then delay it if the delay will be minimal, otherwise cancel and abandon that particular stable branch.
So: if I do this, the next stable release of Libreboot could be in February 2022 based on bug fixes of this November 2021 release, using coreboot 4.15. A testing release could be simultaneously made, with perhaps extra features, and based on coreboot 4.16.
I’m considering it. In general, I do want Libreboot to be in sync with the coreboot project, but coreboot does not guarantee stability in their releases. Rather, releases are regarded as milestones for the coreboot developers to reflect on current developments, and plan the next few months.
When Libreboot first started, coreboot did not have a fixed release scheduled. It was purely rolling release. Coreboot however has been quite reliable with its own release schedules in the past few years, making it viable for Libreboot to also have a fixed schedule.
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