Libreboot 20230423 released!

Leah Rowe

23 April 2023


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Article published by: Leah Rowe

Date of publication: 23 April 2023

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE INSTALLING: Safety issues updating Libreboot on Sandybridge/Ivybridge/Haswell

Introduction

Libreboot provides boot firmware for supported x86/ARM machines, starting a bootloader that then loads your operating system. It replaces proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware on x86 machines, and provides an improved configuration on ARM-based chromebooks supported (U-Boot bootloader, instead of Google’s depthcharge bootloader). On x86 machines, the GRUB and SeaBIOS coreboot payloads are officially supported, provided in varying configurations per machine. It provides an automated build system for the configuration and installation of coreboot ROM images, making coreboot easier to use for non-technical people. You can find the list of supported hardware in the Libreboot documentation.

The last Libreboot release, version 20230413, was released on 13 April in 2023. This new release, Libreboot 20230423, is released today on April 23rd, 2023.

This is marked as a testing release, though it is basically stable. We’ve been going at it like crazy, on a big spree adding more mainboards from coreboot. Some fixes to the build system were also made, since the last release only 10 days ago.

The priority for Libreboot is to add as many new boards as possible, from now to the next stable release (ETA Q3 2023), with many testing releases in between. Release early, release often. Rigorious testing ensues.

READ THIS BEFORE FLASHING LIBREBOOT, OR YOU MIGHT BRICK YOUR MACHINE

On newer Intel platforms that require Intel ME and/or MRC firmware, such as ThinkPad X230 or T440p, and/or HP laptops that require KBC1126 EC firmware, the release ROMs of Libreboot are MISSING certain files, that you must insert yourself. FAILURE to adhere to this warning may result in you bricking your machine (rendering it unbootable), if you were to flash the release ROMs without modifying them in any way. For more information, please read:

Insert binary blobs on Sandybridge/Ivybridge/Haswell

This isn’t required on all Libreboot-supported boards, but if in doubt, follow these instructions anyway. If you run blobutil on a board that doesn’t need blobs, nothing will happen.

Build from source

This release was build-tested on Debian Sid, as of 23 April 2023. Your mileage may vary, with other distros. Refer to Libreboot documentation.

KCMA-D8 and KGPE-D16 wanted!

ASUS KGPE-D16 and KCMA-D8 needed for testing!

These boards still haven’t made it back to Libreboot, but I wish to re-add them in a future release. If you can give/loan me a fully assembled workstation with one (or both) of these, I would appreciate it. Please get in touch!

Work done since last release

This is in the last 10 days, since the previous release was 10 days ago! Ergo, this is a very conservative changelog. It seems Libreboot has been releasing almost fortnightly, as of late; perhaps this could continue from now on.

New mainboards now supported:

Build system changes:

Hardware supported in this release

All of the following are believed to boot, but if you have any issues, please contact the Libreboot project. They are:

Desktops (AMD, Intel, x86)

Laptops (Intel, x86)

Laptops (ARM, with U-Boot payload)

More boards soon!

I’ve purchased about ~10 HP mainboards, all of the viable sandybridge, ivybridge and haswell ones from coreboot. I’m going to add them all.

I also have Dell Optiplex 7020 and 9020; these are on coreboot gerrit and will also be added, in the next Libreboot release (Haswell gen).

I’m going to re-work a lot of the merged Haswell boards, so that they can also make use of Angel’s experimental libre MRC raminit and such, currently available on ThinkPad T440p and W541 as an option in Libreboot (including in this release!)

Downloads

You can find this release on the downloads page. At the time of this announcement, some of the rsync mirrors may not have it yet, so please check another one if your favourite one doesn’t have it.

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