Osboot is now part of Libreboot

Leah Rowe

15 November 2022


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Article published by: Leah Rowe

Date of publication: 15 November 2022

Long live Libreboot!

The former osboot project, started by the same founder as Libreboot, Leah Rowe, has today shut down; the osboot website now automatically redirects, via HTTP 301, to the libreboot website. Everything osboot had, has now been added to Libreboot, and development will now occur exclusively in Libreboot from now on.

The result of this decision is that Libreboot does (and can) now support newer hardware, such as the ThinkPad X230 or T440p.

Such was alluded to in the previous Libreboot release announcement:

https://libreboot.org/news/libreboot20220710.html#planned-osbootlibreboot-merger

The exact method proposed in that previous announcement has not been adopted. Instead, Libreboot essentially now is osboot, under the Libreboot name.

The binary blob reduction policy of osboot has replaced the previous policy used by Libreboot. It is a pragmatic policy revolved around providing as much freedom as possible per platform, while no longer sticking only to those “pure” platforms; all platforms from coreboot can now be supported, if someone wishes to maintain the board in lbmk. The new policy is here:

https://libreboot.org/news/policy.html (same URL as the old one, but the text has been updated in line with osboot policy)

To understand the full nature of this merge, you should read the policy document linked above. Both osboot and Libreboot were largely identical, and basically the same project. In order to make management of the projects much easier, they were simply merged into one.

How the merge was conducted

Since 2020, Libreboot (and osboot) have both been through several reboots, forking off each other other to keep in sync. It was starting to become too much of a burden, which is the main reason the merger took place.

On November 14th, I (Leah Rowe) literally diffed all of Libreboot since the last reboot (of the Libreboot repository) and checked each one against osboot, adding whatever was missing from that in osboot. This then put the osboot project in sync with Libreboot, but in line with osboot and with the additional boards (plus scripts and so on) in osboot, compared to Libreboot pre-merge.

The same was then applied in reverse: differences in osboot were ported back to Libreboot, carefully and methodically. All of this took place in a the period of 1 day, because the overall structure of both projects was largely the same and the build systems in both projects are extremely modular, making this sort of work very easy indeed.

A similar process was performed with the Libreboot website and the osboot website, but osboot already contained all the same documentation as Libreboot, plus extra. The differences were therefore ported over to Libreboot.

Porting of documentation (from osboot over to Libreboot) was done by Caleb La Grange (IRC nick shmalebx9), and reviewed by myself prior to going live.

As of writing this post, one utility from osboot (for changing MAC addresses inside Gbe regions on Intel machines that have an IFD) hasn’t been moved over yet, but I’m considering merging all outside utilities maintained by us (bucts, ich9gen and nvmutil) into lbmk, making lbmk a BSD-like monorepo of sorts. We shall see.

That’s it really. Osboot and Libreboot are now operating as a single, unified project, the way it should have been from the beginning. Quite boring news, actually.

New Libreboot release coming soon!!!

CrOS devices re-added to Libreboot

Documentation needs to be updated, to reflect this and many other things, but ARM-based chromebooks are now once again supported in Libreboot, using the u-boot payload inside coreboot.

This work is courtesy of Alper Nebi Yasak (alpernebbi on libera IRC) and it’s also part of the merge.

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

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