actually Lenovo G505S has more freedom in some relations, if compared
to Chromebook R13 : for example, G505S does not require blobs for WiFi
and Bluetooth if you replace its' preinstalled Broadcom half size mini
PCI-e card with Atheros AR9462 (which has 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz + Bluetooth
and is top-of-the-line ath9k card) and its' price is just $8-$10 with
free shipping included ;) also there are some great technical
opportunities which chromebooks do not have - e.g. you could replace
WiFi mini pci-e card with double SATA ports RAID card, or you can
install 16 GB of RAM because G505S RAM is not soldered ! Still could
get G505S in good condition at many USA / European markets, e.g.
yesterday at eBay I saw G505S based at USA which costs just $95, also
UK-based in nearly mint condition ;) Also there are a lot of spare
parts available, which helps to ensure the long lifetime of this great
performance quad core laptop ( Chromebook is not even close at
performance, as far as I know )
On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Paul Kocialkowski <contact(a)paulk.fr> wrote:
Le mardi 23 mai 2017 à 08:54 +0200, Paul Menzel a écrit :
I am looking for a new portable device available
Is it true, that the Acer Chromebook R 13 , is the only current BLOB
free device? The device currently costs 400 €. Is MediaTek “a good
citizen”, that means, do they provide datasheets and work on drivers?
The Chromebook R13 (elm) is very close to being able to boot without non-free
blobs. The only remaining blobs are the MT8173 PCM firmwares in ARM Trusted
Firmware. I am working hard to liberate them and I'm very confident that it will
happen pretty soon.
However, note that the kernel will require blobs for features such as:
* hardware video decoding
* Wi-Fi and bluetooth
* GPU support
I'm also not sure about the status of the PD (USB type-C controller) chip. It
might also be running a proprietary firmware (maybe someone from the CrOS team
can clarify this).
Also, note that as usual with laptops, there are lots of other non-free
components around that are preinstalled on the device, such as the webcam
Note that ARMv7 CrOS devices (mainly RK3288 and Tegra K1) can also boot blobless
and generally require less kernel blobs too. They also have much better upstream
Linux support than the ARMv8 ones (which are more recent). For instance, I'm
running a mainline kernel on the Tegra K1 nyans, which is quite usable despite
some issues that I have left to fix. There's also a very high chance that the
GPU will work with nouveau and free firmwares eventually (I'll be working with
nouveau developers to try and make this happen).
The Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro with RK3399 
are only available in
the USA, right?
I am not aware of it being available in Europe. However, if you're fine with a
qwerty layout, they work just as well in Europe ;)
RK3399 can currently already boot blobless but also requires kernel blobs.
However, it seems that the boot is currently broken with coreboot master and ToT
depthcharge and vboot (I'll be investigating this soon).
Also, the Chromebook Plus (kevin) does have a free software PD firmware.
Finally, note that the Chromebook Pro is an Intel x86 device, so probably not
very interesting given what you're looking for.
Paul Kocialkowski, developer of free digital technology and hardware support
Coding blog: https://code.paulk.fr/
Git repositories: https://git.paulk.fr/ https://git.code.paulk.fr/
coreboot mailing list: coreboot(a)coreboot.org