[coreboot] [liberationtech] Fwd: Firefox OS with built in support for OpenPGP encryption

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Sep 20 11:51:58 CEST 2013

----- Forwarded message from Blibbet <blibbet at gmail.com> -----

Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2013 11:01:43 -0700
From: Blibbet <blibbet at gmail.com>
To: liberationtech <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Fwd: Firefox OS with built in support for OpenPGP encryption
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; rv:16.0) Gecko/20121005 Thunderbird/16.0
Reply-To: liberationtech <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>

> I don't think so -- unless you have a laptop flashed with a free
> software BIOS / boot firmware that you can inspect and modify. There are
> a handful of dated possibilities out there like that (Thinkpad x60
> models that support coreboot, Lemote Yeelongs), but not the vast
> majority of laptops. The situation with laptops actually seems pretty
> analogous to the worst category of smartphones (those where the baseband
> firmware shares the main CPU and RAM).

Unfortunately, Coreboot is still not mainstream, netiher is Lemote.

UEFI is the current mainstream system firmware, for Intel systems, and
ramping up quickly for ARM (though not yet on Android-based devices
yet, AFAIK).

Intel's Tunnel Mountain UEFI dev platform lets you flash your own
UEFI-based firmware, and mainly targets firmware IHVs.

The Intel Atom-based MinnowBoard is a new UEFI dev platform, and it's
Linux-based, and targets hackers; it uses Intel's definition of "Open
Hardware", mainly meaning no NDAs involved. It is much cheaper and
smaller than the above box.

Both of these boxes let you reflash your system firmware with your
custom build of BSD-licensed TianoCore UEFI.

For Linaro's Linux/ARM device targets, Linaro also has a fork of
Tianocore, and ships their own images. You can use the Linaro targets
and modify this forked Tianocore firmware, as well, but it requires a
bit more ARM-centric eLinux skills.


There is a large OEM/ODM/IBV/IHV/ISV ecosystem that currently runs the
hardware, and it is UEFI-centric. IMO, focusing only on fringe
Lemote/Coreboot technology is not a good bet.

Personally, I wish EFF/FSF and other open/free tech groups would form
a Linaro-like firmware group and produce their own UEFI firmware
image, as an option for OEMs.

There needs to be some Free Boot alternative to Secure Boot, with
certs from EFF/FSF/etc and the open source distro vendors, not just
OEMs/MSFT in the firmware, and it needs to target booting from a
handful of main open source distros, not just 1 commercial OS. Else,
UEFI will turn Personal Computers into Windows PCs, ending the era of
General Purpose computing.


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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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