[coreboot] A new, modern coreboot long-term support laptop (was: Expectations, project direction and interest of contributors)

Stefan Reinauer stefan.reinauer at coreboot.org
Tue Mar 25 19:30:43 CET 2014

* mrnuke <mr.nuke.me at gmail.com> [140325 05:10]:
>  * For example, a hardwired boot blob which has been RE'd so that we know what 
> it does and how it does it, would be acceptable (see Allwinner). Even the FSF, 
> according to RMS's own essays considers this to essentially be hardware.
>  * A non-ISA (a) firmware blob which controls a piece of hardware which
>   i) can only do one thing
>   ii) without compromising the security of the system
>   iii) and is non-essential for the functioning of the system
> is acceptable. Examples would be USB 3.0 firmware blobs. Examples of blobs 
> which would NOT be are ME (violates all three points), MRC (violates point 
> iii, and potentially ii).

The ME is a non-ISA firmware blob. It's more like EC firmware, a piece
of software running on a completely different processor. It just happens
to share the SPI flash with the main CPU.

USB3 blobs can do more than one thing and violate security, just as any
other blob.

MRC is an ISA blob.

>  * An ISA blob which is NOT essential for the bring-up of the system, and can 
> reasonably be replaced by a free alternative. This basically includes VGA 
> BIOSes.

VGA oproms can about as reasonably be replaced as MRC. (within an order of
magnitude or so of effort). Both of them can be considered
non-essential. You can run out of cache just as much as you can run
without video. The differenciation is rather arbitrary.

> [Again, feel free to skip ahead] I made some of the claims Paul is talking 
> about. I have the git hash of the firmware which came with my chromebook, but 
> a branch containing that hash is not available publicly.

Yes it is. Check out the chromium repository. It has a public firmware
branch for each released platform.


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