[coreboot] Coreboot Purism BIOS is free? open?

awokd awokd at danwin1210.me
Mon Dec 18 15:07:56 CET 2017

On Mon, December 18, 2017 5:01 am, Matt DeVillier wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 17, 2017 at 6:58 PM, Taiidan at gmx.com <Taiidan at gmx.com> wrote:
>> On 12/17/2017 05:06 PM, Dame Más wrote:
>> Hi,
>>> The Coreboot BIOS of Purism 13 is open?
>> No it isn't, while they do use coreboot the silicon init process is
>> entirely blobbed.
>> Technical merits - is it better than an off the shelf dell laptop? Of
>> course, but not better enough to justify even a $30 premium let alone
>> the thousands they are charging for a whitebox re-brand. It removes the
>> brander (ex: dell) from the firmware trust equation but intel still
>> remains and so does ME.
> That's a pretty absurd exaggeration.  Purism laptops certainly sell at a
> premium relative to a Dell (eg) with similar CPU/RAM/SSD, but they don't
> sell anywhere near the same volume, so their costs are higher.  They also
>  feature hardware kill switches for wifi/BT and mic/webcam, ship with a
> blob-free Debian-based distro, and use coreboot with a disable/neutered
> ME.  Whether or not you consider those qualities, and supporting a
> startup working towards increasing owner control on modern hardware, to
> justify the price premium is certainly a valid point of discussion.

Purism admits they aren't fully free on
https://puri.sm/learn/freedom-roadmap/. One can debate whether they are
ever going to be able to accomplish their end goal while supporting
proprietary systems like Intel ME/AMD PSP with purchases of their new CPUs
etc. They are competing for some of the same market segment of people who
don't want to get owned by the Intel ME vulnerability of the week, but
can't compete with 100% user controlled options for those who require a
fully open platform. Overall, I think they are a net positive. It's
doubtful Dell would have started offering ME cleaned laptops without
Purism's commercial lead. It would be nice if the dollars ended up going
to reward hardware manufacturers working to open the platform instead of
closing it, though. My personal purchases will be.

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