[coreboot] Current, BLOB free laptop available Europe?

Mike Banon mikebdp2 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 5 17:20:05 CEST 2017

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 )

Best regards,
Mike Banon

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Paul Kocialkowski <contact at paulk.fr> wrote:
> Hi,
> Le mardi 23 mai 2017 à 08:54 +0200, Paul Menzel a écrit :
>> I am looking for a new portable device available in Europe.
>> Is it true, that the Acer Chromebook R 13 [1], 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[0] 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
> firmware.
> 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 [2] 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.
> Cheers,
> [0]: https://github.com/ARM-software/arm-trusted-firmware/blob/master/plat/mediatek/mt8173/drivers/spm/spm_mcdi.c
> --
> Paul Kocialkowski, developer of free digital technology and hardware support
> Website: https://www.paulk.fr/
> Coding blog: https://code.paulk.fr/
> Git repositories: https://git.paulk.fr/ https://git.code.paulk.fr/
> --
> coreboot mailing list: coreboot at coreboot.org
> https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot

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