[coreboot] Current, BLOB free laptop available Europe?
contact at paulk.fr
Tue Jun 6 08:45:42 CEST 2017
Le lundi 05 juin 2017 à 18:20 +0300, Mike Banon a écrit :
> 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 ;)
Well, I don't think that Wi-Fi is really a big deal compared to having
coprocessors that can only run proprietary software, in addition to proprietary
graphics init along with a proprietary EC.
You can easily use an external ath9k_htc USB dongle on CrOS devices instead of
the internal one, which solves the Wi-Fi situation easily.
There's hope for the G505s though and I truly hope it can get close to the
current freedom status of ARM CrOS devices! (And I'm still working hard to
improve the EC situation.)
> 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 )
Yeah, those are definitely nice technical features (but they're not freedom-
related)! I also have a bit of a hard time with devices I can't replace broken
parts for, because they're all soldered onto the same board!
> 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 , 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
> > 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  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,
> > : https://github.com/ARM-software/arm-trusted-firmware/blob/master/plat/m
> > ediatek/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
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/
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