The Libreboot Project

The Libreboot Project

libreboot-logoThe other day I discovered a project called Libreboot. Their goal is to provide free and open software to replace your current BIOS or UEFI boot firmware. Many people will wonder why there is a need for this and those are the people that this project probably is not meant for at this time. Closed source software is commonly referred to as a binary blob. This is because it is difficult to understand how it is programmed and what it is running behind the scenes which makes it hard to impossible to audit.

Most recently it was discovered that Juniper firewalls have had a back door programmed in them since about 2013. It is easy to imagine that the back door would have been caught if their operating system was open source since more people could be reviewing the code on a regular basis. A group of developers would have had to review the code changes through source control such as Git.

So Libreboot has many advantages in that sense which they lay out on their website. Here is a small quote from them:

Why use libreboot?

Many people use non-free boot firmware, even if they use GNU/Linux. Non-free BIOS/UEFI firmware often contains backdoors, can be slow and have severe bugs, where you are left helpless at the mercy of the developers; you have no freedom over your computing.

At this time the most supported hardware is older because it sounds like Intel is not very friendly to this movement and does not like to release documentation or information about their products. I ordered a Lenovo X200s so I could attempt to follow the documentation and run this freedom software. The laptop was less than $100 on eBay and should support most daily work. I am also planning a trip to Def Con 24 in 2016 so this will be good hardware to bring instead of my work laptop.

Once I get everything I have some other blog post ideas so check back if you are interested.

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