Libreboot ported to modern ARM Chromebook

Earlier this month, Paul Kocialkowski announced some work of his: getting Libreboot running on an ARM-based Chromebook, the Asus C201 “veyron_speedy”). Paul is a developer on the Replicant project, a free-as-in-freedom Android distribution.

Some quotes from Paul’s announcement:

“It should require no proprietary code nor any proprietary firmware load or microcode update to boot, thus it would be a good fit for Libreboot, as a fully free distribution of Coreboot.”

“At this point, I’ve been able to boot up Debian on the device, and the xfce4 interface is quite usable. It even runs big programs like Iceweasel/Firefox and LibreOffice without inconveniences.”

“Overall, I truly hope this device creates an incentive to free the last remaining parts that can only work with proprietary software to this day. Its potential would be huge, especially since it’s a good fit for travellers. With the security model inherited from Chromium OS, this would be one of the safest laptops to be used by journalists or activists. If Tails was to be ported to it, it would become easy to have a secure and anonymous setup.”

See the below libreboot mailing list post for full announcement. It’s not perfect, there are some issues with the Mali T764 Mali, and free software support, and some other rough edged, but perhaps these can be worked out over time.

Also, as mentioned in an earlier post, Paul will be at Chaos Communications Camp (CCCamp) 2015 later this week:

“I’ll be at CCCamp 2015 to talk about Replicant (as well as other things that I’m working on, like porting Libreboot to the C201 Chromebook), starting tomorrow.”

Very nice work Paul!!

Chaos Communication Camp 2015

Chaos Communications Camp (CCCamp) 2015 is happening in Germany next week.

The Neo900 project will be there, talking about the project and it’s security features. They’ll have some Neo900 prototypes to check out. Paul Kocialkowski will give a lightning talk about Replicant.

Huntz will have a lecture: “Pushing the limits of DIY electronics: Bridging the gap between DIY and professional electronics” that sounds interesting.

Michael Schloh von Bennewitz has a lecture: “Attacking IoT Telemetry: A study of weaknesses in the pipeline of rapidly advancing sensory development” that sounds very interesting.

Ramiro Pareja has a lecture: “Hardware attacks: hacking chips on the (very) cheap: How to retrieve secret keys without going bankrupt“. In addition to the lecture, they also have a “Hacking Hardware Like a Pro” workshop, where they “will show you more advanced techniques to break into microcontrollers using professional tools“.

Byterazor will have at talk on FPGA hacking. And I’m sure I missed some hardware/firmware talks in my quick look at the schedule.