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!!

coreboot gets Rockchip ‘Veyron Shark’ support

As reported today by Michael Larabel at Phoronix, coreboot recently got support for the Rockchip ‘Veyron Shark’ ARM SoC , used for Chromebook/Chromebox, with code from Google and Rock Chip.

To quote Phoronix:

“Julius Werner of Google’s Chromium team added the Veyron Shark mainboard into Coreboot Git. Shark is in turn is based off a copy of the Coreboot code for Veyron Speedy. Some of the code comes from Google while the rest is from Rockchip Inc. Rockchip’s latest chip series is the RK33xx that is based on an octa-core Cortex-A53 design with a GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1 and capable of HDMI 2.0 and 4Kx2K @ 60 FPS H.264/H.265 real-time video playback.”

Rock Chip nor coreboot didn’t didn’t consider this newsworthy, no press release. I’m grateful that Phoronix has such an efficient news gathering system, especially for tracking new features in coreboot.

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