[coreboot] BadBIOS Thoughts

Oliver Schinagl oliver+list at schinagl.nl
Mon Nov 18 14:37:19 CET 2013

On 18-11-13 14:23, Patrick Georgi wrote:
> Am 17.11.2013 21:46, schrieb Alex:
>> [Broken record warning] What if, somehow, the community gathered a few
>> brains, talked to a vendor, and convinced them to put coreboot on a
>> yet-to-be-released product? It would almost seem like the community
>> would do most of the work for free. What sort of responses have we
>> received in the past with this approach? System 76, ThinkPenguin,
>> Pudget, etc... have we tried any of them? They have sleek systems, and
>> at least the first two value openness more than the average.
> Those three list Intel based notebooks only (not even a token AMD device).
Even worse, some have nVidia hardware in it making them even less 
attractive (yes Nuveou is progressing nicely, this is true).

>  From the point of view of free firmware, all of them are unsuitable,
> since free (and open, and trustable) Intel firmware implementations are
> only available for museum class^W^Wlong-term support hardware.
> I think the only x86 notebook with completely free firmware these days
> that can be bought easily is
> http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/ibm-lenovo-thinkpad-x60-coreboot/
> (featuring those Intel museum chips)
> And I guess doing something like that group is the only working approach
> for now: Pick some notebook (something recent), free its firmware, sell
> the pre-modded boxes (and publish numbers!).
> If you manage to sell significant volumes (which shouldn't be all that
> large), that might turn some heads.
But then we get back to the start of this thread, to little people 
actually care (or know off) coreboot.

> There are some issues with this approach: You're limited in your choice
> of base hardware (likely AMD/Via chipsets only, the EC must be
> manageable with reasonable effort) and it must be available for some
> time (no fun doing a port for 2 months, then selling the notebook for
> another 4, after which it's taken off the market, and you have to start
> from scratch).
> And, of course, when doing this, you carry the usual entrepreneurial risk.
while hardware stays around a lot longer then it used to (most are fast 
enough), finding one that can be easily supported is hard.

AMD should "develop" (e.g. get some ODM to supply it) some reference 
laptops and donate some to coreboot devs. Pitch in a bit to help where 
needed and I smell a winner. Since AMD belives in coreboot and support 
coreboot, making it actually happen would be in their own interest no?

> Patrick

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