Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

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"Libreboot is a free BIOS or UEFI replacement (free as in freedom);
libre boot firmware that initializes the hardware and starts a
bootloader for your operating system.(...)
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. By contrast,
libreboot joins GNU in building a world where everyone can use, study,
adapt and share software, with true control and ownership over their
technology. In other words, you should use Libreboot for your
freedom's sake! (...)"

"Intel is uncooperative"
"AMD is incompetent (and uncooperative)"

See also (e.g.):
"If you did not know, built into all modern Intel-based platforms is a
small, low-power computer subsystem called the Intel Management Engine
(ME). It performs various tasks while the system is in sleep mode,
during the boot process, and also when your system is running.(...)
The 'Intel Management Engine with its proprietary firmware has
complete access to and control over the PC' (. ..).
At this time, developing free replacement firmware for the ME is
basically impossible.

"It has recently come to my attention that many in the free software
movement are unaware of a relatively new development on x86 platforms
that permanently removes the ability to use these platforms without
also continually executing signed, proprietary code at the highest
possible privilege level.  All post-2013 (AMD) and virtually all
post-2009 (Intel) systems contain this mandatory technology, and
therefore, by design, can never be converted to run using pure FOSS.
Prior to these changes projects such as coreboot could be used to
replace the boot firmware with a FOSS alternative.

F*ck Intel and AMD!


Re: Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

Yrrah wrote:
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There is a claim this is "fuseable".

And the feature is turned on, at the equipment manufacturers bequest.

An example of where it might be turned on, is a Business Laptop.

   "Intel Boot Guard

    Intel Boot Guard is a processor feature that prevents the computer
    from running firmware images not released by the system manufacturer.
    When turned on, the processors verifies a signature contained in
    the firmware image before executing it, using the hash of the public
    half of the signing key, which is fused into the system's Platform
    Controller Hub (PCH) by the system manufacturer (not by Intel).

    Intel Boot Guard is an optional processor feature, meaning that it
    does not need to be activated during the system manufacturing. As a
    result, Intel Boot Guard, when activated, makes it impossible for end
    users to install replacement firmware such as Coreboot.

My newest computer has all the infrastructure for Intel VPro,
yet the required (Management Engine) firmware is missing, and
it's "neutered".  For the Management Engine to work, requires
specific Intel NIC chips, which is one way to tell or suspect
that the hardware designer might have been leaning towards vPro
capabilities. So mine looks feature complete from a hardware
perspective, but it's just not turned on. That's because the
market segment for my motherboard, isn't quite business class.


Re: Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

On 6/13/2016 10:38 AM, Yrrah wrote:

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You are certainly free to avoid their products if you feel so inclined.  
Nobody is forcing you.

Re: Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

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You are free to refrain from replying if the subject matter is too
complicated for you.


Re: Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

On 13/06/2016 15:38, Yrrah wrote:
 > Snip
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But the non-free processor on which you run your free boot firmware (and  
free OS and free software) is also packed with code, could have  
potential backdoors and leaves you at the mercy of the developers.

Logic says your reason for using a free BIOS/UEFI is pointless unless  
you also avoid Intel/AMD and seek free open source processors.

Re: Intel/AMD bastards and GNU Libreboot

MikeS wrote:
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That was already tried with video cards.
A "roll your own" project. There was a
picture of a prototype card produced, but
I don't know what capabilities it had.

"Why The Open-Source Graphics Card Failed"

You can see the name "Xilinx Spartan" on the main chip,
which means that design is FPGA based.

If you designed your processor in an FPGA, there
is no "tangible" evidence you violated someones patents
(until the code is loaded into the FPGA at runtime).
The disadvantage of the FPGA, is your processor
would run at 100 to 200MHz. And be a threat to no one.
Then you could load your open BIOS onto it, and have
control of every aspect.


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