Libreboot, the FOSS BIOS Replacement, Sees New Release

I’ll admit that I’m as knowledgable about boot technologies as I am BTS trivia but, my own shortcomings aside, open-source boot tech is a big deal for a lot of Linux folx.

Which makes the latest Libreboot release worthy of words on this blog.

Anyone who, like myself, is wet behind the ears on this topic: Libreboot is an open source BIOS/UEFI replacement based on coreboot, with an emphasis on security. Libreboot is to coreboot what Debian is to Linux; it makes it easier to run coreboot on supported hardware.

Unlike other boot firmware, Libreboot is entirely free of proprietary blobs, is free to inspect, modify, and redistribute. It also boasts solid support for booting Linux-based distros, as well as OpenBSD and FreeBSD.

Image: Libreboot

“The type of person who would use Libreboot is the sort of person who is worried about security threats in modern UEFI firmware, especially about possible backdoors,” explains project lead Leah Rowe.

Up to speed? I certainly feel more aware of what Libreboot is after writing all that so, if it helped no-one but myself, job done!

What’s new in the latest release?

Libreboot 20230625 adds support for the HP EliteBook 2570p laptop, and the HP 8300 USDT and Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L desktops.

If this bump in hardware support seem small there’s a reason: recent development focused on stability, auditing the build system, and fixing bugs. You can get a good idea of how fruitful that focus was by fishing through the official release notes – they’re lengthy!

Additionally, this Libreboot release provides two sets of ROM images for each x86 mainboard supported: one contains CPU microcode, and the other excludes it. The project’s website has a page detailing microcode in Libreboot.

I don’t have any compatible hardware to try Libreboot myself, but if you’re interested in learning more and potentially using it yourself do go check out the project webpage using the many links in this post.

And if you’re a Libreboot user, I’d love to hear about your experiences using it!