[Freedom-misc] Minifree is in dire trouble,

kwojtus at protonmail.com kwojtus at protonmail.com
Sun Mar 22 20:16:20 CET 2020


"Minifree is shutting dow, permanently. Its finances are fucked beyond all  
recovery..."

What a shame.

Personally, I appreciate Leah and Libreboot and at the same time I think it  
is no longer the way to go. More modern, non-x86 computers are already  
appearing. There is PowerPC Talos (already RYF-certified  
https://www.fsf.org/news/talos-ii-mainboard-and-talos-ii-lite-mainboard-now-fsf-certified-to-respect-your-freedom)  
for those, who have the money and there are also cheaper ARM-based devices  
working with blobless coreboot or u-boot, i.e. Pinebook Pro (shame they use  
Google's ReCaptcha on their website) and other RockChip-based devices,  
already usable with mainlined Panfrost and Lima drivers for their GPUs.

Librebooted ThinkPads and Bulldozers were the best option at some point, yet  
they have their drawbacks (lack of co-operation from Intel and AMD (and VIA?)  
resulting in unfreeable boot firmware in all newer x86 processors, lack of  
free EC firmware even in older ThinkPads, proprietary microcode...).
Now, we can move a little step further and we should. This is also why Leah  
stopped selling librebooted AMD mobos and called of others (Technoetical,  
Vikings) to do the same - to not compete with Talos computers that give  
better perspectives for the future.

As to ARM devices, idk why Libreboot isn't adding support for more of them.  
Still, I believe it's possible to get fully free with corebot or u-boot even  
without official libreboot support.

And to make things clear - this is not the end of the path. I do expect  
risc-v to make ARM and PowerPC deprecated too. I just don't know when this  
will happen. In the meanwhile, I think we should concentrate on the software  
part. The state of ARM in ethical distros is not too good. And it's even  
worse with other arches.

And despite I don't consider Libreboot crucial for the future of  
freesw-enabled hardware, I think it played an important role in the past 7  
years and we can be grateful to Leah for the hard work


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