[sf-lug] Fwd: Why buy a Libreboot X200 laptop?

maestro maestro415 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 07:47:30 PDT 2015

This is from last Feb. ...
Any positive feedback?...

Mr. Stockford,
You & I have had conversations about BIOS in the distant past I'd like to
hear your input...

Ms. Sellers,
You struggle with hardware compatibility issues regularly (it seems).
This may be attractive to you...

Interesting in the article 'they' make no mention of phones present day or

Anyone have one of these X200's?

Message ends.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Free Software Foundation <info at fsf.org>
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Subject: Why buy a Libreboot X200 laptop?
To: free software supporter <maestro415 at gmail.com>


Here are three reasons to purchase the Libreboot X200 sold by Gluglug, the
latest product to be awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification:

The FSF's RYF certification mark means that this laptop meets the FSF's
standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and
privacy. This is only the second laptop to achieve RYF certification, the
first being the Libreboot X60.

The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60,
including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all
models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. Not to
mention it comes installed with the FSF-endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux distro
and the GNOME desktop.

This is the first laptop sold in which Intel's Management Engine (ME) and
Active Management Technology (AMT) have been completely removed and
replaced with free firmware, including Libreboot and GNU GRUB 2!

The FSF has previously written about Intel's ME and AMT, calling attention
to how this proprietary software introduces a fundamental security flaw—a
back door—into a person's machine, allowing a perpetrator to remotely
access the computer over a network. It enables powering the computer on and
off, configuring and upgrading the BIOS, wiping the hard drives,
reinstalling the operating system, and more. While there is a BIOS option
to ostensibly disable AMT, because the BIOS itself is proprietary, the user
has no means to verify whether it is actually sufficient. Further, the
functionality provided by the ME/AMT could be a useful security and
recovery measure, but only if the user has control over the software and
the ability to install modified versions of it. Perhaps worst of all, as
Francis Rowe, founder of Gluglug, told me, "On most systems the ME is
extremely difficult to remove, and nearly impossible to replace." But
fortunately for us, he also said, "The Libreboot X200 is the first system
where it has actually been removed, permanently."

This is a huge accomplishment, but unfortunately, it is not known if the
Libreboot developers' efforts to remove the ME and AMT from this device
will be applicable to newer Intel-based laptops. It is a wretched state of
affairs when users can't uninstall proprietary software and replace it with
free software simply because a hardware maker wishes to make it difficult
to do so. That's why we are calling on Intel to work with us to enable
removal of ME and AMT for users who don't want it on their machines!

Personally, I find it incredibly frustrating to think that free software
developers may have to invest even more time and energy figuring out how to
remove proprietary firmware without rendering the hardware nonfunctional. I
know that hackers like Francis and the Libreboot team, and the many
contributors to the upstream Coreboot project, would rather create new
features and functionality in free software than spend their time figuring
out how to remove proprietary software and gain control of the basic
functionality of their computers. But I am also thankful that Gluglug and
Libreboot have stepped up to do this work and have made it easy for me to
purchase a laptop that respects my freedom.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification,
including details on the certification of the Libreboot X200, visit
http://www.fsf.org/ryf. If you know of a hardware seller out there that you
think can achieve RYF certification, then please let us know by emailing
licensing at fsf.org.

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager

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