[Freedombox-discuss] Intel Compute Stick

Blibbet blibbet at gmail.com
Tue Jan 13 22:34:42 UTC 2015

On 01/13/2015 02:12 PM, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> Quoting Sunil Mohan Adapa (2015-01-13 21:05:38)
>> On Wednesday 14 January 2015 01:08 AM, Blibbet wrote:
>>> To me it is unsuitable for a FreedomBox due to firmware, which is
>>> probably UEFI-based if hardware comes from Intel.

Note I said 'probably', I haven't confirmed the Intel Compute Stick has

>> Indeed, proprietary firmware is a deal breaker.
> You mean UEFI specifically, or that *any* use of proprietary firmware is
> a deal breaker?
> Makes sense to me to steer free of proprietary code whereever possible,
> and we have enough options not requiring proprietary firmware injected
> at boot time, but I think it is too early to set the bar so high as to
> require no proprietary firmware exist soldered onto the board.
> If you mean only UEFI, then why avoid that specifically? Yes, I know
> that Free firmware like Coreboot is better when offered (which is not
> the case currently), but how is e.g. proprietary BIOS better? [...]

IMO, UEFI, with a CoreBoot PI package, would be a suitable firmware for
an Intel-based platform. Coreboot-only would be better.

There have already been two hacks at merging CoreBoot with UEFI, as the
Platform Init component, to avoid the UEFI PI blobs. UEFI Forum and
Intel merely need to take this existing research and make it part of the
TianoCore build, for OEMs that want to be blob-free.

AFAICT, all Intel hardware needs either legacy PC BIOS or modern UEFI to
run. ARM can work without UEFI, the only vendors that use UEFI with ARM
are using it for HW/OS DRM mechanism.

No new Intel hardware is made with PC BIOS, and all(?) new Intel
hardware is made with UEFI. So, you need to use UEFI on Intel, I think.
That's why I'm pointing out the CoreBoot PI method which is AFAICT the
best way to use UEFI. Especially because there's a mostly UEFI-centric
ecosystem of OEMs, and this is a tweak to their existing build, not a
whole new firmware build system to disrupt their product.

If you write off UEFI, you have to write off Intel, I think.

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