Leah Rowe

is creating Libreboot, osboot and osboot-libre

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$133

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About Leah Rowe

I am the founder and lead developer of both https://libreboot.org/ and https://osboot.org/

The purpose of this Patreon page is to raise funds for Libreboot and osboot development. Read on for more info. The way I currently fund my work on these projects is to provide commercial services around them, such as selling computers with osboot or libreboot pre-installed. However, this means that I have less time for actual development sometimes, so I would like to receive funding from the public instead, so that I don't have to focus on business as much. That way, I can focus more of my time on the code.

Libreboot is freedom-respecting boot firmware that initializes the hardware (e.g. memory controller, CPU, peripherals) in your computer so that software can run. Libreboot then starts a bootloader to load your operating system. It replaces the proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware typically found on a computer. Libreboot is compatible with specific computer models that use the Intel/AMD x86 architecture. Libreboot works well with GNU+Linux and BSD operating systems. User support is available at #libreboot on Freenode IRC.

Libreboot uses coreboot for hardware initialization. However, coreboot is notoriously difficult to compile and install for most non-technical users. There are many complicated configuration steps required, and coreboot by itself is useless; coreboot only handles basic hardware initialization, and then jumps to a separate payload program. The payload program can be anything, for example a Linux kernel, bootloader (such as GNU GRUB), UEFI implementation (such as Tianocore) or BIOS implementation (such as SeaBIOS). While not quite as complicated as building a GNU+Linux distribution from scratch, it may aswell be as far as most non-technical users are concerned.

Libreboot solves this problem in a novel way: Libreboot is a coreboot distribution much like Debian is a GNU+Linux distribution. Libreboot provides an automated build system that downloads, patches (where necessary) and compiles coreboot, GNU GRUB, various payloads and all other software components needed to build a complete, working ROM image that you can install to replace your current BIOS/UEFI firmware, much like a GNU+Linux distribution (e.g. Debian) provides an ISO image that you can use to replace your current operating system (e.g. Windows).

osboot is a special fork of Libreboot, that I also maintain. I am the founder of both osboot and Libreboot.

osboot has 2 versions available in its git repository (osbmk):

* osboot
* osboot-libre

osboot-libre (libre branch) has the same criteria as libreboot. The regular osboot (master branch) supports more hardware; coreboot supports hundreds and hundreds of machines, but requires binary blobs on most of them. Libreboot and osboot-libre only allow support for those machines that can boot with entirely free software, by FSF and GNU standards, but it's also important to provide a coreboot distro for other, less ideal hardware, because people who own *those* machines also deserve freedom over their computing, even if that freedom is incomplete; such people are well served with osboot, which provides an easy to use distribution of coreboot that they can just install, which gives them more freedoms compared to fully non-free BIOS/UEFI software. osboot was started, because there was a gap between libreboot and coreboot: people with less ideal hardware (less ideal because of blobs needed in coreboot) were not using coreboot, even if coreboot supported their hardware, because compiling coreboot from scratch can be quite intimidating for non-technical users. osboot plugs that gap.

Goals
$133.34 of $6,000 per month
At this level of funding, I will have more than I need to be able to fund some serious works, and I will be able to work full time. This amount of money will pay the rent, feed me and make sure I have everything I need, and I won't need to operate my company full-time (right now I make money selling Libreboot laptops, but I want to spend less time on sales and more time on research/development).
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