Group: Hardware/Laptops Comparison/Freeable laptops

From LibrePlanet
Jump to: navigation, search

Introduction

This page is a comparison of laptops that can be run with completely Free Software. It applies to the following laptops:

  • The ones that can be run with completely Free Software, but didn't get certified because, at the time they were produced, the certification didn't exist yet.
  • The ones that are RYF certified
  • The ones that can be run with completely Free Software, but that cannot be certified becasue some hardware(For instance the webcam) will not work.

Lemote

Brand and Model Type Hardware Requiring proprietary software Compatible free BIOS Replacements Compatible 100% Free software distributions Availability
Lemote 8089D Netbook
  • None
  • Pmon
  • Grub2
Out of stock
Lemote 8101B Out of stock

Laptops supported by Libreboot

Be sure to check the compatibility of the laptop at The Libreboot website: some laptops models have extra requirements (such as a specific GPU or display).
Brand and Model Type Hardware Requiring proprietary software Compatible free BIOS Replacements Compatible 100% Free software distributions Availability
light/compact Notebook
  • The VGA option rom can be replaced[1]
  • CPU Microcode: most devices work without it[2]
  • Some default Wi-Fi Card are from Intel and require non-free firmware. If you buy the laptop second hand and have an Intel card, replace it.
    Else Minifree already ships with the good cards.
  • The default non-free BIOS can be replaced with Libreboot, though very simplified [3]instructions.
    Else minifree laptops ship already flashed, and once the non-free BIOS has been replaced, reflashing is way easier (no disassembly required).[4]
  • Trisquel 5.5 and newer
  • Parabola
  • Most GNU/Linux distros will work
  • Easy to find second hand, but very complicated and risky install procedure
  • Can be bought already liberated at minifree
Notebook
  • Easy to find second hand
Notebook
  • The VGA option rom can be replaced[1]
  • CPU Microcode: most devices work without it[2]
  • The default Wi-Fi card is an Atheros chipset which works fully with the Linux-libre kernel.
  • The webcam needs a non-free firmware.

References

  1. 1.01.1 It can be replaced by:
    • Coreboot code, with text mode or framebuffer graphics support
    • SeaBIOS's option rom that gives VGA compatibility
  2. 2.02.1 Some of the impact of not updating the microcode can be found in Intel's CPU erratas, like the Core Solo/Duo erratas. A good way to avoid the issues described there is to have a CPU that has the bugs you care about fixed in hardware: The more recent batches you get, the more erratas are fixed.
  3. There is a big risk of breaking the laptop: Some time ago, lots of users tried and broke it, they couldn't buy the laptop already flashed, so they tried it. They broke it because the instructions to switch from the original BIOS to free BIOS replacements are complicated.
    That's due to some restrictions of the original BIOS, which tries to prevent easy reflashing.
  4. Once the free BIOS replacement is flashed, reflashing is easy, but still dangerous: if the free BIOS replacement doesn't work, then the user has to disassemble the laptop and reflash with an external flash programmer to recover.
  5. If your MacBook has the right flash chip, flashing it is easy: if the free BIOS replacement doesn't work, then the user has to disassemble the laptop and reflash with an external flash programmer to recover.