Group: Hardware/research/laptop/Mnt Reform

From LibrePlanet
< Group:Hardware‎ | research‎ | laptop
Revision as of 15:12, 7 September 2021 by GNUtoo (talk | contribs) (Add reference about the lack of iommu)
Jump to: navigation, search

Introduction

The current version of the MNT Reform laptop has several freedom issues.

The main one is that it since it uses an I.MX8 System on a chip, it cannot boot with free software as it currently requires a nonfree firmware for the DDR4 controller.

However that I.MX8 is on a removable card (a System On Module (SOM) card), and replacements for that problematic System On Module are being worked on and/or tried as seen in this thread: https://community.mnt.re/t/ideas-for-processors-for-mnt-reform/237

So it might be worth to check again later on if some people managed to boot that laptop with only free software.

When this is the case, it would be a good idea to evaluate the freedom and sustainability of this laptop with other system on module (SOM) cards.

Storage

The MNT Reform uses an NVMe.

If it's connected through PCI. This is a security issue since the I.MX8 has no MMU[1]

Even if it had an iommu, in general IOMMUs tend to be too easy to bypass in practice as they are often not well configured by various software components like u-boot, Linux and so on.

But in any case the laptop also has a full size SD card slot, so storage could also be added in this way and the current system on module (SOM) also has an internal eMMC, so maybe the new one does too.

It might be worth checking if the new system on module (SOM) has or can use an internal flash chip to boot as theses don't have any nonfree firmware (unlike most other storage devices like eMMC, microSD, HDDs, SSDs, etc).

References: