Libreboot is free (as in freedom) boot firmware based on coreboot, intended to replace the proprietary BIOS or UEFI firmware. Boot firmware is the low-level software that runs when you turn your computer on, which initializes the hardware and starts a bootloader for your operating system. Learn more
Most people in the global free software community are using free operating systems; namely, the GNU operating system. However, most people still rely on proprietary boot firmware. The goal of the libreboot project is identical to that of the GNU project and Free Software Foundation, which is to ensure that everyone has the freedom to use, study, modify and share software; in other words, the freedom to truly own and control the technology that they use. We want everyone to be able to use free software, exclusively.
Libreboot is free software; we do not use the term "open source", because that term ignores the ethical ideals of the free software movement, focusing only on practicality and efficiency (short term convenience). Read this article for more information. However, libreboot also qualifies as an open source BIOS or UEFI firmware replacement, even if we don't like the open source argument (open source fails to teach users to value their freedom, which leads to proprietary software being accepted as normal and acceptable, even though proprietary software is unethical and never the solution).
Libreboot provides a fully free (deblobbed) coreboot tree, called coreboot-libre, with payloads and utilities already included. It attempts to make coreboot easy to use, by providing a fully automated build and installation process (and tested, stable releases), along with documentation designed for non-technical users. You don't even need to build from source if you don't want to; ROM images and utilities are also included in each release, pre-compiled from the available source code.
Libreboot has many practical advantages over proprietary firmware, such as faster boot speeds and better security. For example, you can install GNU/Linux with an encrypted /boot/ directory, verify a GPG signature on your kernel before booting it, load a kernel from the flash chip, and more!
Laptops and servers with libreboot and GNU/Linux preinstalled are also available.
These systems come with libreboot and GNU/Linux preinstalled, where everything works out of the box. This is useful, for those who do not want to install the software on their own, but still want to use it. These systems are fully endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, under their Respects your Freedom certification.
This is unacceptable. It will mean that devices can no longer be freed. This has an implication for routers, laptops and just about anything that has a radio device in it. It will also have serious implications for the libreboot project, if it is permitted to pass.
Not in the USA? That doesn't matter. The FCC's decision here will affect everyone.