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Taking control over the means of production: Free software boot

Presented by: Denis Carikli

GNUtoo has been contributing to various free software projects that either support computers that boot with only free software (like Coreboot, Guix, Libreboot, Linux, Linux-libre, Parabola, Trisquel, u-boot) or that try to (but didn't succeed yet) to support such computers (Replicant). GNUtoo also wrote extensive documentation on the topic in the Libreplanet Wiki or in an article about the Management Engine.


The computers we use run different type of software. Many people know about applications (like VLC or LibreOffice) or operating systems (like GNU/Linux or Android).
But there is also software running before the operating system is even started (like BIOS, UEFI, the Management Engine or the PSP operating systems). They give the hardware manufacturers an enormous amount of control over the computers used by users, even if users use FSF-approved GNU/Linux distributions like Trisquel and Parabola. That control is for instance often used by hardware manufacturers to give companies the ability to remotely control users computers through features like AMT, and that control is independent of the operating system running on the computer. After giving some background for less technical users, we will look from a user point of view why and how to avoid nonfree software in that area.


Audio-only version


7 months, 3 weeks ago

Tagged with

video · LibrePlanet 2023 video · FSF · LibrePlanet 2023 · LibrePlanet · lp2023 · libreplanet-conference · charting-the-course


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.