FLOSS pinebook pro linux set-up
#1
Hi all,

I was wondering about making completely floss linux setup on pbp. Avoiding binary blobs/proprietary packages is potentially good for security and privacy so small inconveniences like usb dongle for wifi instead of integrated are understandable.

It is great laptop is initialized with u-boot avoiding proprietary bios in usual x64 systems.


While does anybody know if there is a way to get most/all binaries out of the linux set-up?

I currently work on manjaro, set up was made using very nice script from Dan Johansen: https://gitlab.manjaro.org/manjaro-arm/a...-installer

By default pinebook pro requires certain firmware blobs for basic functionality.

By running through pbp gentoo and debian installers (https://github.com/Jannik2099/gentoo-pinebookpro https://github.com/daniel-thompson/pineb...installer/) I narrowed down those binaries:

BCM4345C5.hcd
fw_bcm43456c5_ag.bin
brcmfmac43456-sdio.clm_blob
dptx.bin

first three are for wifi/bt

while not sure about the last one (usb-c video out? but needed during boot?)

Is there a way to remove those blobs keeping laptop functional. I have usb wifi, but not sure how critical is dptx.bin?

Are there any other binary blobs?

Also gentoo, debian (installer script) and manjaro use the same manjaro kernel, while I'm not sure if this one is distributed with baked-in binary firmwares or they are supplemented in separate package (as very conveniently in gentoo)

Deblobbing kernel is possible (or using this one: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/linux-libre/) but easier to uninstall blobs if provided as a separate packages.


Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thanks







Would be great to get suggestion
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#2
Hi @misha64 - well I had the same goal. The first three mentioned firmwares look like the wifi drivers (so not needed) but the last one is probably related to the display output driver.

I have a blobfree PBP running with Devuan 3 with the official unstable kernel but the display does not work yet as it requires a blob. I also tried getting this blob but somehow I can't get it to work. Do you know of any blobs baked into the kernel that are necessary for the display to work?
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#3
Hey i am new to FLOSS

Does anyone know if a USBC to HDMI adapter would help with this? Is it actually confirmed that this module is used for both USB-C out and the built-in display?

Secondly, y t f am i not able to not use a binary blob for the display? Please make this blob unproblemized

Weirdly, it seems that USBA to HDMI adapters only work for windows...

I have no idea if any of these adapters exist that are FLOSS, anyone.
  Reply
#4
Sorry, I was wrong with my previous post as I learned later in a different thread. I can confirm that the built-in display DOES work without a firmware blob. It only seems to be needed to get the external display working. See also this thread:

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=12534

I am pretty sure external display would work with a usb adapter as well if you find one that works without blobs. However, I am not familiar in this "market". Do you have a particular model in mind?

Edit: Regarding other blobs - I am not sure whether u-boot ships a blob for training the DDR4 RAM and there is also something for using DRM in the trusted firmware repo. I've heard about some script to clean this repo (comparable to linux-libre) but I did not test this myself.
  Reply


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