How free actually PBP is ?
#1
Hello to everybody as this is my first post.

I was wondering how free actually PBP is ? I know that there is one blob needed for booting and another one for BT/WiFi. Anything else ?

I am asking this question being not very familiar with arm devices in general.
#2
To my knowledge, there are only the two blobs you listed.

Beyond that, every other feature can run from open-source code. The schematics for the two boards inside the case are available, as are datasheets for most of the components. Those are on the wiki.

We're pretty open. Smile
Community administrator and sysadmin for PINE64
(Translation: If something breaks on the website, forum, or chat network, I'm a good person to yell at about it)

#3
(11-03-2019, 04:36 PM)fire219 Wrote: To my knowledge, there are only the two blobs you listed.

Beyond that, every other feature can run from open-source code. The schematics for the two boards inside the case are available, as are datasheets for most of the components. Those are on the wiki.

We're pretty open. Smile

Great to hear. Especially comparing to Intel/AMD with their cpu microcodes, management engines, firmware almost everywhere around.
Now PBP needs some kind of open firmware to be even more flexible.

I'm convinced now Smile
#4
(11-04-2019, 12:24 AM)as400 Wrote: cpu microcodes

Every month someone asks this question, but nobody ever worried about microcode.

What's wrong with microcode driven instruction execution? I gained the impression that this is awesome on architectures which let you replace the microcode to fix subtile bugs. That's not possible on hard-wired instruction execution, is it?

You can get either non-free microcode or non-free hard-wired instruction execution circuitry. Does it matter?

Do you worry about backdoors? I assume it's veeeeeeeeery difficult to put backdoors in microcode so that 1) a full-fledged OS actually boots to completion while 2) making some programs exploitable by a microcode induced backdoors.


(11-04-2019, 12:24 AM)as400 Wrote: Now PBP needs some kind of open firmware to be even more flexible.

Some firmware lies in the ROM internal to the SOC. That can't be replaced. Where do you see inflexibility in the current firmware?
#5
(11-04-2019, 08:33 PM)Der Geist der Maschine Wrote: Every month someone asks this question, but nobody ever worried about microcode.

Do you worry about backdoors? I assume it's veeeeeeeeery difficult to put backdoors in microcode so that 1) a full-fledged OS actually boots to completion while 2) making some programs exploitable by a microcode induced backdoors.

Microcode is just an example. IME is a fact and everyone should be worried.

(11-04-2019, 08:33 PM)Der Geist der Maschine Wrote: Some firmware lies in the ROM internal to the SOC. That can't be replaced. Where do you see inflexibility in the current firmware?

I meant something like libreboot/coreboot.
#6
(11-05-2019, 03:16 AM)as400 Wrote:
(11-04-2019, 08:33 PM)Der Geist der Maschine Wrote: Every month someone asks this question, but nobody ever worried about microcode.

Do you worry about backdoors? I assume it's veeeeeeeeery difficult to put backdoors in microcode so that 1) a full-fledged OS actually boots to completion while 2) making some programs exploitable by a microcode induced backdoors.

Microcode is just an example. IME is a fact and everyone should be worried.

(11-04-2019, 08:33 PM)Der Geist der Maschine Wrote: Some firmware lies in the ROM internal to the SOC. That can't be replaced. Where do you see inflexibility in the current firmware?

I meant something like libreboot/coreboot.

Doesn't the PBP boot off u-Boot, which is free?
#7
(11-05-2019, 04:45 AM)tsago Wrote: Doesn't the PBP boot off u-Boot, which is free?

Yes it does. But graphical (bios/uefi like) menu would be much easier for some users. So they don't get scared away by text console.
#8
(11-05-2019, 05:45 AM)as400 Wrote:
(11-05-2019, 04:45 AM)tsago Wrote: Doesn't the PBP boot off u-Boot, which is free?

Yes it does. But graphical (bios/uefi like) menu would be much easier for some users. So they don't get scared away by text console.

Top-5 of this year's Frivolous Requests List.  Big Grin
If anyone can implement that for you, sure. But what's the point? You're not meant to spend hours in the boot menu. At most you pick an alternative kernel and off you go into that kernel.
#9
(11-05-2019, 08:30 AM)tsago Wrote: Top-5 of this year's Frivolous Requests List.  Big Grin
If anyone can implement that for you, sure. But what's the point? You're not meant to spend hours in the boot menu. At most you pick an alternative kernel and off you go into that kernel.

As i read the forum, there are many people having problems with booting off devices other than emmc Tongue For instance - wouldn't it be nice and clean to have a list on start what to boot from ?
#10
(11-06-2019, 06:56 AM)as400 Wrote:
(11-05-2019, 08:30 AM)tsago Wrote: Top-5 of this year's Frivolous Requests List.  Big Grin
If anyone can implement that for you, sure. But what's the point? You're not meant to spend hours in the boot menu. At most you pick an alternative kernel and off you go into that kernel.

As i read the forum, there are many people having problems with booting off devices other than emmc Tongue For instance - wouldn't it be nice and clean to have a list on start what to boot from ?

One problem here is that the chip has a hard-wired priority to boot off eMMC. If you nuke the eMMC well enough, you won't be able to boot off SD card until you remove eMMC, and no boot menu will help you.  Confused


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  How Much Non-Free Software Does The PineBook Pro Use? ImmyChan 6 4,942 02-18-2021, 07:58 PM
Last Post: TRS-80
  No keyboard & trackpad leads to no display. RMA from the US. Free parts in Seattle BitterPine 4 8,710 12-30-2020, 06:14 AM
Last Post: BetteHoward
Heart I *love* the logo-free chassis Phillip Bell 3 4,229 06-20-2020, 05:30 PM
Last Post: Syonyk
  Free to a good home: Pinebook pro Watercourse 7 8,532 05-12-2020, 11:17 AM
Last Post: Watonga

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)