Discover Security Projects News
LVFS Exploring Alternate, Open-Source Firmware For Capable End-Of-Life Devices
The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) with Fwupd for firmware updating on Linux could soon be making it easier to transition older, end-of-life devices off official firmware packages and onto the likes of open-source Coreboot for capable aging PC hardware. This not only would make the system run on more free software but would extend the life of the hardware with firmware updates where the vendor has ceased their support.
Lead LVFS/Fwupd developer Richard Hughes of Red Hat stoked a community question, "Hypothetically, if a legal entity (like the LVFS) started distributing Coreboot firmware security updates for EOL hardware like the ThinkPad X220 (with the vendors blessing) how does that feel? You'd have to explicitly opt-in and it would be clear all OEM warranty is gone."
Obviously there are some legal issues involved and such a move may not be endorsed by the hardware vendor, but the affected hardware is end-of-life after all. It is an interesting avenue since right now Coreboot can run on a lot of other Intel laptops / desktop motherboards / server motherboards but generally isn't very easy for inexperienced users to flash and transition to with usually quite involved steps for building and flashing. LVFS/Fwupd could make it much easier to switch off the proprietary firmware of your system and onto libre firmware where supported.