coreboot doesn’t provide binaries but provides a toolbox that others can use to build boot firmware for all kinds of purposes. These third-parties can be broadly separated in two groups: Those shipping coreboot on their hardware, and those providing after-market firmware to extend the usefulness of devices.
Hardware shipping with coreboot¶
All ChromeOS devices (Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebit, etc) released from 2012 onward use coreboot for their main system firmware. Additionally, starting with the 2013 Chromebook Pixel, the firmware running on the Embedded Controller (EC) – a small microcontroller which provides functions like battery management, keyboard support, and sensor interfacing – is open source as well.
Nitrokey is a german IT security hardware vendor which offers a range of laptops, PCs, HSMs, and networking devices with coreboot and Dasharo. The devices come with neutralized Intel Management Engine (ME) and with pre-installed Heads or EDK2 payload providing measured boot and verified boot protection. For additional security the systems can be physically sealed and pictures of those sealings are sent via encrypted email.
NovaCustom sells configurable laptops with Dasharo coreboot based firmware on board, maintained by 3mdeb. NovaCustom offers full GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows compatibility. NovaCustom ensures security updates via fwupd for 5 years and the firmware is equipped with important security features such as measured boot, verified boot, TPM integration and UEFI Secure Boot.
PC Engines APUs¶
PC Engines designs and sells embedded PC hardware that ships with coreboot and support upstream maintenance for the devices through a third party, 3mdeb. They provide current and tested firmware binaries on GitHub.
Purism sells laptops with a focus on user privacy and security; part of that effort is to minimize the amount of proprietary and/or binary code. Their laptops ship with a blob-free OS and coreboot firmware with a neutralized Intel Management Engine (ME) and SeaBIOS as the payload.
Star Labs offers a range of laptops designed and built specifically for Linux that are available with coreboot firmware. They use edk2 as the payload and include an NVRAM option to disable the Intel Management Engine.
Dasharo is an open-source based firmware distribution focusing on clean and simple code, long-term maintenance, transparent validation, privacy-respecting implementation, liberty for the owners, and trustworthiness for all.
Contributions are welcome, this document.
Heads is an open source custom firmware and OS configuration for laptops and servers that aims to provide slightly better physical security and protection for data on the system. Unlike Tails, which aims to be a stateless OS that leaves no trace on the computer of its presence, Heads is intended for the case where you need to store data and state on the computer.
Heads is not just another Linux distribution – it combines physical hardening of specific hardware platforms and flash security features with custom coreboot firmware and a Linux boot loader in ROM.
Libreboot is a downstream coreboot distribution that provides ready-made firmware images for supported devices: those which can be built entirely from source code. Their copy of the coreboot repository is therefore stripped of all devices that require binary components to boot.
MrChromebox provides upstream coreboot firmware images for the vast majority of x86-based Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, using edk2 as the payload to provide a modern UEFI bootloader. Why replace coreboot with coreboot? Mr Chromebox’s images are built using upstream coreboot (vs Google’s older, static tree/branch), include many features and fixes not found in the stock firmware, and offer much broader OS compatibility (i.e., they run Windows as well as Linux). They also offer updated CPU microcode, as well as firmware updates for the device’s embedded controller (EC). This firmware “takes the training wheels off” your ChromeOS device :)