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Re: [Libreboot] Operating System for Asus C201

From: Robin Vobruba
Subject: Re: [Libreboot] Operating System for Asus C201
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 18:32:11 +0200

as i understand, (one of) the main things to do is writing and
maintaining a linux-libre deblob script for the chromium kernel
sources, as these sources are quite different form the main-kernel
sources, for which such scripts exist.
a thread on the trisquel forum is here:

relating to one comment on the forum, it might make sense to donate an
asus C201 to the trisquel devs (or maybe the linux-libre script
maintainers), in the case that money is something you have a lot of.

2016-04-18 16:57 GMT+02:00, Daniel Tarrero <address@hidden>:
> Hi dude! i add some stuff in between your lines:
> On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 02:23:18PM +0100, Mike wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I recently purchased an Asus C201 and have flashed libreboot to it. I
>> would
>> like to express my thanks to everyone involved in the libreboot
>> development
>> and in particular to Paul Kocialkowski, your work is very much
>> appreciated.
> \\o o// \\o \o/ < me too!
>> I am now at the stage of installing an operating system on to the laptop
>> and
>> have a few questions that I would very much appreciate some help with
>> before
>> I begin:
> ... you have pass the most hard part!
>> 1) There was talk approximately six months ago about porting some
>> libre-linux distributions to this laptop.I have searched online about
>> this
>> but not found any updated information.Does anyone know if any progress
>> has
>> been made in this area please?
> libre-linux? Debian and Triskel are cousins =) i explain myself:
> i think you are worry about what comes inside, isnt it?
> All is about including (or not, or when) pre-compiled binaries.
> Triskel distribution refuses to include ANY software in binary that has not
> its sources published.
> That's why the hardware support is somehow limited, because a lot of HW
> manufacturers doesnt offer instructions, sources, and just deliver a
> precompiled binary that you have to trust.
> Debian also loves this approach, they dont like binaries, but they are a
> little less "purist".
> In the case you use Debian and have, lets call it 'propietary hardware', you
> can add them to your Debian.
> Have you read about Debian Main, Contrib and NON-Free repositories? time to
> do so :)
>   - Main: GNU, like triskel
>   - Contrib: Maybe no GNU, but sources available
>   - Non-Free: binaries, almost all are firmwares and windows drivers
> Regardless the distribution you choose (good choices i must agree :) you
> have to pay attention to what you install.
> Both, with sources or not, all packages are .deb
> Also sometimes you will find support for the same hardware, in "binary from
> vendor" and in "community developed sources/binaries".
> Let's say for example, AWARD bios vs Libreboot, or the other very common
> "nvidia official drivers" vs "nouveau" community driven.
> You can have a full "purist" Debian, or not. You can have 'by default
> purist' Triskel, and install a propietary closed binary somewhere...
> So pay attention; good start.
> In the other side, for example, Ubuntu, Suse or Red Hat include binaries
> from different vendors in default instalations, with less or no advise than
> more pure GNU distributions.
> Their approach is "it must work", so they tend to include to avoid common
> users headhaches.
>> 2) In the absence of any libre-linux distros I intend to install Debian
>> and
>> have been familiarising myself with the online guide for the C201.
>> I understand that this involves copying/reusing the original chrome OS
>> kernel that came with the device or compiling a chromium OS kernel from
>> source.Is there any risk that either of these kernels contain any of
>> Google’s privacy invading/tracking software?
> Well, when someone distribute sources alongside the binaries, this open two
> good paths:
> 1. for you to compile your own binary (in case they put the glitch and
> remove from sources, you will be safe)
> 2. for you to read, understand and modify sources, and then compile (nothing
> hidden here, all in your control, but...)
> ... but take into account that just kernel sources (the smalles part of a
> distribution) has around 15 million lines.
> With binary distribution you close those paths: you cant read sources,
> hardly modify the binary, and almost impossible to fully understand all this
> software does.
>> 3) I suspect that it is preferable to build the chromium OS kernel from
>> source.I have seen a suggestion that it would be sensible to remove the
>> binary blobs from the source before compiling .Could anyone please
>> provide
>> guidance on what to remove and how to remove it?
> You are in the edge of a big jump dude; compile a kernel can be hard (or
> not, depends in your knowledge about kernel itself and the hardware you are
> running).
> Read before jump, or maybe can be great if there is an "Install Party"
> somewhere close to you (meetings where Linux users met and share knowledge
> to install Linux in PC).
> There use to be one in each Gamming parties here where i live.
> If you build it, you can cut down pieces of sources (or included binaries)
> you dont like.
> For example, i use to compile "super-mini" kernels for my server (because
> they almost have no hardware).
> Also is easy to cut down things you dont know they are needed... ^^ panic
> for all!! hehehe
> The boot process should be: Libreboot (done!) > Grub/Lilo (read;) > kernel >
> Distribution
> Grub or Lilo are boot managers that will help you to try different kernels
> (i have a Grub's menu on boot with different kernel to choose on boot).
> So read and understand how your boot manager works before diving into custom
> kernels. Will save you a lot of pain in the ass :)
> Regards,
> D

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