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Star Labs StarBook Mk V Support Upstreamed In Coreboot

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  • Star Labs StarBook Mk V Support Upstreamed In Coreboot

    Phoronix: Star Labs StarBook Mk V Support Upstreamed In Coreboot

    British Linux PC vendor Star Labs now has support for their StarBook Mk V laptop upstreamed into Coreboot, which marks their second product having this achievement...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...-Mk-V-Coreboot

  • #2
    It's too bad openSUSE is not a pre-install option...

    Regardless, still an achievement.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have mixed feelings about this laptop..
      It seems it doesn't have kill switch's for camera and microphone..
      It does have Intel Xe graphics which I think have decode capabilities for vp9 and AV1?
      also I don' t like a laptop without Ethernet connector..
      The good thing.. we can disable intel trojan, at least partially at the expense to only being able to switch to standby S3..
      About coreboot, never saw any videos of someone entering coreboot... does coreboot have a Graphics interface like a normal BIOS, can we choose and change things there?
      But has a ultrabook it seems a nice machine..

      At same time, slimbook is also not for me, because their keyboards are white..I see very badly.. so no go zone.

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      • #4
        On a positive note, StarLabs seems to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Well done.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have decided to buy two units - one for home and one for work. Main decision was based around supporting a Linux focussed vendor which does not only resell Clevo stuff but develops its own, optimised designs as well as contributes to the open source software/firmware ecosystem.

          wrt concerns from tuxd3v:
          • StarLabs is the only vendor I know who is providing a graphical configuration tool for coreboot, which makes is quite easy also for the non-pro to make changes. see https://github.com/StarLabsLtd/coreboot-configurator
          • Camera and mic can be deactivated via BIOS (both AMI and coreboot options). Agree, this is not as good as a mechanical killswitch (e.g. like Purism does on their Librem), but together with the coreboot configuration tool a compromise I was willing to take. And an adhesive camera shutter does the rest for the very privacy focused. ;-)
          • No need for an on-board Ethernet plug. When in office/desk stationary use, everything is hooked up to USB-C hub anyway, when on the move either WiFi or small USB to ETH adapter can be used. Skipping the bulky Ethernet plug allows for more compact and stylish chassis design.
          • Other than System76 it seems that StarLabs has found a good way to address S3 with disabled Intel ME, see https://starlabs.systems/pages/starbook#IntelME and https://support.starlabs.systems/kb/...agement-engine
          • They will soon also release an open source version of their embedded controller firmware.
          • StarLabs is not aggressively promoting this, but wit the assembly guide and parts which can be ordered separately, their "repair" approach is similar to FrameWork.
          • With XE graphics it is for sure not a gaming laptop but a decent workhorse for the years to come, cannot see any real issues with video decoding. On Twitter they have announced a 15-inch AMD model with Coreboot support to become availabel sometime next year. May this would address your concerns.
          What I am missing are options for alternative keyboard layouts. But afaik something is also planned for next years.

          In general vendors like StarLabs and Purism using their own designs are suffering a lot from the global component supply crisis. We can only hope that they stay in business in the mid-term.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            I have decided to buy two units - one for home and one for work. Main decision was based around supporting a Linux focussed vendor which does not only resell Clevo stuff but develops its own, optimised designs as well as contributes to the open source software/firmware ecosystem.

            wrt concerns from tuxd3v:[*]StarLabs is the only vendor I know who is providing a graphical configuration tool for coreboot, which makes is quite easy also for the non-pro to make changes. see https://github.com/StarLabsLtd/coreboot-configurator
            First let me thank you for your comment..!
            The machine seems nice, as a ultrabook, with what that entails..

            I also have the same mentality, to support companies that try to innovate bringing opensource options to the market..
            If I am not mistaken , they have dual channel ddr4 as a plus, something very rare this days, and very important!

            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            [*]Camera and mic can be deactivated via BIOS (both AMI and coreboot options). Agree, this is not as good as a mechanical kill switch (e.g. like Purism does on their Librem), but together with the coreboot configuration tool a compromise I was willing to take. And an adhesive camera shutter does the rest for the very privacy focused. ;-)
            Here I have a different opinion.. we are not any more in the mid2010s..
            A open-source oriented laptop, should have by definition kill switch's for camera and mic..
            Remember that this companies even go to the point of disable Intel ME, substituting its proprietary BIOS, and such to give more privacy to users.. in this context, a laptop without kill switch's for camera and mic is like a garden without flowers..

            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            [*]No need for an on-board Ethernet plug. When in office/desk stationary use, everything is hooked up to USB-C hub anyway, when on the move either WiFi or small USB to ETH adapter can be used. Skipping the bulky Ethernet plug allows for more compact and stylish chassis design.
            A Ethernet adapter is the most privacy minded tool to connect to network. A laptop without one, again is like a garden without flowers.
            And its not that they couldn't include a Ethernet adapter, because they could, I already saw low lateral profile devices with such adapters, they simply followed what is the trend, which is ultrabook, no Ethernet, so you operate via wireless...
            Then you go to a public space, ..and there are there someone with a WIFI sniffer, that knows exactly what you are doing and can hack your connection..
            So the solution is not privacy minded in the end..In my opinion you don't release a privacy minded laptop, without privacy minded network connectivity..

            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            [*]Other than System76 it seems that StarLabs has found a good way to address S3 with disabled Intel ME, see https://starlabs.systems/pages/starbook#IntelME and https://support.starlabs.systems/kb/...agement-engine[*]They will soon also release an open source version of their embedded controller firmware.
            I don't know about details, but it seems they are pretty open about what they are doing, and they also explain that disabling Intel ME is not without consequences, since you will loose battery when suspending the laptop..
            That part, in my opinion, is very good because it shows how open the company is to what they are doing, I think they gained some points there..
            They could simply let us in the blind and do what Purism is doing, I don't remember purism talking about that, but only the fact that StarLabs did, shows confidence!

            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            [*]StarLabs is not aggressively promoting this, but wit the assembly guide and parts which can be ordered separately, their "repair" approach is similar to FrameWork.
            That is a big Win, as a person that understand the electronic waste we are producing in the world, that is a big, big win!!Also we like to repair or products!

            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            [*]With XE graphics it is for sure not a gaming laptop but a decent workhorse for the years to come, cannot see any real issues with video decoding. On Twitter they have announced a 15-inch AMD model with Coreboot support to become available sometime next year. May this would address your concerns.

            What I am missing are options for alternative keyboard layouts. But afaik something is also planned for next years.
            No, my concern was not exactly on the performance side..per se..
            I believe intel Xe Graphics have vp9 decode and also AV1, this is not bad but good, has there are not other cpu's with integrated graphics that have AV1 for hardware decode, so its a good thing.
            But it was more of a question since I am not sure about AV1..

            Yeah a AMD option will for sure be welcomed, however I don't know if AMD APU's will have at that time AV1 decode capability, since today's AMD apu's are based on Vega Graphics, and vega only offer vp9 for hardware decode, not AV1.
            AMD av1 decode appears, I think, only in RDNA2 Graphics..
            In other words, the Xe Graphics card seems very nice!

            Well.. the keyboard options yeah, its the first elephant in the room for devices that need a keyboard.. without options on that will be difficult to some users from other nations to buy it..its a very important option..
            That is something that they should have addressed long ago, its the first thing to address actually..of course, if you are interested to sell to a lot more costumers..
            Generally speaking you need 1 keyboard per country, If you are only addressing 1 country for example, 1 keyboard is enough.
            Originally posted by ryker View Post
            In general vendors like StarLabs and Purism using their own designs are suffering a lot from the global component supply crisis. We can only hope that they stay in business in the mid-term.
            Agree, its very difficult to compete in a open market, and even more when chips crisis arrive abruptly increasing the prices of components.. only the big companies have the ability to sustain the difficult times without financing health problems..
            I also hope that they would be alive midterm, and well, has they represent 1 of the few companies that sell laptops with linux..

            In Europe I only know of Tuxedo,SlimBook, and now StarLabs..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
              It's too bad openSUSE is not a pre-install option...
              Why would you want a pre-install of anything?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nils_ View Post

                Why would you want a pre-install of anything?
                Convenience. This is how Windows got the market share...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryker View Post

                  In general vendors like StarLabs and Purism using their own designs are suffering a lot from the global component supply crisis. We can only hope that they stay in business in the mid-term.
                  The Starbook Mk4 might be, but the StarLite and earlier versions of the StarBook are definitely not their own design.

                  And only the StarLite is of interest to me. Even though it's not an original design, the combination of a Pentium 5030 and 1080p display is unique. Other 11-inch machines with the same body ship with 1366x768 displays and a Celeron J3xxx / J4xxx or Gemini Lake N4xxx SoC.
                  Last edited by Sonadow; 24 November 2021, 02:57 AM.

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                  • #10
                    This may answer the question on XE and AV1: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...-Driver-2020.3

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