System76 Launches Two Intel Laptops With "Open-Source Firmware" Coreboot
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 10 October 2019 at 10:10 AM EDT. 26 Comments
COREBOOT --
While not exactly a big surprise with System76 having done an "OSFC Edition" Coreboot laptop at small scale at the end of the summer, but System76 is now formally announcing two Linux laptops shipping with Coreboot as an alternative to their proprietary BIOS.

System76 has announced they are now using their open-source firmware on their Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops. System76 says that their Coreboot-based firmware lets users to getting from the boot screen to desktop "29% faster" than their previous BIOS, thanks to dropping unnecessary features.

These laptops are using Intel 10th Gen (Comet Lake) processors. Pricing on the Galago Pro starts at $949 USD while the Darter Pro starts at $999.

System76 says these updated Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops will begin shipping the last week of October while pre-orders open up today via System76.com.

While it's great that they are now shipping Coreboot-based laptops, keep in mind the "open-source firmware" still relies upon the Intel binary blobs around the Firmware Support Package (FSP) and potentially the ME, among others, depending upon how they have exactly configured it. The support is similar to the Coreboot on Purism Librem laptops and other Coreboot-enabled Intel laptops. As we have exclusively reported, Intel is working on potentially open-sourcing their FSP but that has yet to happen. So these Coreboot laptops are more open than the previous solutions, but they are not 100% open-source. I'd still take this existing approach over an old proprietary BIOS any day, but just important to make it clear that there are still binary blobs at play.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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