Some questions I have regarding the Librem 5 (and Librem 5 USA):
I see that you can now purchase anti-interdiction services and an OpenPGP card when purchasing the phone. Has a Pure Boot-like tamper evident boot process been implemented? I don’t see any blog posts announcing this (nor announcing the anti-interdiction services for the phone).
I’ve read that the Pinephone has open source boot software - how does this work, and could this replace the DDR PHY training blob?
How do we update the proprietary blob when an update is available for the M4 core? I’d rather have an ability to update proprietary code, than be stuck with outdated proprietary code and a feel-good FSF certification.
So I guess they are just letting you purchase it in advance?
It mostly does, but it has proprietary blobs loaded on another processor. This doesn’t get rid of them. IIUC, the pinephone does this without any blobs at all, so I was wondering if collaboration could be done to improve Purism’s process, to make it truly free
On a practical level the PinePhone will be very close to 100% free. It will have proprietary firmware for its Realtek RTL8723CS WiFi/Bluetooth stored in the /lib/firmware directory, whereas the proprietary firmware used by the Redpine Signals RS9116 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth in the Librem 5 is stored in the chip itself. It used to be necessary to use an HDMI blob, a blob to train the DDR PHY timing, and proprietary drivers for Mali graphics in the Allwinner A64 processor in the PinePhone. However, free Lima GPU drivers were recently added to Mesa for the Mali graphics in the PinePhone and the DDR PHY timing is now set with free code.
(I realize the Librem 5 no longer uses proprietary firmware for Wi-Fi/bluetooth).
The link to the supposed free code for the PinePhone DDR PHY timing is this
I can’t find a citation but I believe the memory is soldered down. So even if this actually worked, you would have to be very handy with a soldering iron. How hard would it be to upgrade the RAM on the Librem 5? (asking about upgrading, not downgrading, but I suppose it’s the same challenge)