RYF L5 approval, ME progress reports?

How long (estimated) to go through full testing purposes to get it’s RYF pass or fail for L5? Interested.

How is purism doing on removing ME in convincing intel to remove it and ship without as that seems like a hopeless effort in my eyes.

1 Like

I wasn’t aware that Purism was attempting to convince Intel to remove the ME (from some future Intel CPU) but … I would think that Purism has very little chance on that one. Now if the TLAs decided that it, even in its current disabled form, represents an unacceptable security risk then Intel might be persuaded.

The Librem 5 does not use an Intel CPU, so it does not have its management engine. It did have some challenges with needing proprietary code to use DDR4 (which, unfortunately, is very common), but that was solved by not involving the operating system and keeping it off of the parts of the CPU that the operating system uses.

1 Like

About RYF, the FSF wrote this on their “giving guide” https://www.fsf.org/givingguide/v11/ – I think this was recently:

Why it’s cool: While we’re still waiting to get our hands on one, this device looks promising. We’re giving it a tentative recommendation because the company has publicly committed to doing the right things for prioritizing user freedom and privacy, and because we have evaluated and endorsed the operating system it will run.

I suppose that means that the FSF did not have a device to evaluate yet. At some point Purism would need to send them one. (I suppose that’s how it works, when someone has made a device that they want to get RYF-certified, they send one to the FSF for assessment)


Actually, it was already in the previous giving guide, too. The FSF seems to highly regard the L5. I don’t know how long a validation could take, but Q1 2021 seems somewhat realistic!?

@user1 I think Purism basically gave up on (convincing) Intel. It’s more like what Apple does: “Let’s use Intel until we have something better available”.
In Purism’s case, this could be ARM or RISC-V.

I could imagine that we might see two hardware lines for some years, one more powerful (Intel) and one closer to the privacy/openness ideals of Purism.

I mean… basically that’s what you can already have now. Use the Mini as power horse, and if you trust ARM more, then do the sensitive tasks on the (docked) L5.

1 Like
1 Like

So coming back to the questions about the Intel ME

It’s impossible. It’s baked in to the silicon. Noone can remove it (except Intel in future CPUs of course).

As far as I know (limitations apply :wink:) the most that can be achieved with current silicon has been achieved i.e. remove all Intel ME software modules that can be removed and yet the CPU still boots and disable the Intel ME after the CPU has booted.

Let’s take that as dead in the water. Intel is a $200b company. They don’t have to care what Purism thinks or says. Even if 100,000 people signed a petition, they still don’t have to care.

Could they be persuaded?

For a start, customers would have to be persuaded of the importance of this issue. Putting that aside, some scenarios for persuasion could be:

  • TLAs insist on it (TLAs don’t have to be persuaded - they already understand the danger)
  • US government or other governments with heft legislate it
  • AMD makes the move first to introduce a homunculus-free option or range (but right now AMD has followed suit i.e. gone in the opposite direction)
  • loss of big customers (like Apple, but there may be no evidence that Apple is motivated to abandon Intel by the presence of the homunculus)

Are any of those persuasion scenarios particularly likely? Probably not.


Thanks for bringing this up once again. I wish this comes true.

mass intel boycott ? but then again the competition (AMD) isn’t much better …

stuck with 10 year tech ? yes if you want no intel-ME but not the end of the world …

One possible choice is buying Purism laptops. The more people buy, the more it becomes clear how important the lack of Intel ME is to the customers. By the way, System76 are trying to remove Intel ME from their laptops now, after Purism proved it’s cool.


Unless, of course, Intel sees this and decides to make it even harder to disable so that they can’t see that customers don’t want it…


Call me outdated but that’s exactly what I am trying to do.
Both camera + MacBook Pro from 2012. About a 70 $ phone. Drone from 2017. And my fridge doesn’t order by itself. Since all are working fine, why would I need more?
Erm yes, I think I know why:

  • I cannot take a 256k triple fullframe photograph with my camera and have it in the same second show up in my Insta =(
  • I cannot play overly bloated games on my Mac =((
  • I cannot watch Netflix on my phone, and I cannot track how many miles I ran =(((
  • I need to go outside for getting food =((((
    Taff life :neutral_face:

If I was Purism I would have completely freed an older pre-Skylake system (which includes ME but also the silicon initialization, which as of now doesn’t seem to be free) and I wouldn’t have messed with Skylake+.
But yeah, I guess that wouldn’t be ethical in the broader sense then, since then no one would have reasonably free hardware that is reasonably recent.
Because if their hardware isn’t somewhat recent they inadvertently again exclude some people, simply because the masses don’t buy old hardware, even if it had way better freedom/privacy.

So in theory we’d need to convince the masses that newer gadgets/stuff/hardware isn’t always going to be better, and make them question themselves whether they really need that new app/feature/whateves.

Just my 2cts…

Yes I know, that my thoughts are 101.34% against how our well-known economy is functioning.


I’d say the only real hitch in your thinking is repairing your old tech. All well and good when it works but have fun fixing something that doesn’t have parts and no one is still supporting.

Sounds like the newest Apple. No parts available, and the repair cost at the vendor exceeds the price of a new unit.

1 Like

Sure does. But Apple being an example of new gear that has the same problems as old tech doesn’t really disprove what I’m saying. It merely demonstrates how much Apple sucks.

I should add that I don’t wish for my comments to be taken as me being against using old gear. I think that marketing is the only reason many people think old tech has no value. But a computer from 2009 can still do computing today and for the most part with all current software. I’m not against it. It just isn’t the perfect solution.

I think Purism’s approach is the best of both worlds or at least they are trying to be.


Unless it is 32b-only vintage. (It’s still potentially a perfectly usable computer but you have to choose your software more carefully.) However that would typically be a few years older than 2009.

congratulations you’re ‘miles’ ahead of most people if that is true :sweat_smile:

ENCOM OS 12 … long live being stuck in TRON and living under the benevolent dictator CLU :crazy_face:

I’m pretty sure most computers being sold in 2009 were of the 64 bit variety. I suppose there are some outliers in there though…

1 Like