"Free the EC!" and "Coreboot Only"

The Framework Laptop is an exceedingly promising and ambitious project that will create shockwaves if successful, however this grand endeavour will not be truly complete unless framework commits to freeing the embedded controller firmware and offering coreboot. Fully open-sourcing and liberating these two elements would allow us to unleash much more of the hardware’s potential.

Simple, practical applications of having a free EC could include options such as custom remapping the keyboard or allowing user-customisable charging caps to conserve battery cycles, but shipping with a free EC also allows for more exiting prospects, such as fully exposing elements such as fan control to userspace. Perhaps most importantly, it creates much more transparency and enables the community to inspect, audit and fix bugs in the EC.
Coreboot is an equally critical addition for similar reasons, while also opening the door to HEADS being made available further long the line, thus massively improving security prospects.

Purism and System76 have already done a lot of the work needed to make this possible and have eliminated many barriers preventing framework from doing so. Their spirit of collaboration extends to Purism inheriting their custom open EC from System76 without any licencing or permission requirements. Framework has no excuse to not follow suit, the path has already been cleared.
Neutralising the Intel ME would also be nice, but we should limit the scope to Coreboot and an Open EC for now.

I hope framework takes this into consideration and does not forgo this massive opportunity.


There’s an entire community that’s willing to ditch Purism and System76 if the Framework Laptop meets these two requirements.



According to @Kieran_Levin, they want to work on implementing coreboot


Absolutely. Wholeheartedly agree.

Yep, open source firmware is well aligned to our mission of building products that are better for people and the planet. Our EC firmware is based on chromium-ec, and we will be releasing source. As @Kieran_Levin noted, we’re also exploring coreboot. We’re currently focused on getting the Framework Laptop out into the world in a lower-risk path that uses an off the shelf proprietary BIOS, but we’re looking forward to replacing that with an open alternative in the future.


The future of EC firmware is Zephyr. Please note that Google announced switching from Chromium EC to Zephyr on OSFC 2020. Of course, after investing in Chromium EC switching doesn’t make sense, but in long run (maybe next laptop?) and support available from EC manufacturers, this could be the solution. Also if the platform would be popular enough, schematics reasonably open, then maybe community effort will open the path for Zephyr support. This is what wish to Framework Laptop.


I think releasing firmware is a good step in the right direction, even though it will still have proprietary stuffs and blobs in it.

Coreboot would then be the next logical step, but without a stripped and disabled ME it’s kind of worthless.
Even though you could then have Legacy Boot again, which already is a big improvement to UEFI.

I would love to see a further developed solution of me_cleaner that covers also the latest intel chipsets in the most possible way.

Those two combined in my opinion is the most powerful solution to address privacy as it is needed.

Maybe Zephyr is also great, I just haven’t heard of it until now :slight_smile: