Linux-libre on Framework?

I’m planning on running an FSF approved distro on my framework laptop (specifically Parabola). I know WiFi is a stickler, so I’m getting a WiFi card that I know works on linux-libre (an Atheros 802.11n card). I’m wondering if there’s any other elements of the framework laptop I’m overlooking that won’t work on linux-libre.


Technically it won’t be libre until Coreboot/Tianocore is available, but wireless is pretty much the main thing other than a GPU driver, and Intel is usually pretty good about open sourcing their stuff.

Yea, I saw that the bios is proprietary (at least for now). I won’t make perfect the enemy of good though. So the Intel GPU should work fine? Is “fine” just 2D mode, or will a graphics driver with say, OpenCL support, work on linux-libre as well?

Looks like it should be good to go. Intel Xe Graphics' Incredible Performance Uplift From OpenCL To oneAPI Level Zero To Vulkan - Phoronix

That’s good to see - I’ll report back here once my laptop arrives.

Update: everything works pretty well - the libre GPU drivers work (can play 0ad, can use OpenCL), and the WiFi card works well. The only Atheros 802.11n card with an M.2 form factor that I could find was from a company called Thinkpenguin (which is unfortunately quite expensive). Also, I haven’t figured out bluetooth - after looking at dmesg, I suspect the bluetooth driver for this card is not libre - oh well.


General rule of thumb for making libre Linux distros “just work”: obtaining compatible WiFi cards tend to be the single factor for ease of use on laptops.

Also, “Intel graphics” typically means integrated graphics, which usually “just works”. (Discrete GPUs for graphics is another issue.)

For better or worse, not much can be done about the status of Coreboot, since discussion for the hardware is fixed to the Framework Laptop.