Send-in service: libreboot/coreboot installation and refurbishing service




Libreboot is a free/open source BIOS/UEFI replacement, providing boot firmware that initialises the hardware in your computer, to then load an operating system (e.g. Linux/BSD). It provides many secondary benefits such as fast boot speeds, greater security and greater customisation, but the *primary* benefit is software freedom. You can rest easy knowing that Libreboot will never knowingly contain backdoors, and will never spy on you; the same cannot be said for many proprietary products out there. All of the source code is provided in each Libreboot release, which can be fully audited. Based on coreboot, Libreboot provides regular updates, usually every few months, even on much older hardware, thus increasing the longevity of your hardware. Minifree’s customers regularly come back for more; we frequently have people buying multiple machines from Minifree, which means that Minifree is their chosen supplier of computers.

You can send your machine to Minifree, if you want professional Libreboot installation to be performed on your machine. Minifree has years of experience. Leah Rowe, the founder and owner of Minifree Ltd, is also the founder and lead developer of the Libreboot project! These sales are conducted, in order to provide funding for Libreboot.

NOTE: Libreboot installation *can* be reversed. If you’re ordering this service, and you want a backup of the original BIOS image, please request it when ordering. Your current firmware will be provided as a ROM image file, that you can later re-flash; please note that, doing so will in many cases require using external equipment later on if you want to switch back to Libreboot again. Therefore, if you have Libreboot installed, it is recommended that you stay on Libreboot. Regular update releases are provided by the Libreboot project, improving the firmware in each release. Minifree provides technical support to all customers, including those who wish for help installing new Libreboot updates. Installing Libreboot updates can be done from your Linux/BSD system, running on the machine, so long as Libreboot is already installed. The *original* (proprietary) vendor BIOS/UEFI firmware usually restricts flash writes, making it necessary to open up the machine and use special flashing equipment.

The price is in GBP (British Pound, £). You can pay in a different currency e.g. USD/EUR, if you wish; use currency converter to get the correct exchange rate, and send the amount. Minifree’s bank provider automatically converts foreign currency to GBP, when received.

This service is for *one* machine. If you’re sending multiple machines, order this service multiple times. For example: if you’re sending 5 laptops, order quantity x5 of this service.

This is a standalone send-in service (where you send a computer for Minifree to work on). Your system will be worked on by Leah Rowe, the found and lead developer of libreboot, and a competent electronics person. 5 year guarantee provided, after your product has been serviced.

Price is in GBP (British Pounds, £). This service is offered *worldwide*, to all countries. Minifree sales are conducted specifically to fund research/development on Libreboot.

If sending from overseas to the UK: mark it as “send for repair” and mark the value of £250 GBP (price of service plus shipping), or convert that to your local currency using today’s exchange rate. Send it to the address on the contact page. On the customs form, the HS code (harmonized tariff number) for a laptop is: 8471300000

Regarding compatibility: Any machine supported by coreboot can be supported by Libreboot. If your board is not listed on the Libreboot website, check If you send a machine that coreboot supports, that isn’t yet integrated in Libreboot, it will simply be added to Libreboot (just need a config). See:

Regarding operating systems: If you supply an SSD/HDD with the machine, Minifree will, at your option, install the libre operating system of your choice. OpenBSD or FreeBSD is are also available, but Minifree is happy to install any GNU+Linux (e.g. Debian, Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Void Linux), Busybox+musl+Linux (e.g. Alpine Linux), Sbase+musl+Linux (!!) or BSD (OpenBSD, FreeBSD, DragonflyBSD, GhostBSD etc.

This service does not cover component-level board repair (but Minifree can provide such service); if you have a dead motherboard or other faulty components, please say what the problem is before paying/sending, and Minifree will decide on an appropriate price if interested; otherwise, the service defined on this page is simply for libreboot/coreboot installation, with professional cleaning and refurbishing. Refurbishing, in this context, means cleaning, re-applying fresh thermal paste, etc. The cost of parts are not covered; for example, if you need a part such as the screen or keyboard replaced, either include the replacement part or Minifree will decide on an appropriate price to charge.

Please ask before ordering this service, to know if your system is suitable for this service. Minifree will flash coreboot, libreboot or heads* firmware, as per your specification. When you order, instructions will be provided for sending your machine in for servicing.

In general, your product will also be serviced and refurbished to the fullest extent that is feasible, or at the very least, fully cleaned.

*If compatible, Heads can be installed instead of Libreboot. Heads is another coreboot distro, with an automated build system similar to Libreboot’s, but Heads standardizes on Linux with u-root and busybox, whereas Libreboot prioritizes giving the choice of several different payload configurations in coreboot (the default recommended one is the GRUB bootloader, which goes in the main boot flash).

T500/T400/W500 quad core mods

You must include the CPU yourself, but I will do the quad-core mod at no additional cost. This involves soldering 1 wire and snapping a few pins on the CPU itself, ready for installation.

Recommended CPUs: Core 2 Quad Q9000 or QX9300.

I don’t sell these CPUs myself, but you can include one with your laptop (T400, T500 or W500) and I will install it for you. It offers a nice performance boost, for heavily multi-threaded applications.

16MB SPI flash on X200/X200T/X200S/T400/T500/W500

On these ThinkPads, I will install a Winbond W25Q128FVSIG, which is a 16MB flash, replacing the default 8MB or 4MB flash that those machines otherwise have.

If you don’t want the flash to be upgraded, please say so when sending your machine. But why wouldn’t you want double the amount of flash capacity?

I don’t do this mod on X230/T440p and other ivybridge/haswell (or sandybridge) laptops, because those machines already have plenty of flash capacity.

FHD eDP mod kits (X230)

X230 send-ins: If you include the required kit, I also provide installation at no extra cost, for the FHD mod. Again, you must include the kit (e.g. X330 kit, or nitrocaster kit). You must also include the required LCD. I handle the soldering and the software. *Please ask* before sending!

These are special mods for X230 thinkpads that disable the LVDS output and remove the LVDS panel. You then install an eDP panel which will have a much higher resolution e.g. 1080p. Several competing kits exist for this type of mod, so please ask Minifree before you proceed.