Libreboot 820, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD or 2TB SSD, Intel Core i5-5200U, with 12.5″ 1366×768 or *IPS* 1920×1080 screen


SKU: librex230-1-3-1-1 Category:


Shipping worldwide! The correct power cable is provided, for each customer; the power supply is 120-240V auto-switching, so it works in every country. 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 additional benefits such as fast boot speeds, greater security and greater customisation, but the *primary* benefit is software freedom. Another distro or a BSD (e.g. OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD) can be preinstalled, on your request, at no additional cost.

The main strength of this machine is its portability and greater energy efficiency. It runs on the 5th-gen Intel Broadwell platform. It’s a lot lighter than the T440p, but with similar high build quality. Higher resolution 1080p IPS screens are also available for the 820, as an upgrade. IPS screen technology provides superior colours, contrast and viewing angles, making photos look more natural.

The Libreboot 820 is for people who need a highly portable machine. The included CPU is quite powerful, including for compiling large codebases and running lots of virtual machines; and the lower price make this a nice easy option for people interested in trying Libreboot for the first time.

Your freedom. Your Libreboot.

Most people use proprietary boot firmware, even if they use free operating systems. Many computers today are known to contain malware, chief among them being Intel’s Management Engine (ME). Our systems are different. Your Libreboot system will *never* spy on you, and it will never leak your data to anyone. Your privacy and security is critical. You are the owner of your machine. We believe free software is a fundamental right, something that everyone *must* have.

Your Libreboot 820 obeys you, and nobody else! It’s Libreboot inside! The Intel ME is *disabled* on every machine, using me_cleaner which disables the ME after BringUp – this is done for your security, and privacy. You have the freedom to tinker with every part of the machine; full source code is also available, for Libreboot and the installed Linux/BSD operating system of your choice.

*Encrypted* Debian GNU+Linux is pre-installed to keep your data secure, with *full* driver support including WiFi. Other distros or a BSD (e.g. OpenBSD, FreeBSD) can be preinstall on your request, for no additional cost. Libreboot is a Free Software project, which replaces proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware. These sales are conducted to fund development of Libreboot, lead by Leah Rowe who is Libreboot’s founder and lead developer, and the director of Minifree Ltd.

Debian Linux is secure, easy to use

By default, Minifree ships with *encrypted* Debian (KDE Plasma desktop environment).

Debian is a solid, robust OS with a strong security team and release engineering team behind it. It’s the bedrock of the Linux world, upon which many distros are built. It has a proven track record of reliability, and it’s easy to use for most new people while being extremely flexible for advanced users. It’s an all-round good default choice, which is why Minifree ships it.

More info about Debian can be found here:

Qubes is also compatible; please request this specifically, in the textbox on the checkout page, because Minifree will test your machine before shipping and ensure that Qubes works.

WiFi whitelist disabled!

Vendor firmware typically restricts what WiFi cards you can use, among other restrictions.

We believe that you should have the choice over what upgrades you install yourself, in your own machine – it’s your property!

Libreboot is preinstalled, replacing the proprietary vendor firmware, and Libreboot does *not* contain any such restrictions. You can use the machine however you like. The included Intel WiFi is pretty high-performance and should satisfy most people, but you have the freedom to switch it if you wish. This can be done easily, and further instructions can be provided to you on request.

Intel ME disabled!

The Intel Management Engine is entirely *disabled*, using me_cleaner. See:

Why use *these* machines?

Most people nowadays use bloated, inefficient software, a description that often applies to proprietary software; Free Software isn’t beholden to corporate greed, and many of the people who work on it care passionately about writing the most well-audited, high quality code. Modern versions of Windows use *gigabytes* of RAM, whereas a Linux/BSD system with a lightweight (yet modern) desktop environment will use far less than that, aswell as few CPU cycles and disk I/O; in other words, Linux systems can have much lower system requirements. Minifree shares in this *lightweight* software design philosophy. Libreboot itself (lead by the same person who owns Minifree) is designed to be as simple as possible, in terms of project infrastructure, build system, and actual coreboot configuration, providing firmware that boots as quickly as possible, and with a simple user interface (SeaBIOS and/or GRUB payload) that most people can just use, intuitively. Libreboot *heavily* patches the various upstream projects used, such as coreboot and GNU GRUB, fixing various upstream issues and providing more reliable operation for the user.

Libreboot releases focus on stability, providing well-tested firmware that is rock-solid on all of the supported hardware, and with a unified user interface across (where possible) all boards. That means, if you learn to use one Libreboot system, you can most likely use another with little fuss. Libreboot does away with nasty anti-features such as UEFI SecureBoot (nasty because it makes using free operating systems harder), instead implementing its own optional security methods that are completely within the user’s control, such as GPG signature checking of your Linux kernel from GRUB, which runs directly in the flash (which you can write-protect, if you wish), or the ability to have *true* Full Disk Encryption, including /boot. In *most* setups (on x86 hardware), Libreboot directly boots GNU GRUB from the flash, which is configured to automatically find and boot your distro’s own GRUB, EXTLINUX or SYSLINUX configuration (and manual configuration is possible), even in cases where it resides in an EFI System Partition (ESP), or a btrfs sub volume – GRUB is extremely powerful in this setup, as a *coreboot payload*, more flexible than any standard BIOS- or UEFI-based setup, and it works because Linux/BSD systems are able to run directly on bare metal, without calling into BIOS/UEFI. Libreboot provides a direct video framebuffer, that any operating system can use if it supports Kernel Mode Setting (all Linux/BSD systems do nowadays). This is a much cleaner way to boot your operating system, and GRUB is highly efficient.

Libreboot *even* includes MemTest86+ directly in the flash! You can boot it from the GRUB or SeaBIOS payload. No more messing about with bootable USB media. It comes preinstalled!

In other words, Libreboot does not contain any legacy crap from the 1980s (BIOS) or 2000s (UEFI) in most setups. However, a coreboot payload called *SeaBIOS* is also provided, which you can optionally use (useful for BSD bootloaders, prior to loading the BSD kernels). SeaBIOS implements a standard x86 PC BIOS, whereas GRUB provides *multiboot* functionality to directly boot a Linux kernel (along with drivers for the disk, filesystem, etc – and an often overlooked but extremely powerful user shell, that behaves very similarly to a full BASH shell with many commands available – more info available in the GRUB documentation, though Minifree configures these systems to Just Work so you can simply turn them on and use them).

Jargon aside, one thing that many people will ask is: does Libreboot work with standard Linux/BSD systems, without modification? The answer is yes. Minifree uses *standard* Linux/BSD installer images, provided by the respective upstreams (e.g. Debian, Archlinux, FreeBSD). In spite of Libreboot’s numerous quirks, most of these should boot up straight away without any fuss. For day to day operations, irrespective of what’s under the hood, you can use your Libreboot machine more or less just as you would a typical BIOS/UEFI system. More information is available on the Libreboot documentation.

These are the same machines used for Libreboot development. Leah Rowe, the founder and lead developer of Libreboot, also runs Minifree. Sales fund the project, and these machines are *used* by Leah day to day for all tasks. Many people are surprised when they turn on a Libreboot machine, and it gets to the bootloader (e.g. GRUB) in a few seconds or less, booting faster than even a brand new (non-Libreboot) machine. This is the power of Libreboot, and free software in general, in combating planned obsolesence and making the hardware run more efficiently.

Put simply: we want to live in a world where everyone can easily and comfortably use *free software*, liberated from the shackles of proprietary software. We want to live in a world where your property is *your* property; extended to computing, this makes free software a fundamental right that *everyone* *must* have. Libreboot’s numerous technical advantages are secondary to this primary goal, though providing high quality firmware releases is also a high priority.

Information about the product

Included accessories

  • Battery included, fully tested, ~40Wh capacity
  • AC-DC adapter (charger) included (100-240V auto-switching, works in all countries)
  • UK, EU or US power cable included, depending on country.

Laptop specifications:

  • 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-5200U processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz)
  • 1TB or 2TB SATA SSD (various brands used) and 2x8GB DDR3 SODIMMs (PC3-12800s), making 16GB total RAM.
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Screen: 12.5″ eDP 1366×768 TFT LCD, user-upgradeable to 1920×1080
  • Gigabit ethernet as standard, enabled by default.
  • Ports: DisplayPort, 3.5mm line in/out (dual mic/speaker), *3* USB 3.0 ports, 1Gbps ethernet RJ45, side docking connector, AC jack (HP charger/PSU), smart card reader, and VGA/DSUB-15 connector.
  • Backlight (brightness) control is fully functional in Libreboot on this laptop
  • Battery: about 40Wh capacity per battery.
  • WiFi: All Minifree laptops ship with an Intel wifi card, though the exact model varies because it’s often random, even between same laptop vendor. At the very least, it will support 802.11n, but some support 802.11ac. Please ask before ordering if you want to know exactly what Minifree has, otherwise Minifree will ship whatever it has.
  • More specifications shown here:

When new Libreboot versions are released, it is possible to update to those newer versions using software (no disassembling required). Full instructions are provided.

This product is the HP EliteBook 820 G2 machine, pre-installed with Libreboot and your choice of Debian Linux or other Linux/BSD, upgraded to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD.