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What is this?

GNU Boot is a free software project aimed at replacing the proprietary boot firmware that comes with computers with free boot software.

Project status and need for help

Right now GNU Boot is still in its early stage.

It should be relatively safe to use the GNU Boot 0.1 RC3 as is has minimal changes on top of Libreboot 20220710 (the last 100% free release of Libreboot) and also because several people tested it and didn’t report any blocking issue.

However we need a lot of help for fixing the website as most pages are out of date or still refer to Libreboot or instead of GNU Boot.

This is very important because the website also contains all the project documentation, including the installation instructions (we also need help testing them).

See the page about contributing to GNU Boot for more details on how to help GNU Boot.

How this project came to exist

We believe computer users deserve to control all the software they run. This belief is the key principle of the Free Software Movement, and was the motive for developing the GNU operating system and starting the Free Software Foundation. We believe computer user freedom is a crucial human rights.

In order to achieve our goal, it is crucial that we call a program “free” or “libre” only when it is indeed free in its entirety. When we talk about specific programs, we must not muddle the facts about what is free and what is not. If people start referring to a progran as “libre,” when parts of it are not in fact libre, that tends to lead the community astray.

Unfortunately, such a muddle happened last year with a boot program that was free software and is called Libreboot: the development team added nonfree code to it, but continued to use “Libre” in its name.

Libreboot was first released in 2013. It has been widely recommended in the free software community for the last nine years. In November 2022, Libreboot began to include non-libre code. We have made repeated efforts to continue collaboration with those developers to help their version of Libreboot remain libre, but that was not successful.

Now we’ve stepped forward to stand up for freedom, ours and that of the wider community, by maintaining our own version – a genuinely libre Libreboot, that after some hurdles gave birth to this project: GNU Boot.

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