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The Zerocat Label
True Free-Design Hardware Tools and DIY-Projects

Zerocat’s Coreboot Machines

Note the following machines of course aren't true free-design devices! Instead, these are refurbished and modified machines that carry a decent Coreboot 4.8.1 Firmware1 and as few proprietary code as possible in their BIOS chips. Regarding Intel’s integrated proprietary Manageability Engine (IME) which pops up severe privacy issues, mind these important categories:

Please read The Intel Management Engine: an attack on computer users' freedom by Denis GNUtoo Carikli and Molly de Blanc in order to get precise details.

1 Coreboot 4.9 and 4.9-900 has been tested, but it fails to control integrated bluetooth adapters in conjunction with the NVRAM Option Table and the NVRAMCUI payload.

2 Hmm, the T430 has no working sound card upon boot, thus GRUB Console is muted (Can anyone confirm, please?). However, audio is back once you log in into your GNU/Linux-libre Operating System.

ZC-X200

This machine is very common when it comes to delete proprietary blobs in the BIOS chip. It runs blobfree, however the Intel Manageability Engine (IME) architecture still is on board and we don't know exactly about its hardcoded capabilities.

ZC-X200 | Dual Core | 8GB RAM | 8MB Flash, IME Firmware deleted

ZC-X200 | Dual Core | 8GB RAM | 8MB Flash, IME Firmware deleted

ZC-T400

Same as ZC-X200, but socketed CPU, integrated disk slot, touch-pad, more ports, stereo speakers, etc...

ZC-T400 | Dual Core in Socket | 8GB RAM | 8MB Flash, IME Firmware deleted

ZC-T400 | Dual Core in Socket | 8GB RAM | 8MB Flash, IME Firmware deleted

ZC-T60

This is an old laptop that still is very interesting for it offers modern 64bit support while lacking the annoying IME architecture:

[...] many Intel computers manufactured in 2006 have the ancestor of the Management Engine which is disabled from the start, such as the Lenovo Thinkpads X60, X60s, X60 Tablet and T60, and many more. --- Denis GNUtoo Carikli Contributions

If you have a strong stance on trust rather than performance, use this machine.

ZC-T60 | Dual Core in Socket | 3GB RAM | 2MB Flash | Free of IME!

ZC-T60 | Dual Core in Socket | 3GB RAM | 2MB Flash | Free of IME!

ZC-X230

Very performant laptop with dual core processor, two threads per core; IME firmware is not yet deleted but stripped down with ME_Cleaner. Note the heads project may run on this type of machine to gain improved security, but we haven't tried it, yet.

ZC-X230 | Dual Core, 2 Threads per Core | 16GB RAM | 12MB Flash, IME Firmware stripped down, CPU Microcode Updates required

ZC-X230 | Dual Core, 2 Threads per Core | 16GB RAM | 12MB Flash, IME Firmware stripped down, CPU Microcode Updates required

ZC-X230 with Qubes R4.0

Zerocat’s Coreboot Configuration has been adjusted to provide the GRUB2.02 Bootloader with full authentication support, chainloading SeaBIOS as a secondary payload to allow for booting the Qubes R4.0 OS Installer from CD or USB-Stick.

ZC-X230 with Qubes R4.0 OS Installer

ZC-X230 with Qubes R4.0 OS Installer

We tried to install Qubes on a few ZC-X230, but probably ran into issues due to a blobfree configured Coreboot-BIOS with a missing CPU Microcode Update File... See Zerocat’s Qubes R4.0 Installation Guide.

Laptops gain New Qualities

In short summary, these machines gain ethical qualities, as they...

Feel free to review or reproduce our approach and get convinced about its integrity. You can create them on your own!

Continuing for Testing Purposes

Since we are developing a true free-design chipflasher, we continue to flash these machines for testing purposes and offer our flash services as well as ready made laptops for purchase. If no related sales page is available, please feel free to request one.

Devices that we have some Experience With

Devices required for Testing

Please support our development with your hardware in case you can spare it.

Project’s Web Resources

Other Shops

Of course, this context suggests to mention shops like Minifree.org, TechnoEthical.com, and Store.Vikings.net as these are offering again refurbished but RYF certified Libreboot devices.

Another valuable source of information in german language is whiteboxdev.de, which has a shop for a selected set of ThinkPads running Coreboot firmware and the Qubes OS, for instance.