Today I’ll start by going to go down a layer to firmware, then wander through some non-x86_64 options.

Those who want a Free Software operating system would generally prefer Free Software all the way down the stack. A computer’s firmware ( often BIOS ) is what actually starts detecting and spinning up the hardware components when booting.

In most computers the firmware is binary and proprietary, but we do have some Free Software options.


Libreboot founder Leah resells laptops with upgraded Free Software firmware and debian preinstalled. Minifree sales help fund Leah’s work on Libreboot.

The Libreboot project provides free, open source (libre) boot firmware based on[coreboot], replacing proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware on specific Intel/AMD x86 and ARM based motherboards, including laptop and desktop computers. It initialises the hardware (e.g. memory controller, CPU, peripherals) and starts a bootloader for your operating system. Linux and BSD are well-supported.

This is a great project, a shame all the vendors aren’t using either Coreboot or Libreboot ( and contributing to the projects! ).

FLOSS all the way down! :)


Think Penguin

Think Penguin specializes in selling hardware that uses Free Software and as little dependency on proprietary blobs as they can achieve.

They also sell printers and scanners that work with Free Software drivers. If you want a peripheral or parts like a 4 port PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Card that work without binary blobs check out Think Penguin.

MNT Research

MNT Research makes Open Hardware for Open Source Software in Berlin.

The MNT Reform does not have an x86 CPU. For Linux that’s not really a problem. We have the source code and the laptop was designed to work with Linux.

MNT Reform was designed from the ground up to be as open and transparent as possible, supporting a free and open source software from the start. The Reform laptop has no built-in surveillance technologies, cameras, or microphones, so you can be confident that it will never spy on you. Since the MNT Reform is not based on legacy x86 technology, its architecture is much easier to understand than that of conventional laptops. This simplicity also makes for a more pleasant developer experience. MNT Reform's hardware, firmware, software and documentation is open source and invites collaboration and hacking.

MNT Research also makes their own keyboard and USB camera.

They even make an Amiga graphics card that also adds USB to Amigas.

MNT logo is on the super key.


Pine64 makes lots of geek toys. For instance, the PINECIL USB powered soldering iron is great. Seriously, if you solder and haven’t checked it out do so now. Don’t wait, especially since it takes a while to get Pine64 stuff in from Hong Kong.

Pine64 makes a 64-bit ARM laptop, the PINEBOOK Pro, but they ask us to reserve them for ARM enthusiasts ( for now ).

This is limited quantity production due to a severe global electronic components shortage.  Please do not order the Pinebook Pro if you’re seeking a substitute for your X86 laptop, or are just curious and you’re ordering it with an intent to file a return/refund return request. These pre-orders are meant for enthusiasts familiar with the Arm architecture and interested in the PineBook Pro for this specific reason. Thank you.

The Pine64 logo is on the super key.

Mastodon post for blog post.