[Arm-netbook] Side-Topic: Liberating PocketCHIP

John Luke Gibson eaterjolly at gmail.com
Thu May 4 12:05:48 BST 2017

On 5/4/17, Bill Kontos <vkontogpls at gmail.com> wrote:
> Why is there an intel blob on the chip. I didn't know there was intel ip in
> there.
> On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 10:04 AM, John Luke Gibson <eaterjolly at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Since it seems like a trivially simple task that for some reason no
>> one has taken up, I would like to take the opportunity to exercise a
>> learning experience and simultaneously benefit the community, by
>> liberating PocketCHIP by deblobbing the source and re-compiling.
>> Browsing the archives to see if this had been talked about before, I
>> find it very incredibly humourous I got name dropped on the mailing
>> list by Parobath:
>> > Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2016 20:13:10 +0200
>> > From: Parobalth <parobalth at gmail.com>
>> > To: arm-netbook at lists.phcomp.co.uk
>> > Subject: closed-source BootROM and RYF certification
>> > User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)
>> >
>> > At the forum of NextThing Chip is a thread about Chip and a
>> > possible RYF certification. I wrote there that I think that is unlikely
>> > to happen and linked to https://www.crowdsupply.com/
>> eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/fsf-ryf-background.
>> > Then someone else mentioned that a closed-source BootROM is used for
>> Chip.
>> > Another guy with username "eaterjolly" wrote about this BootROM: "The
>> same type of SOC is
>> > used for the EOMA croud project which is vying for ryf-endorsement
>> > quite
>> > openly [...]"
>> >
>> > You can find the forum thread here:
>> > https://bbs.nextthing.co/t/ntc-thoughts-on-ryf-endorsement/4490
>> >
>> > Because they use Discourse to power their forum which relies heavily on
>> > JavaScript I also attach a Pdf version of the forum post.
>> >
>> > I wonder if the mentioned statements are correct and how it relates to
>> > the RYF certification of the EOMA68-A20 Libre Tea card.
>> >
>> > kind regards
>> > Paro
>> Like reading that URL, I was like? didn't I start that thread? then I
>> re-read the post and noticed I was quoted in the email xD I didn't
>> participate in the list back then, cause I was afraid my ignorance
>> would be spurred, of course I know that not to be true in hindsight.
>> Feels a bit melodramatic being name dropped on a linux mailing list,
>> usually you only see legends get mentioned by name when they aren't
>> around xD
>> Anywhoo, I more or less just wanted to start this thread because I
>> wanted to know if any one could point out anything that would need be
>> removed besides the wifi firmware. I searched the sunix-uboot
>> repository on github for the word blob and got a few interesting hits
>> for the code in the folder binman:
>> https://github.com/linux-sunxi/u-boot-sunxi/search?q=blob
>> Particularly in files mentioning the devil:
>> "# Entry-type module for Intel Chip Microcode binary blob"
>> I suppose this is just another aspect of mainlining, meant to be
>> parsed out once it's discovered that there are no such blobs in the
>> kernel, but personally I'd feel more comfortable with a script
>> removing these sections of the code altogether.
>> If I had been actually reading the list digests back when I could have
>> posted more accurate information in that thread rather than just
>> guessing. Well, I suppose I can do so now.
>> How humorous it is though too that I've run into the same 40k file
>> limit? Small tiny things suggesting the work of the vicissitudes of
>> fate, much like deja vu in the matrix.
>> _______________________________________________
>> arm-netbook mailing list arm-netbook at lists.phcomp.co.uk
>> http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/arm-netbook
>> Send large attachments to arm-netbook at files.phcomp.co.uk

Well to clarify, I haven't actually found a blob in uboot yet, rather
I found parts of the code which refer to blobs interestingly.

So far I found this pile of blobs in their kernel that the readme says
they are legally no allowed to distribute, lovely:


But also on the wifi, I don't know, but this file certainly looks like
the source code of a wireless driver:


Gosh, I feel like this is just more mainline stuff that would be
parsed out, because there must be more than a hundred drivers with
everything from intel to yamaha.

More information about the arm-netbook mailing list