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Pi-top like laptop with your choice of pi3 or BeagleBone running Linux. The performance of a pi3 is actually decent. It's not perfect as there's a GPU BLOB in the pi3 and the BB also has some issue. It's my compromise for now, hoping the blob will be reversed/replaced eventually.

Or anything that runs libreboot: https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl/

If OpenBSD runs on it that's also a good sign usually as they won't touch anything with BLOBs.




Well, the Pi blob can be replaced… almost… soon… https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11703842 / https://github.com/christinaa/rpi-open-firmware

Not a ready drop-in replacement yet, but running ARM code with access to the SD card and the UART console is possible!

edit: By the way! The Pi loads all the firmware from the SD card — no reflashable memory on the board AFAIK – which would make it excellent from the "State considered harmful" perspective http://blog.invisiblethings.org/2015/12/23/state_harmful.htm...


I do actually on a Pi3, so that's an encouraging piece of info. A GPU blob is at least a step up from the ring-negative-3 management engine.


I don't think it's a big difference to be honest: The GPU firmware (start.elf) is required to boot the Pi. There is no source code available at the moment.

The GPU firmware runs in parallel to the CPU and has access to the complete memory. Video decoding is done by the GPU and happens while the CPU is completely idle. And it can (of course) crash. If you've done anything related to OMX programming on the Pi, you might have experienced that.

In theory there is nothing that would prevent the a rogue firmware from hooking into kernel structures to interface with the outside world.


rpis have even more blobs to initalize the hardware than x86/intel




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