Canoeboot v0.1 released!

Leah Rowe in Canoe Leah Mode™

27 January 2024


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Article published by: Leah Rowe in Canoe Leah Mode™

Date of publication: 27 January 2024

This is a special release. It is not based on the recent Libreboot 20240126 release. No, it is very special indeed.

I have recently sent GNU Boot some patches for their 0.1 RC3 release, fixing it so that it compiles on modern distros. Their release only compiled on really old distros like Debian 10 or Trisquel 10. I made it compile on the latest Gentoo, Arch and Debian(Sid) as of 14 January 2024. I also added Dell Latitude E6400, gru_bob and gru_kevin chromebooks. I also added several initialisation fixes for keyboards in their GRUB payload, in addition to EFI System Partition support in their grub.cfg - in other words, I’ve backported several fixes and improvements from Canoeboot and Libreboot, to their project.

I did this, purely for fun, to see if it was technically feasible. And it was. I sent these patches and they are now under review by the GNU people.

As you may know from reading this Canoeboot website, Canoeboot is vastly more up to date than GNU Boot, using revisions 2 years newer (from 2023), whereas GNU Boot uses old 2021 coreboot, GRUB and SeaBIOS revisions. It does not contain improvements such as GRUB argon2 support.

Well, purely for fun, I made this special Canoeboot v0.1 release, which re-uses the same old 2021 revisions as GNU Boot 0.1 RC3, but with my special fixes as mentioned above (so, it has E6400/gru_bob/gru_kevin, and builds on modern distros). However, that release is compiled using Canoeboot’s build system, which is vastly more efficient than the GNU Boot one (about twice as fast, and less error prone, due to optimisations made during the four Libreboot build system audits of 2023).

You can find the Canoeboot v0.1 release on the mirrors, alongside regular releases. It should boot and work perfectly, albeit it on those very old code revisions. It is advised that you still use the November 2023 Canoeboot release, for the time being. A proper Canoeboot update, based on Libreboot 20240126 (which uses Coreboot revisions from January 2024) will be done at a date in the near future.

Anyway, the fixes that I did were sent to the GNU Boot mailing list. Check the gnuboot-patches mailing list archive from 16 January 2024.

GNU Boot 0.1 RC3 fixes: https://git.disroot.org/vimuser/gnuboot/commits/branch/0.1-fix-build-v3

Canoeboot v0.1 branch: https://codeberg.org/canoeboot/cbmk/commits/branch/v0.1

I also did another GNU Boot branch for fun, that updates it to the October 2023 revisions used in Libreboot/Canoeboot releases from November 2023: https://git.disroot.org/vimuser/gnuboot/commits/branch/20240113-update-revs-3
…these patches were also sent, but it seems they still prefer to use my Libreboot 20220710 release.

The GNU Boot 0.1 RC3 release is essentially Libreboot 20220710, with a few minor changes, and Canoeboot v0.1 is essentially Libreboot 20220710 aswell, but with substantial build system design changes (but the overall code is identical, when analysing the binaries).

PS: I use a new GPG signing key on Libreboot releases now. Check the Libreboot download page for it. At the time of writing, the new key is not listed on the Canoeboot page but I used that key.

Markdown file for this page: https://canoeboot.org/news/canoeboot0.1.md

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