Article published by: Leah Rowe in Canoe Leah Mode™
Date of publication: 7 November 2023
This new release, Canoeboot 20231107, released today 7 November 2023, is based on the recent Libreboot 20231106 release. The previous release was Canoeboot 20231103, released on 3 November 2023. Today’s release has focused on minor bug fixes, plus tweaks to the GRUB payload. It imports certain fixes from the Libreboot 20231106 release, relative to Libreboot 20231101.
Canoeboot provides boot firmware for supported x86/ARM machines, starting a bootloader that then loads your operating system. It replaces proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware on x86 machines, and provides an improved configuration on ARM-based chromebooks supported (U-Boot bootloader, instead of Google’s depthcharge bootloader). On x86 machines, the GRUB and SeaBIOS coreboot payloads are officially supported, provided in varying configurations per machine. It provides an automated build system for the configuration and installation of coreboot ROM images, making coreboot easier to use for non-technical people. You can find the list of supported hardware in Canoeboot documentation.
Canoeboot’s main benefit is higher boot speed, better security and more customisation options compared to most proprietary firmware. As a libre software project, the code can be audited, and coreboot does regularly audit code. The other main benefit is freedom to study, adapt and share the code, a freedom denied by most boot firmware, but not Canoeboot! Booting Linux/BSD is also well supported.
This is largely a bugfix release. Most notably, boot issues on GM45 thinkpads present in the 20231103 release have been resolved.
Canoeboot contains a DDR2 raminit patch for Dell Latitude E6400, that increases reliability on coldboot, but it negatively affects other GM45 machines that use DDR3 RAM instead.
This board is no longer provided by
coreboot/default. Instead, it is provided by
coreboot/dell, and the offending patch has been moved there, along with other required patches.
This means that the Dell Latitude E6400 still works, and quite reliably, but the patch for it will not impact other boards. In some special circumstances, Canoeboot 20231103 randomly crashed or rebooted with certain memory modules, when using on GM45 ThinkPads (ROM images for those machines were then deleted from those release archives). Today’s Canoeboot release solves that problem, so these machines can be used reliably once again (and ROM images are provided, in this Canoeboot 20231107 release).
Canoeboot 20231107 and 20231103 are both based on these revisions:
d862695f5f432b5c78dada5f16c293a4c3f9fce6, 12 October 2023
d862695f5f432b5c78dada5f16c293a4c3f9fce6, 12 October 2023 (the
dell tree does not exist in Canoeboot 20231103, only 20231107)
1c13f8d85c7306213cd525308ee8973e5663a3f8, 16 June 2021
e58b870ff926415e23fc386af41ff81b2f588763, 3 October 2023
1e1da7a963007d03a4e0e9a9e0ff17990bb1608d, 24 August 2023
4459ed60cb1e0562bc5b40405e2b4b9bbf766d57, 2 October 2023
Several other fixes and tweaks have been made, in addition to this and the E6400 patch mentioned above.
These changes were made:
src/docs/, in releases, including this one.
make install, so now nvmutil can be installed to the host. Patch courtesy of Riku Viitanen.
make oldconfig is used on each configuration file, which is usually OK, but every now and then we re-do them again. (the alternative is to use defconfigs, not full configs, but that has other drawbacks)
The following additional commits were picked, which are present in Libreboot’s Git repository after the Libreboot 20231106 release upon which Canoeboot 20231107 is based:
c4d90087 add grub mods: diskfilter,hashsum,loadenv,setjmp
d0d6decb re-add grub modules: f2fs, json, read, scsi, sleep
86608721 nvmutil: print usage
f12f5c3a nvmutil: fix makefile
This is a very conservative changelog, because this is largely a bugfix release.
All of the following are believed to boot, but if you have any issues, please contact the Canoeboot project. They are:
You can find this release on the downloads page. At the time of this announcement, some of the rsync mirrors may not have it yet, so please check another one if your favourite one doesn’t have it.
This file was also overlooked, and is still present in the release tarball:
This has now been removed, in the Canoeboot git repository (
cbmk.git), and this file will absent, in the next release after Canoeboot 20231107. Thanks go to Denis Carikli who reported this. The patch to fix it is here:
This fix will be present in the next release.
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