nonGeNUine Boot 20230717 released!

Leah Rowe in GNU Leah Mode™

17 July 2023

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Article published by: Leah Rowe in GNU Leah Mode™

Date of publication: 17 July 2023

Original GNU Boot (“gnuboot”) release

This project was originally named GNU Boot or gnuboot, unofficially, with the intent that it would be re-used by the real GNU Boot project, to help them get in sync with modern Libreboot releases; on 17 July 2023, they still used very old Libreboot releases, with old coreboot revisions from around ~mid 2021.

This non-GeNUine release was renamed to nonGeNUine Boot after receiving a legal threat, citing trademark infringement from the official GNU Boot project.

More context for this is provided on the GNU Boot vs Canoeboot page.


nonGeNUine Boot 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 nonGeNUine Boot documentation.

nonGeNUine Boot’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 nonGeNUine Boot! Booting GNU+Linux and BSD is also well supported.

Changes, relative to Libreboot 20220710

nonGeNUine Boot is a fork of Libreboot. This release is based on Libreboot 20230625, with certain boards/documentation removed so as to comply with the GNU System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG).

Libreboot 20220710 was the last regular Libreboot release to comply with the old Binary Blob Extermination Policy adhering to GNU FSDG ideology. Read the Libreboot 20220710 release announcement.

For the purpose of continuity, this release will list changes relative to that version. Future releases of nonGeNUine Boot will reference past releases of itself.

New mainboards supported

These laptops would have been compatible with Libreboot, under the old policy, and they were added in this release of nonGeNUine Boot:

KFSN4-DRE, KCMA-D8, KGPE-D16 update

FUN FACT: This includes building of ASUS KFSN4-DRE, KCMA-D8 and KGPE-D16 boards, which were updated based on coreboot 4.11_branch. ROM images are provided for these boards, in this nonGeNUine Boot release. The toolchain in this coreboot version would not build on modern GNU+Linux distributions, so I spent time patching it.

Coreboot, GRUB, U-Boot and SeaBIOS revisions

In nonGeNUine Boot 20230717:

In Libreboot 20220710:

Build system changes

The changes are vast, and most of them visible directly by viewing the Libreboot git history; for reference, this nonGeNUine Boot release corresponds approximately to lbmk (LibreBoot MaKe) revision 8c7774289ca60a1144b3151344eb400a059390e0 from 16 July 2023.

And now, the changes (summarised, relative to Libreboot 20220710):

Hardware supported in nonGeNUine Boot 20230717

All of the following are believed to boot, but if you have any issues, please contact the nonGeNUine Boot project. They are:

Servers (AMD, x86)

Desktops (AMD, Intel, x86)

Laptops (Intel, x86)

Laptops (ARM, with U-Boot payload)

UPDATE (21 July 2023)

This website, that you are reading now, and the nonGeNUine release itself, was originally named GNU Boot, but clearly marked as unofficial, with the hope that the GNU project would adapt and re-use it for their project. I did this, specifically to help them get up to date. They currently use Libreboot from about 8 months ago (late 2022), and that revision used coreboot releases from ~mid 2021.

Modern Libreboot uses coreboot from early 2023, and contains many bug fixes in its build system, owing to an extensive build system audit; GNU Boot still contains all of the bugs that existed, prior to the audit. Bugs such as: errors literally not being handled, in many critical areas of the build system, due to improper use of subshells within shell scripts (Libreboot’s build system is implemented with shell scripts), improper handling of git credentials in the coreboot build system, fam15h boards no longer compiling correct on modern Linux distros… the list goes on. All fixed, in newer Libreboot, including the recent release.

GNU Boot cease and desist email

The GNU Boot people actually sent me a cease and desist email, citing trademark infringement. Amazing.

Despite the original site clearly stating that it’s unofficial. I literally made it to help them. You know, to help them use newer Libreboot because they use old Libreboot and even older coreboot.

Anyway, I complied with their polite request and have renamed the project to nonGeNUine Boot. The release archive was re-compiled, under this new brand name and this nonGeNUine website was re-written accordingly.

Personally, I like the new name better.

Here is a screenshot of the cease and desist request that I received, from Adrien ‘neox’ Bourmault who is a founding member of the GNU Boot project:

This, after they themselves tried to steal the name Libreboot for their fork, when they first announced themselves on 19 March 2023 at LibrePlanet, only renaming to GNU Boot months later (on 11 June 2023). Utter hypocrisy, and a great irony to boot.

I may very well send patches. If I want to.


The following binary blobs were overlooked, and are still present in the release archive for Canoeboot up to 20231101; this mistake was corrected, in the Canoeboot 20231103 release, so you should use that or newer if you don’t want these files. They are, thus:

Thanks go to Craig Topham, who is the Copyright and Licensing Associate at the Free Software Foundation; you can find his entry on the FSF staff page. Craig is the one who reported these.

The Canoeboot 20231026 and 20231101 release tarballs will not be altered, but errata has now been added to the announcement pages for those releases, to let people know of the above issue.

You are advised, therefore, to use the Canoeboot 20231103 release.

Update on 12 November 2023:

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:

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