Libre firmware and free-software friendly CPU

Short of going back to old hardware (which might not be a terrible option), are there any simple options to run some Unix variant (BSD/Linux), preferably with GUI capability that is not subject to unknown microcode 'risks' as found on modern mainstream processors?

Anyone done any digging into this? I'm not looking for something considerably cheaper and less powerful then things like the IBM Power8 and projects likes Talos.


You can check this out.

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@wendell might have some thoughts.

Its an interesting platform, considering the alternatives where you have ARM riddled with 100 different binary blobs its difficult at times to tell that will and wont work on a system, x86 now having a bunch of low level binary firmware that people have questioned the security on.

The system is definitely are geared to a more specific audience.

It would be good if @DeusQain was able to get a bit of a behind the scenes look as hes in there area, that would be interesting to see / hear about the people behind it.


Thanks @Grim_Reaper! The Novena looks really promising. The enclosure isn't a perfect format for me (and I'm not in a position to print, mill or carve my own) but I guess it's hard to be picky when it comes to specialized equipment.

@Eden Would be really cool so see some L1 stuff about this in the future! It's becoming a hotter topic now as nearly all vendors want a piece of the user's data and even if you move to some security/freedom oriented Linux you are still at some risk and that might be exploited more in the future. Already happening in some sense with things like Lenovo Superfish and persistent software.

Texas Instruments has the Open Multimedia Applications Platform which has open firmware.

The Beagleboard and Dragons Pyra uses it.