Liberating mobile devices from the ground up

Speaker(s) : Paul Kocialkowski

  • Language : Anglais
  • Level : Expert
  • Nature : Conference
  • Date : Wednesday 8 July 2015
  • Schedule : 11h00
  • Duration : 60 minutes
  • Place : 206

Most mainstream mobile devices are fatally flawed when it comes to software freedom since they are unable to function without proprietary software on their main processing unit. In particular, most of those devices ship with proprietary bootloaders: early software that is in charge of bringing up the hardware and loading the operating system. While free software bootloaders exist and provide support for a wide range of different platforms, mainstream mobile devices very often do not allow running free bootloaders because of enforced numeric signature checks.
However, once in a while, we come across a few devices or platforms that allow running free bootloaders and thus show true potential for taking freedom to the next step. Some of those will be presented, along with the communities built around them. In particular, the work conducted to liberate the LG Optimus Black (P970) will be presented with detail, as well as the efforts to free Allwinner platforms by the linux-sunxi community and the work on the GTA04 and Neo900 phones, built around the OpenPhoenux community.

Paul Kocialkowski
Paul Kocialkowski started using free software in 2008 and soon gained interest in software freedom, with a particular emphasis on running fully free systems. After an unfortunate soldering accident on his Openmoko FreeRunner board, he decided to try out Replicant, the fully free Android version. Starting as a user of the system, he gradually became the main developer of the project and has been holding that position for more than two years now. He is also in charge of maintaining the single board computers and plug computers comparisons from the software freedom perspective on the Free Software Foundation’s website.