Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Open Source Firmware at Facebook

"If you don't own your firmware, your firmware owns you"

LinuxBoot is an embedded Linux-based environment intended to be integrated into the firmware on the boot ROM. It provides an open, reliable way of initializing hardware and booting a target operating system. It can even replace large portions of proprietary and closed firmware on existing systems. We are experimenting with it at Facebook for speed, reliability, flexibility, transparency and control, and the goal is to make it available on as many platforms as possible.

UEFI was introduced about two decades ago to address the growing complexity of booting a modern computer. It has evolved over the years and is now almost ubiquitous. However there are some parts which still seem limited and difficult to work with, and most vendor implementations are still closed source.

LinuxBoot, an open source effort, offers a solution by embedding a Linux kernel into a machine's firmware and using Linux to initialize most of the hardware and boot the target OS. The idea is to build on top of core silicon initialization modules (e.g. from UEFI) and get into into Linux as early as possible. We are experimenting with LinuxBoot in our infrastructure and various hardware projects at Facebook. We will talk about the advantages of running LinuxBoot for reliability, speed and flexibility, debugging, and how you can try it today on accessible hardware.


Photo of Andrea Barberio Andrea Barberio
Photo of David Hendricks David Hendricks