2

What parts of the RaspberryPi (A,B,B+) are not open-source (yet)? I mean any part of the device which requires some kind of software to run.

4

GPU requires a non-free binary blob. Moreover, unlike on desktop computers, you cannot avoid using it even if you do not need graphics at all – due to design, Raspberry Pi just would not start without that blob.

Since it’s quite large for firmware: about 2 Mb¹ (in binary form, of course), I doubt, that it would be been legally reversed some day and thus free/libre implementation would be written.


¹ For comparison: non-free blobs required for Radeon HD 8[1-4]00 series are about 60 kb large.


P. S. Actually, when early in 2014 rpi.o announced good news which gave ability to use a free/libre graphics driver (yes, much more non-free software was needed before), in comments Liz Upton said that they were “going to be working on a minimal, open [source replacement for the] blob so you’ll be able to boot without it, but that won’t happen for a while; it’ll be a fair amount of work”. But I have not heard about any progress on this task.

  • Broadcom opened this up a few months back. source also for official rpi blog – geoffmcc Jan 14 '15 at 19:57
  • @geoffmcc No. That blogpost has nothing to do with the blob I am talking about. – Dmitry Alexandrov Jan 14 '15 at 20:10
  • @geoffmcc Actually, in comments they said that they are “going to be working on a minimal, open [source replacement for the] blob so you’ll be able to boot without it, but that won’t happen for a while; it’ll be a fair amount of work”. Do you know how they are progressing in that? – Dmitry Alexandrov Jan 14 '15 at 20:18
  • I'm pretty sure they did it as there was a contest to see who could get quake to work first, it was done and the competition closed, so I thought it was a done deal and part of latest firmware – geoffmcc Jan 14 '15 at 20:20
  • 1
    My bad, looks like was a kernel module and not firmware (although I could have sworn it was added to firmware). Sorry about the down vote. I would take it back if it would let me – geoffmcc Jan 14 '15 at 21:17

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