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Respects Your Freedom certification program continues to grow

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Aug 02, 2018 01:10 PM
The Zerocat Chipflasher and Minifree Libreboot X200 Tablet are now both certified to Respect Your Freedom.

We recently had some exciting news for our Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification program. Our program helps users to find hardware that they can trust to come with freedom inside. When a retailer receives certification on a device, it means users know they will receive hardware that meets with our strict standards on free software and documentation.

First up, on May 15th, we certified the Zerocat Chipflasher "board-edition-1", which can be purchased from the Zerocat Label. This device is a really exciting addition to the program. The Zerocat Chipflasher enables users to flash their own devices using only free software, replacing proprietary firmware with free software. One of the big steps currently for a retailer in creating an RYF-certified laptop is flashing laptops to replace proprietary boot firmware with Libreboot. With the Zerocat Chipflasher, for the first time ever, retailers (or any user) can flash their laptops with a device that can likewise be trusted to respect the rights of users. It means many more users will be able to free their own devices using only free software, and could even help spur the creation of more RYF-certified devices in the future. Currently they are selling a limited edition version, signed by the founder of the Zerocat Label, which will help to fund future availability of the device. Only five remain at this point, but once they are sold, there will be enough funding for future runs of the device.

Next up, on May 30th, we announced certification of the Minifree Libreboot X200 Tablet, which can be purchased here. While not the first laptop-tablet hybrid to be RYF-certified (that honor goes to the Technoethical TET-X200T), it offers users even more choices in finding a tablet computing device they can trust. Minifree is also run by the creator of the free boot firmware project Libreboot, so buying a device from them helps to support the continued development of that critical piece of free software.

Both of these devices show great potential for the future of the RYF certification program, whether it is enabling the next generation of retailers who can free devices for users, or continuing the development of the free software needed on those devices. The future in general is looking quite bright for RYF, as we currently have around fifty devices working their way through the certification program. Help us in congratulating the Zerocat Label and Minifree Ltd in their recent accomplishments. And if you would like to help support our work on RYF and other free software initiatives, here's what you can do:

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