Open Source Firmware Conference 2018

Oleksij Rempel | | Conference, Event, barebox

At September 12-15 the first conference focusing exclusively on open source firmware took place in Erlangen, Germany - the OSFC 2018. The mission of this conference is to provide an appropriate platform to bring together as many Open Source projects, hardware manufacturers and developers as possible, in order to collaborate, share knowledge and push the firmware development in an Open Source manner.

Different topics related to the open firmware developments mostly targeting different bootloader or payload variants were presented at the conference. LinuxBoot, coreboot, U-Boot and TianoCore and ARM Trusted Firmware related topics were intensively covered in different talks.

Pengutronix and the barebox bootloader project were represented by Sascha Hauer and Oleksij Rempel. While we didn't do any presentation ourselves we had a chance to communicate with many developers representing different projects with open or even closed nature.

From different talks I would note the following:

  • many vendors do things and not always contribute back to initial open source projects - (this is not new)
  • some vendors are looking for open source alternatives, for example for BIOS, because government related customers forbid usage of closed software for security reasons.
  • almost all companies make their own variants of bootloaders, with special use case covering specific hardware.

All in all, it was an interesting conference, with many good talks and insights into other firmware projects' motivation.