Purism, following its strict philosophy and social purpose, uses and installs completely Free software, meaning there is no mystery software running anywhere within the kernel, the operating system, nor any software applications. To elaborate on what the means, and why the “Librem” the first laptop line shipping with completely Free software, let’s deconstruct a computer into its main parts where software is required.
Here’s what happens, in sequence, when you switch on your computer:
Purism uses a completely Free version of GNU. GNU allows for thousands of free software applications to run on top of it, and the “distribution” that Purism provides with its computers to bundle purely Free Software applications is PureOS. Hence, PureOS is a “GNU/Linux” (or “GNU+Linux”) software distribution (or operating system, depending on your perspective).
As you can see with the diagram above, computers made by Purism have 99.9% of their hardware+software stack freed. We, of course, want to reach 100.0%, and the remaining parts (the BIOS and components’ embedded firmware) are the final frontier, the “peak of the Everest”, the most difficult obstacle to overcome. We are making great progress by replacing the proprietary BIOS by coreboot and neutralizing the Management Engine. You can read more about that effort in the advanced topics of the “Why Purism?” section or help us out now.