. Libre X230


In stock

SKU: retroboot_x230 Category:


A freedom-respecting GNU+Linux laptop

This product comes with osboot, instead of Libreboot. osboot is a special fork of Libreboot, started in December 2020 by Leah Rowe, the same person behind Libreboot. See: osboot.org

Did you know that most modern Intel and AMD computers come with backdoors implanted by the NSA and other agencies? You do now, and it isn’t pretty. And it’s getting worse. Since the Snowden revelations, we know that most computer products contain backdoors or have insecure software with exploitable bugs. Manufacturers intentionally insert insecure backdoors for profit, putting your company at risk of data theft, corporate espionage or worse. The osboot X230 from RetroFreedom changes that!

The osboot X230 from RetroFreedom is a business-grade, secure owner-controlled laptop that safeguards your privacy, security and freedom. It sports a quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-3320M (2.60 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 4000, making this a decent workstation for high performance computing. Modern applications run flawlessly. It runs 100% entirely on free (as in freedom) software based on coreboot and a free FSF-endorsed operating system (Trisquel GNU+Linux). It comes with the free (as in freedom) osboot BIOS replacement, and Trisquel GNU+Linux operating system, which is FSF-endorsed and extremely user-friendly even for GNU+Linux novices.

Your osboot X230 obeys you, and nobody else! It’s osboot inside!

Shipping worldwide via UPS! 2-5 day shipping to most of the world (we will ship to any country on Earth), with a 2 year warranty as standard, and free technical support via email. Prices are in GBP (British Pounds, £); if you want another currency, use xe.com currency converter and simply pay in that amount in the other currency, at your local bank. Xe.com provides accurate exchange rates.

osboot is free software which initializes the hardware in the system and boots your operating system. It replaces the non-free BIOS usually found in most laptops.

RetroFreedom’s founder, Leah Rowe, is also a osboot developer (and founder of the osboot project). Profits from RetroFreedom sales directly fund the osboot project.

GNU GRUB payload

GNU GRUB is the bootloader used by default, in the boot flash. SeaBIOS and Tianocore are also available in the boot menu, which you can select. SeaBIOS will boot many operating systems that rely on traditional BIOS calls.

Tianocore is a free software UEFI implementation capable of booting most modern operating systems, including Windows (but we recommend using a free operating system such as GNU+Linux).

With this combination of options, a osboot X230 can boot all major operating systems. Every GNU+Linux distribution and BSD operating system is fully compatible.

osboot offers the option to use Intel’s proprietary video BIOS option ROM for early video initialization, or coreboot’s free software implementation called libgfxinit. The osboot X230 sold by RetroFreedom uses libgfxinit by default.


Technically, Intel ME is still operational on this laptop. However, malicious features such as Intel AMT are removed using me_cleaner. For all intents and purposes, this laptop is very similar freedom-wise to a Libreboot laptop, but it is absolutely true that a Libreboot system is superior in terms of software freedom. However, if you’re willing to slightly compromise (neutered Intel ME, after running me_cleaner, is fairly benign and does barely anything), these laptops offer a huge performance improvement over Libreboot thinkpads.

RetroFreedom runs me_cleaner which modifies the Intel ME up to the point where it is only active during the boot process, but otherwise disabled during normal operation. Only basic hardware initialization is still performed, but otherwise the Intel ME becomes benign from a security perspective, providing only basic power management. Coreboot is handling the vast majority of the hardware initialization and is 100% Free Software on this laptop.

Proprietary features such as AMT are no longer present or accessible after me_cleaner is used. The me_cleaner program removes all networking from the Intel ME, thus removing any security risks associated with Intel ME.

Trisquel GNU+Linux is user-friendly, secure and respects privacy

All Trisquel installs from RetroFreedom are encrypted, which protects against data theft. We include instructions for how to change the default encryption passphrase (encryption is done using LUKS).

Logo-DebianTrisquel GNU+Linux operating system comes preinstalled. Trisquel comes with all the standard applications for Web browsing, instant messaging, office and productivity, graphics editing, multimedia and more. Thousands of extra applications are also available to install from the Trisquel repositories, using the apt-get package manager provided. It even has games!

The version of Trisquel that we ship is Trisquel 9.0, with the MATE desktop. Here are some screenshots:

Keyboard layout

We ship with a British keyboard by default. However, we occasionally import laptops from USA, France or Germany. If you wish to use another keyboard layout, just email us when you order and we will install your desired keyboard layout (at zero additional cost) if we have your desired keyboard layout.

If you wish a different keyboard layout but we don’t have it, worry not! Go to a website such as eBay and purchase a keyboard intended for the ThinkPad that we sell you. Give us the link to it and we’ll tell you if it’s correct.

Learn how to replace the keyboard with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1306mW0KD2U

If you wish to avoid non-free YouTube javascript, please install youtube-dl and download the video (from the above URL) using youtube-dl.

Fast, lightweight and powerful hardware

This fast, 12.5″ laptop is built with a strong chassis and shell, guaranteeing that the laptop will last many years. It has a screen resolution of 1366×768 pixels, making it suitable for 720p video. A Mini DisplayPort (mDP) port is on the laptop, enabling the use of higher resolution external HDTV/monitor/projector.

As a modified ThinkPad, it has high reliability. ThinkPads are well-known for their high build quality!

Works in every country

Power cables
The osboot X230 from RetroFreedom ships worldwide!. The AC-DC adapter (charger) is 100-240V auto-switching, so it will work in all countries. RetroFreedom will include the correct power cable(s) for your country.

Free tech support via email

Free tech support is also provided, for all customers. If you ever have any questions about your laptop, or need help with anything, RetroFreedom is always happy to answer them via email, using the information on the contact page.

Information about the product

Included accessories

  • Battery included, fully tested
  • AC-DC adapter (charger) included (100-240V auto-switching, works in all countries)
  • UK, EU and US power cable included.

These are refurbished, modified ThinkPad X230 laptops with osboot and GNU+Linux pre-installed. We swap out parts and supply laptops in the best condition possible, ideally in new condition. For simplicity of business operation, these laptops are sold only in one configuration: 4GB RAM and 250GB HDD. Laptops come with UK Qwerty keyboards (in some cases we might supply another keyboard layout, such as US Qwerty).

However, upgrade options are available (more RAM, and/or SSD):

https://retrofreedom.com/product/8g-ram-and-480g-ssd-upgrade/ (RAM and SSD)

https://retrofreedom.com/product/8gib-ram-upgrade/ (RAM only)

Laptop specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3320M (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
  • Screen: 12.5″ 1366×768 LED TFT LCD
  • Gigabit ethernet as standard
  • Ports: 1x VGA, 1x mDP (DisplayPort), 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone+Microphone jack, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x ExpressCard/54
  • Upgraded with an 802.11n wireless card (Atheros AR5B95, AR9285 chipset), ensuring full compatibility with free drivers in GNU+Linux.
  • Backlight (brightness) control is fully functional in osboot on this laptop
  • Battery: Two 6-cell batteries

When new osboot versions are released, it is possible to update to those newer versions using software (no disassembling required). Full instructions are provided.

The osboot X230 is a modified ThinkPad X230 containing reconditioned parts, with osboot and GNU+Linux preinstalled.