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What is the Intel Management Engine?

System76 laptops will have the Intel Management Engine (IME) disabled when it does not break functionality. System76 Open Firmware systems provide some control to enable and disable the IME.

What is the Intel Management Engine?

The Intel Management Engine is a proprietary, mostly undocumented, firmware system that provides many extraneous features that are generally not usable or useful to our users, with multiple known vulnerabilities that compromise the entire system.

What is System76 Open Firmware?

System76 Open Firmware is an open source distribution of firmware utilizing coreboot, EDK2, and System76 firmware applications. System76 Open Firmware can disable the IME, among other features.

Is the IME Disabled On My System76 PC?

You can confirm if the IME is enabled on your PC by booting into the firmware menu and navigating to Firmware Configuration Information. See this article for instructions to access the firmware menu for your System76 machine.

Firmware Config Menu

For Open Firmware systems, the IME is typically disabled by default unless doing so would break functionality (such as suspend/resume). System76 maintains a list of machines that ship with Open Firmware in this article.

For proprietary firmware systems, if the option to disable (or enable) the IME is available, it is typically located under AdvancedAdvanced Chipset Control. This option is usually disabled by default, although there have been some models that required re-disabling after an over-the-air firmware update; see this section of the firmware update article for instructions.

Can I Disable the IME Manually?

PCs running coreboot can disable the IME using coreboot's nvramtool. See this page for information about manually disabling (or enabling) the ME. Using the Coreboot Configurator you can turn off the Intel ME using the steps in this article. This tool will only work if your firmware version is higher than 2022-01-06. You can check the version with this command:

sudo dmidecode -t 0