coreboot on the cover of the Linux Journal

coreboot on Linux Journal

Nice coreboot news — the Free Software x86 firmware ("BIOS") is featured on the cover of issue 186 of the Linux Journal.

Anton Borisov's article Coreboot at Your Service! explains the basic ideas behind coreboot, how to build an image for your board, which payloads are available and how they are used, e.g. GRUB2, SeaBIOS if you need legacy BIOS callbacks (e.g. for booting Windows), Etherboot/GPXE, or more fun stuff such as space invaders or tint (a tetris clone) in your flash ROM chip...

If you read the article and think the build process is a bit complicated and ugly, do not despair! We're currently in the process of converting the whole coreboot code base to use kconfig (the widely-known configuration tool used by the Linux kernel, busybox, and other projects), so in the very near future the whole process for building a coreboot image will work like this:

  $ make menuconfig
  $ make

coreboot menuconfig

Flashing the image can then be done using an EEPROM programmer and/or via the user-space utility flashrom (available for Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, etc.)...

It's nice to see that coreboot is getting more and more coverage in "mainstream" media and is growing both in number of deployments and in number of supported chipsets and boards.

We are desperately in need of more developers though, there are just way too many chipsets, boards, and datasheets out there; we're happy about every patch and every new tester or developer who likes to mess with code that runs in the very first few (micro)seconds after power-on.

If you think kernel hacking and related low-level development is nice, you might also be interested in writing code where there's no RAM yet (as coreboot has to initialize it), there's no serial port for debugging (coreboot has to initialize it), no PCI devices have been set up, most of your auxiliary hardware is not yet up (ethernet NIC, parallel port, audio, IDE, SATA, USB, you name it). It's a fun environment to work in and you'll learn a lot about PC hardware, even if you (so far) thought you knew everything there is to know.

Feel free to join us on the mailing list or on IRC in #coreboot on Freenode.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Coreboot / Memtest86+

Hi Uwe. Tried my first coreboot and bricked the ROM with FILO, an Asus P2B-f (not a big deal since I have MANY), FILO loads, but can't do squat with the keyboard. Put in another ROM and board works fine (but I have one chip loaded with FILO).

Tried making memtest86+ and got the following errors:
lib.o: In function `.L135':
lib.c:(.text+0x978): undefined reference to `__stack_chk_fail_local'
make: *** [memtest_shared] Error 1

I mentioned on the list that I have access to quite a few boards as a community computer refurbisher.

Bought!

I didn't even have to think about purchasing the issue when I saw the Coreboot logo, from newsstand to shopping cart in 0.3 seconds.

Puzzles about the coreboot after several trials

Hi Uwe,
Glad to know that you're maintaining "Kontron 986LCD-M/mITX", and i'm trying to understand this excellent 986LCD-M board using Intel ICH7 as southbridge, i wanna create the bios image using Coreboot, but I even can't compile it after several tries.
--------
My platform:
Fedora 8 (Linux localhost.localdomain 2.6.23.1-42.fc8 #1 SMP Tue Oct 30 13:55:12 EDT 2007 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux)
--------
Src code:
http://tracker.coreboot.org/trac/coreboot/browser/branches/coreboot-v2-newbuild
--------
My steps: Reference to "http://www.coreboot.org/Kontron_986LCD-M_mITX"
1 Install "iasl" utility, and choose "filo" as the payload, and generate the "filo.elf" successfully.
2 ./buildtarget kontron/986lcd-m --> This will generate a new directory (naming "kontron_986lcd_m") where the key Makefile lies
3 Enter into the new dir, and copy the "filo.elf" to this new dir, but rename it as "payload.elf"
4 make -s --> This will fail, the message is as follows:
...
/workstation/bios/branches/coreboot-v2-newbuild/src/mainboard/kontron/986lcd-m/reset.c:25: warning: no previous prototype for soft_reset?
/workstation/bios/branches/coreboot-v2-newbuild/src/mainboard/kontron/986lcd-m/reset.c:30: warning: no previous prototype for hard_reset?
input/output = 302368/124894 = 2.421
/usr/bin/ld: coreboot: section `.id' can't be allocated in segment 1
/usr/bin/ld: final link failed: Bad value
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[1]: *** [coreboot] Error 1
make: *** [fallback/coreboot.rom] Error 2
------------------
So, what is the problem? What kind of platform did you tried, Uwe?
Thank you.

ps: I also tried using "make menuconfig" "make" for the codes at "http://tracker.coreboot.org/trac/coreboot/browser/trunk/"
the same mistake occurred.

I read this issue. This one

I read this issue. This one is better than one I had the last month. At least has some interesting topic covered.