The flashrom developers are happy to announce the release of flashrom 0.9.2.
flashrom is a utility for reading, writing, erasing and verifying flash ROM chips.
flashrom is designed to update BIOS/EFI/coreboot/firmware/optionROM images on mainboards, network/graphics/storage controller cards, and various programmer devices. It can do so without any special boot procedures and from your normal working environment.
After over nine years of development and constant improvement, we have added support for every BIOS flash ROM technology present on x86 mainboards and every flash ROM chip we ever saw in the wild.
Highlights of flashrom:
I am happy to tell you that flashrom (which was is a grown up former daughter project of coreboot) got one of the coreboot slots in Google Summer of Code 2010. A big thank you to Stefan Reinauer for managing the combined flashrom+coreboot GSoC projects this year.
As you may know there's a Google Summer of Code program again this year.
The deadline for student applications is April 9th at 19:00 UTC, so if you're a student and you want to work on a coreboot (open-source BIOS / PC firmware) or flashrom (open-source BIOS chip flasher) project, please apply in time.
The following coreboot/flashrom GSOC project ideas have been proposed so far (but you can also suggest your own ideas, of course):
- Infrastructure for automatic code checking
- TianoCore on coreboot
- coreboot port to Marvell ARM SOCs with PCIe
- coreboot port to AMD 800 series chipsets
- coreboot mass-porting to AMD 780 series mainboards
- coreboot panic room
- coreboot cheap testing rig
- coreboot GeodeLX port from v3 to v4
- Drivers for libpayload
- Board config infrastructure
- Refactor AMD code
- Payload infrastructure
- flashrom: Multiple GUIs for flashrom
- flashrom: Recovery of dead boards and onboard flash updates
- flashrom: SPI bitbanging hardware support
- flashrom: Generic flashrom infrastructure improvements
- flashrom: Laptop support
See this wiki page for why and how to apply for a coreboot/flashrom project.
Quick public service announcement (which probably comes a bit too late, sorry):
There's a coreboot developer room at this year's FOSDEM (Free and Open-Source Software Developer's European Meeting), which starts roughly... um... today. In 20 minutes, actually. Unfortunately I cannot be there, hopefully there will be video archives of the talks. If you're at FOSDEM already, here's the list of talks:
Sat 13:00-14:00 coreboot introduction (Peter Stuge)
Sat 14:00-15:00 coreboot and PC technical details (Peter Stuge)
Sat 15:00-16:00 ACPI and Suspend/Resume under coreboot (Rudolf Marek)
Sat 16:00-17:00 coreboot board porting (Rudolf Marek)
Sat 17:00-18:00 Flashrom, the universal flash tool (Carl-Daniel Hailfinger)
Sat 18:00-19:00 Flash enable BIOS reverse engineering (Luc Verhaegen)
Highly recommended stuff if you're interested in an open-source BIOS and/or open-source, cross-platform flash EEPROM programmer software.
Good news for kernel hackers, and especially coreboot developers like me: AMD has released the chipset documentation for the RS780 chipset, including the BIOS Developer's Guide. And these documents are being released freely and openly to the public, no NDAs required, which is great!
Quoting from the original announcement on the coreboot-announce mailing list:
The coreboot community, which includes government organizations, corporations, research labs and individuals from around the world, is very excited to expand on our existing and decade-long collaboration with AMD. This collaboration has, over the years, resulted in the inclusion of coreboot into everything from some of the largest AMD-based supercomputers in the world to some of the smallest embedded systems.
Together with the recent SB700/SB710/SB750 documentation release, the Developer Guide release for the RS780 family of Integrated Chipset/Graphics Processors enables the coreboot community to support any board with AMD chipsets out there, from embedded to enthusiast desktop and high-end server boards.
This new release once again demonstrates AMD's commitment to open standards and software that provides an improved user experience and Total Cost of Ownership for users in every walk of life. One cornerstone of this openness is the availability of documentation without NDA, enabling everyone to contribute.
Coreboot is open source, so every interested developer or user can modify, tweak and extend it to their heart's content.
An additional benefit of this documentation release is flashrom support for all AMD chipsets which enables users to reflash their BIOS/firmware/coreboot from within Linux and *BSD without rebooting.
Coreboot code for the SB700 and 780 chipset family is already being worked on by Zheng Bao at AMD in his spare time and the coreboot community is happy to work with him on finishing and integrating the code into the official coreboot codebase.
We'd like to thank Sharon Troia at AMD for making these documentation releases possible.
The exact download URLs are listed at http://www.coreboot.org/Datasheets.
I have mentioned the flashrom utility in my blog in the past. This is a small command line tool which allows you to update your BIOS/coreboot/firmware chips without opening the computer and without any special boot procedures.
Yesterday, flashrom 0.9 was finally released. Here's a short passage from the release announcement:
After nine years of development and constant improvement, we have added support for every BIOS flash ROM technology present on x86 mainboards and every flash ROM chip we ever saw in the wild.
Highlights of flashrom include:
- Parallel, LPC, FWH and SPI flash interfaces.
- 157 flash chip families and half a dozen variants of each family.
- Flash chip package agnostic. DIP32, PLCC32, DIP8, SO8/SOIC8, TSOP32, TSOP40 and more have all been verified to work.
- 75 different chipsets, some with multiple flash controllers.
- Special mainboard enabling code for dozens of nonstandard mainboards.
- No physical access needed. root access is sufficient.
- No bootable floppy disk, bootable CD-ROM or other media needed.
- No keyboard or monitor needed. Simply reflash remotely via SSH.
- No instant reboot needed. Reflash your ROM in a running system, verify it, be happy. The new firmware will be present next time you boot.
- Crossflashing and hotflashing is possible as long as the flash chips are electrically and logically compatible (same protocol). Great for recovery.
- Scriptability. Reflash a whole pool of identical machines at the same time from the command line. It is recommended to check flashrom output and error codes.
- Speed. flashrom is much faster than vendor flash tools.
- Supports Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X. Please refer to the README for build instructions.
Please note that rewriting your flash chip can be dangerous and flashrom developers make no guarantees whatsoever. That said, many users have successfully replaced proprietary tools such as awdflash, amiflash and afudos with flashrom.
SVN: svn co svn://coreboot.org/flashrom/trunk flashrom
Debian: apt-get install flashrom
Do yourself a favor and try flashrom next time you want to upgrade your BIOS. No more floppies or bootable CD-ROMs with DOS/Windows binaries or similar crap. Run flashrom conveniently from the Linux command line, or even via SSH or serial console if you want...