My name is Stefan Tauner and I am the one GSoC student working on flashrom this summer. I live in Vienna/Austria where i am studying computer engineering since 2005 (almost done, I only need to find someone writing my thesis for me… should ask some politicians where they got their ghostwriters…).
Since I started playing around with flashrom and proposed my GSoC project in March I have been quite active in the small flashrom universe. The current main maintainers and contributers – Carl-Daniel Hailfinger, Stefan Reinauer and Michael Karcher – were all very busy and so i was drawn into handling the daily support with the help of other regulars (most outstandingly Idwer Vollering, thank you!). This proved to offer very good opportunities to dive into the code base to answer the questions of others and to get familiar with the overall design. It also led to numerous (mostly tiny) patches authored by me which can be viewed on our patchwork site.
Although I think this was all quite fruitful and also in the best interest of flashrom the main objective is something else: Add support to unlock flash regions on newer Intel chipsets. Many details can be read on the thread leading to my GSoC application here. In this post i will focus on a tiny related bit, that i have already implemented and is currently under review: Hardware Sequencing.
Two weeks ago I wrote a lengthy mail to our mailing list (which you certainly should follow if you are interested in our work!) about my plans to implement hardware sequencing for Intel chipsets and some related questions. You can read it at our mail archive site too, but i will republish it here almost in full (please forgive me the left out capitalization etc.). Continue reading
This is such a busy week. At the end of last week, I have just ordered my OpenRD-Ultimate box but sadly it will be delivered at the end of June. So if I just wait for that box, I will not be able to test my code. That’s terrible! After talking with my mentor, I decided first porting coreboot to RealView Versatile/PB926EJ-S board then to OpenRD-Ultimate. Since qemu can emulate PB926EJ-S, I can test my code on it quickly and freely. After this work, the basic layout, libs and headers for ARM are ready to use. So I can start to port coreboot to OpenRD-Ultimate then.
The new toys already started to come, yesterday I got my new development station – it has a core i7, intel DH55 mobo, 1TB Sata Hard Disk, 8GB RAM, and some extras.
Now I’m waiting for my alix and flexyICE.
This year I was accepted on gsoc – and I`m excited – to work in a project to make corebook a spice client. The idea is to use buildrom to pack everything.
Once buildrom has been unmaintained for quite some time now I`ll need to work around it before working on the spice bits.
Yeah! when I say spice I mean the remote and virtualized desktop protocol, originally developed by Qumranet now acquired by Red Hat.
The basic idea is to make a client run from a minimal environment. We`ll be working on a LAB(Linux as bootloader) solution.
As I said above, we need some work around buildrom system, the coreboot buildsystem has migrated to kbuild on the stable code and lots of things have changed with it.
Both buildrom and coreboot work with kbuild with that I`m writing a small python piece of code to parse coreboot`s Kconfig files and then arrange it into buildrom source code. I also need to 1) monitor the coreboot Kconfig files changes so I run the parser again and 2) change the coreboot build calls.
With all the kconfig arranged the buildrom user needs just to set the rom properties including the coreboot options(since those options are passed to coreboot build).
The kernel configs also need some attention it`s statically set for each board, I haven`t come with a better solution for this till now.
Hardware and new toys
I have ordered an ALIX.3D3, a flexyICE and a new desktop computer. The first 2 are comming from EU and will be dispatched later on May. The new desktop computer I get till the end of the week(before the gsoc bonding period end).
Now, let`s rock.
I am so excited that my idea on porting coreboot to ARM architecture has been accepted by GSoC project this year. First, let me introduce myself to you all. I am now a junior student at Hebei University of Technology, People’s Republic of China. My major is Computer Science and Technology. Although my courses are almost focus on high-level software development like database system and software engineering, I am a fan of low-level development. I taught myself IA32 and ARM architecture last year. And during this summer, we will porting coreboot to ARM and make it a new bootloader for ARM.
Those days, I am studying the building system of coreboot deeply, and I am trying to add cross-compile toolchain support to it. Developers has created such a great system and I want to make it greater.
Thanks for reading my project and any comment is welcome.
Kevin Tanguay at AMD writes about AMD’s focus on coreboot.
Finally, AMD is now committed to support coreboot for all future products on the roadmap starting next with support for the upcoming “Llano” APU. AMD has come to realize that coreboot is useful in a myriad of applications and markets, even beyond what was originally considered. Consequently, AMD plans to continue building its support of coreboot in both features and roadmap for the foreseeable future.
This is great news for coreboot and I hope to see some announcements from other vendors on their coreboot offerings later this year.
I just found out that nobody wrote a few lines about this year’s FOSDEM 2011. This year we had a booth (aka a “table”) in one of the buildings. We had total 4 speeches. I did one lightning talk about the coreboot and x86 init (video) and a lecture about coreboot and its speed. Carl-Daniel Hailfinger had lightning talk (video) and a talk about RAM Cold Boot Attacks The talks had a great success and a lot people attended. Continue reading
U-boot is bootloader on ARMs, PowerPCs and other platforms, it has a nice set of commands and in general it feels like a small operating system. I’m not certainly sure if it is good direction, please feel free to compare with UEFI but I simply miss it on x86. I work at SYSGO with u-boot in daily basis and even port it to different boards/platforms. The x86 is no easy to init and I think this is the reason why there is only one x86 board in whole u-boot tree. This board is called eNET and it has a AMD ELAN SC520 SOC. But luckily, with coreboot we can init much more x86 boards and this leads to natural conclusion to have the u-boot as the coreboot payload. I would like to share with you part of this “fantastic” hacking journey to make it happen. Continue reading
Joe, Jason, Marc and Hao
Thanks to Joe, Jason, and Hao for meeting up in Beijing. We had a nice dinner and great conversation. Thanks to my great hosts. I’m looking forward to my next visit.