flashrom 0.9.2 released

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:

  • Parallel, LPC, FWH and SPI flash interfaces.
  • Support for onboard programming and external programmers.
  • 225 flash chip families and half a dozen variants of each family.
  • Flash chip package agnostic. DIP32, PLCC32, DIP8, SO8/SOIC8, TSOP32, TSOP40, TSOP48 and more have all been verified to work.
  • 128 different chipsets, some with multiple flash controllers.
  • Special mainboard enabling code for dozens of nonstandard mainboards.
  • 19 PCI devices, 3 USB devices and all external serprog-based programmers can be flashed or used for flashing.
  • No physical access needed. root access is sufficient for internal and PCI flashers, normal user access is sufficient for USB and serial flashers.
  • 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, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, Nexenta, Solaris and Mac OS X. Partial support for DOS (no USB/serial flashers) and Windows (no PCI flashers). Please refer to the README for build instructions.

Thanks go to everyone who contributed to flashrom over the years.

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.

flashrom has its own home page at http://www.flashrom.org/

New major user-visible features:

  • Dozens of newly supported mainboards, chipsets and flash chips.
  • Support for Dr. Kaiser PC-Waechter PCI devices (FPGA variant).
  • Support for flashing SPI chips with the Bus Pirate.
  • Support for the Dediprog SF100 external programmer.
  • Selective blockwise erase for all flash chips.
  • Automatic chip unlocking.
  • Support for each programmer can be selected at compile time.
  • Generic detection for unknown flash chips.
  • Common mainboard features are now detected automatically.
  • Mainboard matching via DMI strings.
  • Laptop detection which triggers safety measures.
  • Test flags for all part of flashrom operation.
  • Windows support for USB-based and serial-based programmers.
  • NetBSD support.
  • DOS support.
  • Slightly changed command line invocation. Please see the man page for details.

Experimental new features:

  • Support for some NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • Chip test pattern generation.
  • Bit-banging SPI infrastructure.
  • Nvidia MCP6*/MCP7* chipset detection.
  • Support for Highpoint ATA/RAID controllers.

Infrastructural improvements and fixes:

  • Lots of cleanups.
  • Various bugfixes and workarounds for broken third-party software.
  • Better error messages.
  • Reliability fixes.
  • Adjustable severity level for messages.
  • Programmer-specific chip size limitation warnings.
  • Multiple builtin frontends for flashrom are now possible.
  • Increased strictness in board matching.
  • Extensive selfchecks on startup to protect against miscompilation.
  • Better timing precision for touchy flash chips.
  • Do not rely on Linux kernel bugs for mapping memory.
  • Improved documentation.
  • Split frontend and backend functionality.
  • Print runtime and build environment information.


flashrom 0.9.2 can be downloaded in various ways:
Anonymous checkout from the subversion repository at svn://svn.coreboot.org/flashrom/tags/flashrom-0.9.2
A tarball is available for download at http://qa.coreboot.org/releases/flashrom-0.9.2.tar.bz2 [GPG signature].

Published by

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger

coreboot and flashrom developer