[GSoC-2015] Introduction – End user flash tool

Hello coreboot!

My name is Łukasz Dmitrowski and I study Computer Science at West Pomerania University of Technology in Szczecin. I am relatively new to coreboot and firmware programming, but definitely want to dive in, this is why I have chosen coreboot from all available organizations. Last year I participated in GSoC and implemented MQTT-SN client for Wiselib library. It was really great and interesting experience. This year I am excited even more about my project! It is a very good starting point to get familiar with coreboot and stay with you also after GSoC.

The project aims to implement a graphical tool in Qt which functionality includes extracting modules from BIOS images, adding and deleting components of coreboot ROM image file and of course flashing. I want to achievie it by integrating code of already existing tools: flashrom (libflashrom), bios_extract and cbfstool. I also want to provide a mechanism to present the end user only with the choices that are correct for specific hardware.

Currently I work on visual design and application architecture. I will share some results with you, as I would like to know your opinion about application interface.

Here is some shortcut of my next steps:

May – June: I will implement GUI and integrate libflashrom, bios_extract and cbfstool

July-August: During this period I will be working on hardware compatibility checking, testing and writing documentation

See you soon on #coreboot and mailing list!

One thought on “[GSoC-2015] Introduction – End user flash tool”

  1. Good luck with the work!
    But I must say rather than a shiny GUI there should also be focus on making flashing of firmware chips (BIOS, NICs, CDRWs, SuperIO/ECs and whatsnot) possible at all (via flashrom). There is still a long list of unsupported flash chips and especially a long list of ECs / SuperIOs that are unknown to lm_sensors/Linux kernel and thus normally flashing chips behind them is impossible. I’m a poor student but I’d be willing to sponsor Cola, Coffee, (German) Beer or similar things to get this going. 🙂
    Anyway, a user friendly thing to flash firmware is a good idea. Still – users need to obtain the firmware to flash and then some users might already run into problems. Is the vendor offering a pure image file? What if there is only Windows in the drop down menu for new BIOS images?
    Or, if the firmware comes in an un-extractable .exe file that is meant to run in DOS or MS-Windows it won’t be easy to obtain the very firmware that you want to transfer via flashrom-gui.
    But the effort is definitely welcome. Might help people to get coreboot on their machines more easily in the future (once Coreboot is proven to work on the very machines).

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