Coreboot replacing the proprietary BIOS

is an Free Software project aimed at replacing the proprietary firmware in your BIOS. It performs just a little bit of hardware initialization and then executes a so-called payload.coreboot in itself is “only” minimal code for initializing a mainboard with peripherals. After the initialization is complete, it jumps to a payload.

On the 4th of May Coreboot.org released version 0.90 of thier open source BIOS flashing firmware. Coreboot has added support for every BIOS flash ROM technology present on x86 mainboards and every flash ROM chip they have spotted. 

flashrom is a utility for reading, writing, verifying and erasing flash ROM chips. It’s often used to flash BIOS/EFI/coreboot/firmware images.

Highlights of flashrom include:

  • Supports parallel, LPC, FWH and SPI flash interfaces.
  • Supports more than 150 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.
  • Supports more than 75 different chipsets, some with multiple flash controllers.
  • Features 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 most vendor flash tools.
  • Supports Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and other Unix-like OSes.

The download file: Flashrom 0.90 is available at Coreboot.org, here.

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