Build from source

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libreboot’s build system is named lbmk, short for Libreboot Make, and this document describes how to use it. With this guide, you can know how to compile libreboot from the available source code. This version, if hosted live on, assumes that you are using the lbmk git repository, which you can download using the instructions on the code review page.

If you’re using a release archive of libreboot, please refer to the documentation included with that release. libreboot releases are only intended as snapshots, not for development. For proper development, you should always be working directly in the libreboot git repository.

The following document describes how lbmk works, and how you can make changes to it: libreboot maintenance manual

Libreboot’s build system uses Git, extensively. You should perform the steps below, even if you’re using a release archive.

Before you use the build system, please know: the build system itself uses Git extensively, when downloading software like coreboot and patching it.

You should make sure to initialize your Git properly, before you begin or else the build system will not work properly. Do this:

git config --global "John Doe"
git config --global

Change the name and email address to whatever you want, when doing this.

You may also want to follow more of the steps here:


Python2 is unused by lbmk or anything that it pulls down as modules. You should ensure that the python command runs python 3, on your system.


libreboot Make includes a file called Makefile. You can still use the lbmk build system directly, or you can use Make. The Makefile simply runs lbmk commands. However, using lbmk directly will offer you much more flexibility; for example, the Makefile currently cannot build single ROM images (it just builds all of them, for all boards).

You must ensure that all build dependencies are installed. If you’re running Ubuntu or similar distribution (Debian, Arch, etc) you can do this:

sudo make install-dependencies-ubuntu

One exists specifically for Debian:

sudo make install-dependencies-debian

Another exists for Arch:

sudo make install-dependencies-arch

Now, simply build the coreboot images like so:


This single command will build ROM images for every board integrated in libreboot. If you only wish to build a limited set, you can use lbmk directly:

./build boot roms x200_8mb

You can specify more than one argument:

./build boot roms x200_8mb x60

ROM images appear under the newly created bin/ directory in the build system.

For other commands, simply read the Makefile in your favourite text editor. The Makefile is simple, because it merely runs lbmk commands, so it’s very easy to know what commands are available by simply reading it.

Standard clean command available (cleans all modules except crossgcc):

make clean

To clean your crossgcc builds:

make crossgcc-clean

To build release archives:

make release

Build without using Make

The Makefile is included just for compatibility, so that someone who instictively types make will get a result.

Actual development/testing is always done using lbmk directly, and this includes when building from source. Here are some instructions to get you started:

First, install build dependencies

libreboot includes a script that automatically installs apt-get dependencies in Ubuntu 20.04:

sudo ./build dependencies ubuntu2004

Separate scripts also exist:

sudo ./build dependencies debian

sudo ./build dependencies arch

sudo ./build dependencies void

Technically, any Linux distribution can be used to build libreboot. However, you will have to write your own script for installing build dependencies.

libreboot Make (lbmk) automatically runs all necessary commands; for example, ./build payload grub will automatically run ./build module grub if the required utilities for GRUB are not built, to produce payloads.

As a result, you can now (after installing the correct build dependencies) run just a single command, from a fresh Git clone, to build the ROM images:

./build boot roms

or even just build specific ROM images, e.g.:

./build boot roms x60

If you wish to build payloads, you can also do that. For example:

./build payload grub

./build payload seabios

./build payload u-boot qemu_x86_12mb

Previous steps will be performed automatically. However, you can still run individual parts of the build system manually, if you choose. This may be beneficial when you’re making changes, and you wish to test a specific part of lbmk.

Therefore, if you only want to build ROM images, just do the above. Otherwise, please continue reading!

Optional: extract binary blobs

Some boards, including all sandy/ivybridge boards require nonfree blobs which cannot be included in libreboot. For boards requiring these blobs, libreboot will attempt to download the blobs itself. If your board does not have blob sources available, then you must extract them from a backup of you vendor rom. You must point libreboot to the backup rom and tell the build system which board you want to extract blobs for. For example, to extract blobs for the t440p you must run:

./blobutil extract t440p_12mb /path/to/12mb_backup.rom

You can then build the rom for this board as normal:

./build boot roms t440p_12mb

Second, download all of the required software components

If you didn’t simply run ./build boot roms (with or without extra arguments), you can still perform the rest of the build process manually. Read on! You can read about all available scripts in lbmk by reading the libreboot maintenance manual; lbmk is designed to be modular which means that each script can be used on its own (if that’s not true, for any script, it’s a bug that should be fixed).

It’s as simple as that:

./download all

The above command downloads all modules defined in the libreboot build system. However, you can download modules individually.

This command shows you the list of available modules:

./download list

Example of downloading an individual module:

./download coreboot

./download seabios

./download grub

./download flashrom

./download u-boot

Third, build all of the modules:

Building a module means that it needs to have already been downloaded. Currently, the build system does not automatically do pre-requisite steps such as this, so you must verify this yourself.

Again, very simple:

./build module all

This builds every module defined in the libreboot build system, but you can build modules individually.

The following command lists available modules:

./build module list

Example of building specific modules:

./build module grub

./build module seabios

./build module flashrom

Commands are available to clean a module, which basically runs make-clean. You can list these commands:

./build clean list

Clean all modules like so:

./build clean all

Example of cleaning specific modules:

./build clean grub

./build clean cbutils

Fourth, build all of the payloads:

Very straight forward:

./build payload all

You can list available payloads like so:

./build payload list

Example of building specific payloads:

./build payload grub

./build payload seabios

Each board has its own U-Boot build configuration in lbmk under resources/u-boot. To build U-Boot payloads, you need to specify the target board and maybe a cross compiler for its CPU architecture. These are handled automatically when building ROM images, but for example:

./build payload u-boot qemu_x86_12mb	# on x86 hosts

CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu- ./build payload u-boot gru_kevin

CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- ./build payload u-boot veyron_speedy

The build-payload command is is a prerequsite for building ROM images.

Fifth, build the ROMs!

Run this command:

./build boot roms

Each board has its own configuration in lbmk under resources/coreboot/ which specifies which payloads are supported.

By default, all ROM images are built, for all boards. If you wish to build just a specific board, you can specify the board name based on the directory name for it under resources/coreboot/. For example:

./build boot roms x60

Board names, like above, are the same as the directory names for each board, under resources/coreboot/ in the build system.

That’s it!

If all went well, ROM images should be available to you under bin/

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