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This is a server board using AMD hardware (Fam10h and Fam15h CPUs available). It can also be used for building a high-powered workstation. Powered by libreboot. The coreboot port was done by Timothy Pearson of Raptor Engineering Inc. and, working with them (and sponsoring the work), merged into libreboot.
Memory initialization is still problematic, for some modules. We recommend avoiding Kingston modules. For working configurations see https://www.coreboot.org/Board:asus/kgpe-d16.
Flashing instructions can be found at ../install/#flashrom - note that external flashing is required (e.g. BBB), if the proprietary (ASUS) firmware is currently installed. If you already have libreboot, by default it is possible to re-flash using software running in GNU+Linux on the KGPE-D16, without using external hardware.
Use Opteron 6200 series (works without microcode updates, including hw virt). 6300 series needs microcode updates, so avoid those CPUs. 6100 series is too old, and mostly untested.
Board status (compatibility)
These boards use the SSI EEB 3.61 form factor; make sure that your case supports this. This form factor is similar to E-ATX in that the size is identical, but the position of the screws are different.
IPMI iKVM module add-on
Don’t use it. It uses proprietary firmware and adds a backdoor (remote out-of-band management chip, similar to the Intel Management Engine. Fortunately, the firmware is unsigned (possibly to replace) and physically separate from the mainboard since it’s on the add-on module, which you don’t have to install.
2MiB flash chips are included by default, on these boards. It’s on a P-DIP 8 slot (SPI chip). The flash chip can be upgraded to higher sizes: 4MiB, 8MiB or 16MiB. With at least 8MiB, you could feasibly fit a compressed linux+initramfs image (BusyBox+Linux system) into CBFS and boot that, loading it into memory.
Libreboot has configs for 2, 4, 8 and 16 MiB flash chip sizes (default flash chip is 2MiB).
DO NOT hot-swap the chip with your bare hands. Use a P-DIP 8 chip extractor. These can be found online. See http://www.coreboot.org/Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools
This guide shows how to flash the chip:
25xx NOR flashing guide
Native graphics initialization
Only text-mode is known to work, but linux(kernel) can initialize the framebuffer display (if it has KMS - kernel mode setting).
- LRDIMM memory modules are currently incompatible
- SAS (via PIKE 2008 module) requires non-free option ROM (and SeaBIOS) to boot from it (theoretically possible to replace, but you can put a kernel in CBFS or on SATA and use that to boot GNU, which can be on a SAS drive. The linux kernel can use those SAS drives (via PIKE module) without an option ROM).
- SeaBIOS lacked serial console support out-of-the-box in release 20160907 and as such a workaround using SGABIOS is necessary. You can find instructions on how to do this on the Notabug issue tracker
- IPMI iKVM module (optional add-on card) uses proprietary firmware. Since it’s for remote out-of-band management, it’s theoretically a backdoor similar to the Intel Management Engine. Fortunately, unlike the ME, this firmware is unsigned which means that a free replacement is theoretically possible. For now, the libreboot project recommends not installing the module. This project might be interesting to derive from, for those who want to work on a free replacement. In practise, out-of-band management isn’t very useful anyway (or at the very least, it’s not a major inconvenience to not have it).
- Graphics: only text-mode works. See #graphics
The information here is adapted, from the ASUS website.
Processor / system bus
- 2 CPU sockets (G34 compatible)
- HyperTransport™ Technology 3.0
- CPUs supported:
- AMD Opteron 6100 series (Fam10h. No IOMMU support. Not recommended - old. View errata datasheet here: http://support.amd.com/TechDocs/41322_10h_Rev_Gd.pdf)
- AMD Opteron 6200 series (Fam15h, with full IOMMU support in libreboot - highly recommended - fast, and works well without microcode updates, including virtualization)
- AMD Opteron 6300 series (Fam15h, with full IOMMU support in libreboot. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE - virtualization is broken without microcode updates.
- NOTE: 6300 series CPUs have buggy microcode built-in, and libreboot recommends avoiding the updates. The 6200 series CPUs have more reliable microcode. Look at this errata datasheet: http://support.amd.com/TechDocs/48063_15h_Mod_00h-0Fh_Rev_Guide.pdf (see Errata 734 - this is what kills the 6300 series)
- 6.4 GT/s per link (triple link)
Memory compatibility (with libreboot)
- Total Slots: 16 (4-channel per CPU, 8 DIMM per CPU), ECC
- Capacity: Maximum up to 256GB RDIMM (Tested max 128GB)
- Memory Type that is compatible:
- DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 UDIMM*
- DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 RDIMM*
- Compatible sizes per memory module:
- 16GB, 8GB, 4GB, 3GB, 2GB, 1GB RDIMM
- 8GB, 4GB, 2GB, 1GB UDIMM
- Total slot: 6
- Slot Location 1: PCI 32bit/33MHz
- Slot Location 2: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X8 Link)
- Slot Location 3: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link), Auto switch to x8 link if slot 2 is occupied
- Slot Location 4: PCI-E x8 (Gen2 X4 Link)
- Slot Location 5: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link)
- Slot Location 6: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link), Auto turn off if slot 5 is occupied, For 1U FH/FL Card, MIO supported
- Additional Slot 1: PIKE slot (for SAS drives. See notes above)
- Follow SSI Location#
- Fan Speed Control
- Rack Ready (Rack and Pedestal dual use)
- SATA controller:
- AMD SP5100
- 6 x SATA2 300MB/s
- SAS/SATA Controller:
- ASUS PIKE2008 3Gbps 8-port SAS card included
- 2 x Intel® 82574L + 1 x Mgmt LAN
- Aspeed AST2050 with 8MB VRAM
On board I/O
- 1 x PSU Power Connector (24-pin SSI power connector + 8-pin SSI 12V + 8-pin SSI 12V power connector)
- 1 x Management Connector , Onboard socket for management card
- 3 x USB pin header , Up to 6 Devices
- 1 x Internal A Type USB Port
- 8 x Fan Header , 4pin (3pin/4pin fan dual support)
- 2 x SMBus
- 1 x Serial Port Header
- 1 x TPM header
- 1 x PS/2 KB/MS port
Back I/O ports
- 1 x External Serial Port
- 2 x External USB Port
- 1 x VGA Port
- 2 x RJ-45
- 1 x PS/2 KB/Mouse
- Operation temperature: 10C ~ 35C
- Non operation temperature: -40C ~ 70C
- Non operation humidity: 20% ~ 90% ( Non condensing)
- CPU temperatures
- Fan speed (RPM)
- * DDR3 1600 can only be supported with AMD Opteron 6300/6200 series processor
Markdown file for this page: https://libreboot.org/docs/hardware/kgpe-d16.md
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