ASUS KCMA-D8 desktop/workstation board

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This is a desktop 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, merged into libreboot.

Memory initialization is still problematic, for some modules. We recommend avoiding Kingston modules.

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 kcma-d8, without using external hardware.

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CPU compatibility

Use Opteron 4200 series (works without microcode updates, including hw virt). 4300 series needs microcode updates, so avoid those CPUs. 4100 series is too old, and mostly untested.

Board status (compatibility)

See https://raptorengineeringinc.com/coreboot/kcma-d8-status.php.

Form factor

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.

Flash chips

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

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).

Current issues

Hardware specifications

Check the ASUS website.

Copyright © 2016 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org
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Copyright 2015-2017 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org
Copyright 2017 Alyssa Rosenzweig alyssa@rosenzweig.io

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