Installation instructions

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This section relates to installing Libreboot on supported targets.

NOTE: if running flashrom -p internal for software based flashing, and you get an error related to /dev/mem access, you should reboot with iomem=relaxed kernel parameter before running flashrom, or use a kernel that has CONFIG_STRICT_DEVMEM not enabled.

Which systems are Libreboot compatible with?

General information

Flashing via software methods, on system:

Setting up programmers, for external SPI flashing

Flashing via hardware methods, on system:

Information about libreboot ROM images

Libreboot distributes pre-compiled ROM images, built from the libreboot source code. These images are provided for user convenience, so that they don’t have to build anything from source on their own.

The ROM images in each archive use the following at the end of the file name, if they are built with the GRUB payload: *_*keymap*_*mode*.rom

Available modes: vesafb or txtmode. The vesafb ROM images are recommended, in most cases; txtmode ROM images come with MemTest86+, which requires text-mode instead of the usual framebuffer used by coreboot native graphics initialization.

keymap can be one of several keymaps that keyboard supports (there are quite a few), which affects the keyboard layout configuration that is used in GRUB. It doesn’t matter which ROM image you choose here, as far as the keymap in GNU+Linux is concerned.

Keymaps are named appropriately according to each keyboard layout support in GRUB. To learn how these keymaps are created, see ../grub/#grub_keyboard

QEMU

Libreboot comes with ROM images built for QEMU, by default:

Examples of how to use libreboot ROM images in QEMU:

$ qemu-system-i386 -M q35 -m 512 -bios qemu_q35_ich9_keymap_mode.rom
$ qemu-system-i386 -M pc -m 512 -bios qemu_i440fx_piix4_keymap_mode.rom

You can optionally specify the -serial stdio argument, so that QEMU will emulate a serial terminal on the standard input/output (most likely your terminal emulator or TTY).

Other arguments are available for QEMU. The manual will contain more information.

How to update or install libreboot (if you are already running libreboot or coreboot)

On all current targets, updating libreboot can be accomplished without disassembly and, therefore, without having to externally re-flash using any dedicated hardware. In other words, you can do everything entirely in software, directly from the OS that is running on your libreboot system.

If you are using libreboot_src or git, then make sure that you built the sources first (see ../git/#build).

Look at the list of ROM images to see which image is compatible with your device.

Are you currently running the original, proprietary firmware?

If you are currently running the proprietary firmware (not libreboot or coreboot), then the flashing instructions for your system are going to be different.

X60/T60 users running the proprietary firmware should refer to #flashrom_lenovobios. MacBook2,1 users running Apple EFI should refer to #flashrom_macbook21

X200 users, refer to x200_external.html, R400 users refer to r400_external.html, T400 users refer to t400_external.html, T500 and W500 users refer to t500_external.html

ASUS KFSN4-DRE?

Internal flashing should work just fine, even if you are currently booting the proprietary firmware.

Libreboot currently lacks documentation for externally re-flashing an LPC flash chip. However, these boards have the flash chip inside of a PLCC socket, and it is possible to hot-swap the chips. If you want to back up your known-working image, simply hot-swap the chip for one that is the same capacity, after having dumped a copy of the current firmware (flashrom -p internal -r yourchosenname.rom), and then flash that chip with the known-working image. Check whether the system still boots, and if it does, then it should be safe to flash the new image (because you now have a backup of the old image).

Keeping at least one spare LPC PLCC chip with working firmware on it is highly recommended, in case of bricks.

DO NOT hot-swap the chip with your bare hands. Use a PLCC chip extractor. These can be found online. See http://www.coreboot.org/Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools

Do check the HCL entry: ../hardware/kfsn4-dre.html

ASUS KGPE-D16?

If you have the proprietary BIOS, you need to flash libreboot externally. See kgpe-d16.html.

If you already have coreboot or libreboot installed, without write protection on the flash chip, then you can do it in software (otherwise, see link above).

DO NOT hot-swap the chip with your bare hands. Use a PDIP-8 chip extractor. These can be found online. See http://www.coreboot.org/Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools

Do check the HCL entry: ../hardware/kgpe-d16.html

ASUS KCMA-D8?

If you have the proprietary BIOS, you need to flash libreboot externally. See kcma-d8.html.

If you already have coreboot or libreboot installed, without write protection on the flash chip, then you can do it in software (otherwise, see link above).

DO NOT hot-swap the chip with your bare hands. Use a PDIP-8 chip extractor. These can be found online. See http://www.coreboot.org/Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools

Do check the HCL entry: ../hardware/kcma-d8.html

Intel D945GCLF?

If you’re running the original Intel factory BIOS, then you will need to flash externally. For instructions on how to do that, refer to d945gclf.html.

Otherwise, read the generic instructions below for using the flash script.

Are you currently running libreboot (or coreboot)?

X60/T60 users should be fine with this guide. If you write-protected the flash chip, please refer to x60_unbrick.html, x60tablet_unbrick.html or t60_unbrick.html. This probably does not apply to you. Most people do not write-protect the flash chip, so you probably didn’t either.

Similarly, it is possible to write-protect the flash chip in coreboot or libreboot on GM45 laptops (X200/R400/T400/T500/W500). If you did this, then you will need to use the links above for flashing, treating your laptop as though it currently has the proprietary firmware (because write-protected SPI flash requires external re-flashing, as is also the case when running the proprietary firmware).

If you did not write-protect the flash chip, or it came to you without any write-protection (libreboot does not write-protect the flash chip by default, so this probably applies to you), read on!

MAC address on GM45 (X200/R400/T400/T500/W500)

Users of the X200/R400/T400/T500/W500 take note: The MAC address for the onboard ethernet chipset is located inside the flash chip. Libreboot ROM images for these laptops contain a generic MAC address by default, but this is not what you want. Make sure to change the MAC address inside the ROM image, before flashing it. The instructions on ../hardware/gm45_remove_me.html#ich9gen show how to do this.

It is important that you change the default MAC address, before flashing. It will be printed on a sticker at the bottom of the laptop, or it will be printed on a sticker next to or underneath the RAM. Alternatively, and assuming that your current firmware has the correct MAC address in it, you can get it from your OS.

Apple iMac 5,2?

Internal flashing works, even when flashing from Apple EFI to libreboot. Continue reading the instructions below.

NOTE: If you’re flashing an older version of Libreboot, the iMac5,2 motherboard is compatible with the MacBook2,1. Simply flash a MacBook2,1 ROM image, and it should work.

Flash chip size

Use this to find out:

# flashrom -p internal -V

All good?

Excellent! Moving on…

Download the libreboot_util.tar.xz archive, and extract it. Inside, you will find a directory called flashrom. This contains statically compiled executable files of the flashrom utility, which you will use to re-flash your libreboot system.

Simply use cd on your terminal, to switch to the libreboot_util directory. Inside, there is a script called flash, which will detect what CPU architecture you have (e.g. i686, x86_64) and use the appropriate executable. It is also possible for you to build these executables from the libreboot source code archives.

How to update the flash chip contents:

$ sudo ./flash update [yourrom.rom](#rom)

Ocassionally, coreboot changes the name of a given board. If flashrom complains about a board mismatch, but you are sure that you chose the correct ROM image, then run this alternative command:

$ sudo ./flash forceupdate [yourrom.rom](#rom)

You should see Verifying flash... VERIFIED. written at the end of the flashrom output. Shut down after you see this, and then boot up again after a few seconds.

ThinkPad X60/T60: Initial installation guide (if running the proprietary firmware)

This is for the ThinkPad X60 and T60 while running Lenovo BIOS. If you already have coreboot or libreboot running, then go to #flashrom instead!

If you are flashing a Lenovo ThinkPad T60, be sure to read ../hardware/#supported_t60_list

If you are using libreboot_src or git, then make sure that you built the sources first (see ../git/#build).

Warning: this guide will not instruct the user how to backup the original Lenovo BIOS firmware. These backups are tied to each system, and will not work on any other. For that, please refer to http://www.coreboot.org/Board:lenovo/x60/Installation.

If you’re using libreboot 20150518, note that there is a mistake in the flashing script. do this:

rm -f patch
wget -O flash https://notabug.org/libreboot/libreboot/raw/9d850543ad90b72e0e333c98075530b31e5d23f1/flash
chmod +x flash

The first half of the procedure is as follows:

$ sudo ./flash i945lenovo\_firstflash [yourrom.rom](#rom).

You should see within the output the following:

Updated BUC.TS=1 - 64kb address ranges at 0xFFFE0000 and 0xFFFF0000 are
swapped

You should also see within the output the following:

Your flash chip is in an unknown state
...
FAILED
...
DO NOT REBOOT OR POWEROFF

Seeing this means that the operation was a resounding success! DON’T PANIC.

See this link for more details: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.bios.flashrom/575.

If the above is what you see, then SHUT DOWN. Wait a few seconds, and then boot; libreboot is running, but there is a 2nd procedure needed (see below).

When you have booted up again, you must also do this:

$ sudo ./flash i945lenovo\_secondflash [yourrom.rom](#rom)

If flashing fails at this stage, try the following:

# sudo ./flashrom/i686/flashrom -p

internal:laptop=force_I_want_a_brick -w yourrom.rom

You should see within the output the following:

Updated BUC.TS=0 - 128kb address range 0xFFFE0000-0xFFFFFFFF is
untranslated

You should also see within the output the following:

Verifying flash... VERIFIED.

MacBook2,1: Initial installation guide (if running the proprietary firmware)

If you have a MacBook1,1, refer to ../hardware/#macbook11 for flashing instructions.

This is for the MacBook2,1 while running Apple EFI firmware. If you already have coreboot or libreboot running, then go to #flashrom instead!

Be sure to read the information in ../hardware/#macbook21.

Warning: this guide will not instruct the user how to backup the original Apple EFI firmware. For that, please refer to http://www.coreboot.org/Board:apple/macbook21.

If you are using libreboot_src or git, then make sure that you built the sources first (see ../git/#build).

Look at the list of ROM images to see which image is compatible with your device.

Use this flashing script, to install libreboot:

$ sudo ./flash i945apple\_firstflash [yourrom.rom](#rom)

You should also see within the output the following:

Verifying flash... VERIFIED.

Shut down.

Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation with no Invariant Sections, no Front Cover Texts, and no Back Cover Texts. A copy of this license is found in ../fdl-1.3.html

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