HP EliteBook 8470p and Dell Precision T1650 support added to Libreboot

Leah Rowe

14 August 2023

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Article published by: Leah Rowe

Date of publication: 14 August 2023

UPDATE, 16 August 2023: installation instructions are now available for HP EliteBook 8470p and also Dell Precision T1650.


I’ve ported and tested two new boards, and merged them into the lbmk master branch. They will be available in the next regular release:

HP EliteBook 8470p

HP EliteBook 8470p is another IvyBridge platform, similar to other EliteBooks that Libreboot already supports, such as the HP EliteBook 9470m that Riku added.

It was added in this patch: https://browse.libreboot.org/lbmk.git/commit/?id=6075fed84912be82cb03a99ad5a5a82547872463

It should be noted: there are two variants of this machine. One variant has Intel graphics, and this is what was tested. The other variant has discrete AMD graphics, and is not supported, but could be added - if you have one of these AMD variants, please contact Leah Rowe.

Another quirk: SOIC16 flash IC, but it’s 16MB in size (Winbond W25Q128).

This will be available in the next Libreboot release. For now, you can download Libreboot from Git and build from source if you wish to use this board. Read those instructions first; with build dependencies then installed, you can build the board like so:

./build roms hp8470pintel_16mb

There is currently no documentation on the coreboot website, but installation instructions will be written for the Libreboot website.

Dell Precision T1650

This machine is truly unique, among most desktop boards in coreboot. It’s yet another IvyBridge desktop, same platform as HP 8300 USDT, but it supports ECC memory, if you use a Xeon E3 model CPU (ivybridge variant).

It was added in this patch: https://browse.libreboot.org/lbmk.git/commit/?id=f9afeb6feb289003359790e820d7e7d918937fea

You can find a list of IvyBridge CPUs here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#List_of_Ivy_Bridge_processors

My one, that I tested, has Intel Xeon E3 1270v2 - this model does not have an Intel graphics chip built in, so I could not test coreboot’s libgfxinit for this board, but it should work. I’ve since ordered a 1275v2 which does have graphics, but I didn’t have it at the time of this news post.

Native video init for Intel graphics is enabled, in this Libreboot port, but because I haven’t tested it yet, I’ve done this in the port that was merged: SeaBIOS-only at startup, but GRUB is available in the SeaBIOS menu. SeaBIOS is relied upon to execute the VGA Option ROM on an add-on graphics card (the one I had was Nvidia Quadro K420, tested with the nouveau driver under Debian Linux).

Here’s how to build ROM images for this board (make sure you have performed the prerequisite steps first:

./build roms t1650_12mb

If you want GRUB-only setup, you could configure SeaBIOS bootorder to only load the GRUB payload, and disable the SeaBIOS menu. This can be done by only booting img/grub2 from CBFS. More info available here: https://www.seabios.org/Runtime_config - just insert the appropriate files into CBFS, as per the instructions on that page. Make sure you have external flashing equipment to recover in case you brick it!

With ECC memory, this board is easily suitable for running a server of some kind, in cases where data integrity matters (many userspace programs will use read() and write() to manipulate data on the HDD/SSD, so it’s best to ensure that the memory is as reliable as possible) - the board also has four SATA slots, so you could easily do RAID10 or RAID6 - a filesystem like ZFS running under FreeBSD would be a boon. Stick 32GB of ECC RAM with RAID10 HDDs on FreeBSD and run OpenBSD virtual servers in bhyve!

Other works currently in progress

A similar report was made in the HP EliteBook 2170p news page. Some of that is now done, so the list is updated (and more work is also being done):

More boards coming soon

I’m still on a spree, adding more boards to Libreboot, especially HP EliteBooks. These boards are of interest, to the Libreboot project, at this present time:

Another build system audit

I’ve also started another audit of the Libreboot build system; the last one was quite intense and a lot more work is going in for the next release.

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