Getting Started with freebios2!

Hendricks David W. dwh at
Tue May 18 14:58:00 CEST 2004

Excellent work! This should prove helpful to those new to the project get 
started. I'd like to elaborate on a few points you have made.
On Tue, 18 May 2004, Jay Miller wrote:
> There is also a flash-n-burn utility in the source tree.  Perhaps
> someone on the list can add the specifics of how to get that going on
> this thread.

Flash-n-burn should work on many newer mainboards, particularly those 
supported by LinuxBIOS such as your Tyan S2885 with an AMD8111 
southbridge. It is currently not capable of flashing in "parallel 
programming" mode like many older chipsets and flash parts require. It 
should work with many newer SST parts and with the PM that comes on your 
S2885. If you require support for another part, let us know and we'll try 
to add it in.

On Tue, 18 May 2004, Jay Miller wrote:
> First take a look at freebios2/targets/<vendor>/<board>/  This
> is the main configuration file for your ROM image.  This is where you
> specify what payload to use, and most of the settings that anyone would
> care about.  Make sure to do a "./buildtarget <vendor>/<board>" whenever
> you modify this file.

Also, one must run "make" in the <vendor>/<board>/<board> directory. If 
all goes well, linuxbios.rom should appear and will be the appropriate 
size (A power of two, like 2^19 for a half meg part). The size can be set 
in the <vendor>/<board>/ file.

On Tue, 18 May 2004, Jay Miller wrote:
> In most cases the VGA support just isn't there yet.  So go find yourself
> a null modem cable and hook up your console at 15200-8-N-1, and sit back
> and watch the fireworks!

We have limited support right now. If you cvs update, you should be able 
to boot LinuxBIOS, run the VGABIOS with the "testbios" utility, and get X 
up and running fully accelerated with an nVidia card (GeForce FX) on that 
S2885 of yours. Here's how you get your VGABIOS (This might have to be 
done with the factory AWARD BIOS): dd if=/dev/mem of=vgabios.bin 
skip=1536 count=128

Ollie Lo is making a lot of progress on support for add-in cards. Please 
check back in upcoming weeks for updates (Ollie is currently in Austin, 
Texas for a conference).

For those wishing to use their integrated RageXL chips, which are common 
for many Tyan mainboards and others like the Arima HDAMA, YhLu has 
recently added support for those as well. Add this to your 
src/mainboard/<vendor>/<board>/ file:
## ATI Rage XL framebuffering graphics driver
dir /drivers/ati/ragexl

Then add these lines to your targets/<vendor>/<board>/ file:

YhLu has a modified version of FILO available which should be used for 
this. I think it's here:

And lastly, apply YhLu's kernel patch ( ) and 
enable framebuffering in your kernel. This should allow you to see 
LinuxBIOS, FILO, and your kernel coming up on screen. X should work, too.

I'll get patches and stuff up on personal webspace at a later date. Good 

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