[coreboot] new to coreboot

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Thu Jul 10 01:32:05 CEST 2008

Hi Philip,

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On 10.07.2008 00:22, Philip Aston wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-07-09 at 16:00 +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
>> Hi Philip,
>> On 09.07.2008 13:14, Philip Aston wrote:
>>> I have MS6178 ver 1.1, supported board, noted as not working on Linux. I can
>>> only get it working reliably with Knoppix although Debian Etch has worked
>>> intermittently. Embedded VGA... does that complicate things?
>> I don't have the board in question, but if it has problems running Linux
>> under the factory BIOS, probably something is wrong with the hardware.
> Thank you for your very prompt reply, Carl-Daniel
> Probably true, worth a try I believe because googling "MS6178 Linux"
> revealed "News - coreboot
> Linux has never been able to run on this board until now. .... Thanks to
> Uwe Hermann we now have preliminary support for the MSI MS-6178
> mainboard." (Sep07). Nothing to lose anyway.

Ah, that piece of news referred to the Thomson IP1000, a set-top box.

>>> I'm an intermediate user finding detail on the readme within Coreboot
>>> download difficult to understand. My chip is soldered and I'll have to
>>> reflash in situ, not worried about that because
>>> 1 without linux the board is useless
>>> 2 might be able to retrieve original image (which I have saved) from
>>> bootblock.
>> Actually, the "boot block recovery" will not work if flashrom misbehaves
>> or coreboot does not work.
>>> Can I build the .rom on another box? Is there a way to build using a live cd
>>> or do I have to reinstall etch?
>> You can build the .rom on another box, it's even recommended to do so.
>>> And very important, is this too ambitious for someone who needs to ask these
>>> questions? Thank you.
>> Well, having a soldered flash is certainly increasing the risk beyond
>> what I'd recommend. A top hat flash override might work in case of
>> problems, but I wouldn't bet on it.
> The Howto was specific to a different mobo but it translated into mine
> with few headaches, except advice to place lilo.elf in / was incorrect
> in my case, dialogue indicated that it should be in /tmp and that
> worked.

Yes, that's a peculiarity of the default configuration.

> So I have compiled a coreboot.rom, same size as my factory bios; but
> uniflash gives "verification failed" (not exact wording). What causes
> this error message please?

AFAIK uniflash checks for a factory BIOS signature/checksum. Since
coreboot has its own checksum mechanism, uniflash fails to recognize
that. It would be interesting to measure voltages of a few pins of the
ROM during a BIOS update of the factory BIOS. That could help to find
out what flashrom needs to do to flash this board.

Uwe (in CC of this mail) has worked on this board and should know more.



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