[coreboot] libplayload and coreinfo

Jordan Crouse jordan.crouse at amd.com
Tue Mar 4 23:45:35 CET 2008

Greetings.  I've been talking about it for a while, and I've gotten
a few people excited, so I figured it was time to actually release
something useful.

I believe that there is a lot of power in coreboot for AMD customers,
especially in the embedded market which my team supports.  Part of
that power is in the low cost and high visibility of the open source
code, but also in the flexibility of the payload model.  Now, for a very
low cost a customer can get not only the hardware initialization, but 
also an blank page where they can add their own special, be it a fully
fledged payload, or just an intermediary before loading an operating

This is where libpayload comes in - it abstracts away the icky bits
of payload initialization, and gives the user a semblance of a normal
C library that they can use to develop a payload without having to
worry about re-implementing malloc() and printf() and all the other
usual friends.

I am happy to release the first proof of concept for libpayload:


This is a conglomeration of code from three projects - the 
payload initialization code from FILO, superb curses code from
our good friend Uwe Hermann, and various libc and driver bits
from coreboot-v3.  I combined them together into a library,
mixed kconfig into the mix and baked at 300F for 2 hours.  This is
proof of concept code for the most part, and I wouldn't go off
and put this in your airplane autopilot quite yet, but its a good

And to celebrate the good start, how about something practical to
go with it?  Here is something I call coreinfo:


Coreinfo is a curses based payload that outputs lots of information
about the CPU and system.  Or rather, it will - for now it just 
shows the cpuid of the processor, and has a rather slick PCI device
browser.  The most important thing is that it shows that libpayload
can be used for a relatively complex payload without really breathing
hard.  Here's a screenshot:


So, please, enjoy.  Flame me as needed, and once everybody has
digested this for a bit, we'll meet back and discuss what the
next step is.  Obviously, I think more libc functions are needed,
filesystem support is useful, and maybe even graphics are in our future.

Jordan Crouse
Systems Software Development Engineer 
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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