[coreboot] Execute Linux on AMD DB-FT3b-LC through GRUB2
grigore at arista.com
Tue Nov 29 14:44:58 CET 2016
First of all thank you very much for your feedback - any idea would be
I am sorry about the mixup by putting the 3.13 commands there (it was 4.4
actually). I use TAB press to get the actual version on the SSD drive
(4.4.0-31) and those exact commands. So my bad on the last email, these are
the actual ones:
grub> set root=(hd0,gpt2)
grub> linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.4...-generic root=/dev/sda2
grub> initrd /boot/initrd.img-4.4...-generic
So I am trying to boot from an SSD with Linux connected to a USB port - why
I am doing this ? :) because the board has a dedicated embedded style power
supply and 1 SATA cable, hence even though I can connect the SSD directly I
cannot power it - so I use a USB to SATA drive where I have the SSD plugged
in (and legacy Ubuntu Linux x64 4.4 on it).
Below are the full details of the AMI BIOS, Linux OS, Coreboot I am trying
to boot over Coreboot (latest). So looking at these ++ previous ones it
looks like vBIOS is in both.
AMI BIOS 2.17.1246 Copyright 2015
Core Version 126.96.36.199
UEFI 2.3.1; PI 1.2
Project Version 1ASNG 0.02 x64
IGD VBIOS Version ATOMBIOSBK-AMD VERO15.042.000.002.0000000
AGESA Version 188.8.131.52
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Linux ft3b-lc 4.4.0-31-generic #50 Ubuntu SMP Wed Jul 13
UTC 2016 x86_64
GNU GRUB 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.1
Coreboot (latest branch)
I have the latest Coreboot sources, have set config accordingly (e.g.
CONFIG_MAINBOARD_SMBIOS_PRODUCT_NAME="DB-FT3b-LC"...), getting an image on
HDMI and the GRUB2 payload is executing. In GRUB2 payload I seem to have an
overflow issue possibly related to the *vga_text* mode.
GRUB 2.02 beta3
Differences on GRUB2 environment:
AMI BIOS + GRUB2.02beta2-36ubuntu3.1 => terminal_output=*gfxterm*, see
USB-SATA SSD as (*hd0*), (*hd0*, gpt0).., works both on USB2.0 and USB3.0.
Coreboot + GRUB2.02beta3 => terminal_output=*vga_text*, see USB-SATA SSD as
(*usb0*), (*usb0*, gpt0).., works only on USB2.0.
On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 10:40 PM, Zoran Stojsavljevic <
zoran.stojsavljevic at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here are my comments to what you wrote to me:
> On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 7:59 PM, Grigore Lupescu <grigore at arista.com>
>> Hello Zoran,
>> [1-3] I am using the latest Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x64 desktop, 4.4 kernel.
> Perfect. Got it. Good to know. 16.04 LTS support back-ports to kernel 4.4
> APIs most of the newer features exceeding 4.4 version for some time (this
> is very important info to/for me, never mind).
>>  I don't know exactly if it's x64 or x86. I have no control over AMI
>> BIOS since it's just a binary I flash into the SPI ROM, which supports the
> Even if it is a binary, you should be able to enter it (CMOS) pressing at
> the very beginning of the boot <esc> or <F2> (maybe <F1>, Lenovo 420T
> supports <F1>, as example), or simultaneously - alternately both of them,
> one after another (NOT both at the same time). Then you can read the BIOS
> version from system BIOS page. Maybe version says what is the architecture.
> Other that that, it is bloody hard to tell what BIOS (32 or 64) you have.
> It is easier if you do have UEFI BIOS, but you must have/gain access to EFI
> shell, which is another problem, another dimension.
>>  I boot Linux using legacy mode (in AMI, the Linux was installed for
>> legacy boot on the HDD/SSD which connects via USB - USBtoSATA)
> You see... BIOS is a beast. With BIOS, if you have already attached HDMI
> monitor, BIOS should/must detect this and record, and pass such info to OS,
> somehow (very long story). Regardless what your GRUB2 supports (or, at
> least, this is my naive understanding).
> If your BIOS is a legacy one, guess who is doing this detection? Which
> part of BIOS?! I'll tell this secret (ONLY) to you: vBIOS! ;-)
>>  I'm not sure. So I have the following checked:
>> - Run VGA Option ROMs, Native Mode
>> - Add a VGA BIOS image -> 3rdparty/blobs.../VBIOS.bin
>> - Set framebuffer resolution (any, without this + above, I have no HDMI
> The secret, I'll whisper only to you again... You MUST add to Coreboot
> vBIOS as video component, because vBIOS will pass to Linux so-called VBT
> (the same it does above, being part of BIOS), where these info are recorded
> (Coreboot, no Coreboot, does NOT matter, but for Linux video, vBIOS
> component extremely DOES matter).
> (for UEFI boot, this works completely differently... Just tiny note)
>>  It's the same one referenced from Coreboot in the external payloads -
>> GRUB 2.02 beta3.
> I apologize. I made here a mistake. Forgot to mention - outdated Coreboot
> GRUB2 payload. Here is a naive exercise to be done:
> Please, program back BIOS into flash and boot your system (Ubuntu 16.04).
> Please, stop in GRUB2, after BIOS, and inspect the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS GRUB2
> data. What is the GRUB2 version?
> And, as you have said: you are able (also) to execute in BIOS GRUB the
> following (?!):
> grub> set root=(hd0,gpt2)
> grub> linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.13.0-29-generic root=/dev/sda2
> grub> initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-29-generic
> grub> boot
> Can you do this with the kernel 4.4??? Exact the same (above) commands?
> And from where you do have 3.13? Also as entry in grub.cfg? How/from where?
> Or, maybe... You use different HDD/SSD for Coreboot purposes?!
> And if you use the same HDD/SSD, how do you have two different kernels you
> are (after all) executing:
> [A] Using GRUB2 as Coreboot payload as GRUB 2.02 beta3, executing kernel
> [B] Using GRUB2 (hidden behind MBR on the HDD/SSD) executing kernel 4.4???
> I did not get out of these emails the complete picture, I admit... :-(
> From your view where would the overflow / boot problems come from ?
> Still not able to answer this question, since I do not have clear
> understanding what you actually do? I am trying...
> Thank you,
>> Thank you,
>> On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 6:31 PM, Zoran Stojsavljevic <
>> zoran.stojsavljevic at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hello Grigore,
>>> I have here some dummy questions (forgive me for my ignorance), but I
>>> need to ask them just for the sake of curiosity (maybe, after all, we can
>>> get somewhere if I articulate questions in the right direction/right format
>>> for this problem):
>>> > If I put a proprietary AMI BIOS, GRUB2 works without issue in gfxterm
>>> mode and boots Linux without issue.
>>>  What Linux architecture are you using (32 or 64)?
>>>  Which Linux distro?
>>>  Which kernel version?
>>> If you put AMI BIOS, the following questions I would like to know:
>>>  Are you using 32 or 64 BIOS?
>>>  Which mode are you using for booting (legacy/CSM ON or UEFI/CSM OFF)?
>>>  In the accordance with , what video component you have set with
>>> CMOS: vBIOS or GOP driver?
>>> Not sure, but it seems to me that you are using too old/outdated GRUB2
>>> version (or maybe I am also mistaken)?
>>>  Could you tell us, which GRUB2 version you are using?
>>> Thank you,
>>> On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 7:13 PM, Grigore Lupescu via coreboot <
>>> coreboot at coreboot.org> wrote:
>>>> I am trying to run Linux through the GRUB2 payload. I am not tied to
>>>> GRUB2 but it's the only payload that gives me HDMI output (board has no
>>>> serial port) using Coreboot and AMD FT3B-LC.
>>>> I have the latest Coreboot sources, have set config accordingly (e.g.
>>>> CONFIG_MAINBOARD_SMBIOS_PRODUCT_NAME="DB-FT3b-LC"...), getting an
>>>> image on HDMI and the GRUB2 payload is executing.
>>>> In GRUB2 payload I seem to have an overflow issue possibly related to
>>>> the *vga_text* mode. If I put a proprietary AMI BIOS, GRUB2 works
>>>> without issue in gfxterm mode and boots Linux without issue.
>>>> Using Coreboot every time the screen gets full of text, GRUB2
>>>> re-executes. If I though set the terminal_output to cbmemc then commands
>>>> would execute but Linux still fails to execute - at the end GRUB2 would
>>>> Also the GRUB2 payload on Coreboot does see the drive/files and
>>>> attempts to execute - I looks like a GRUB2/Coreboot config/code problem.
>>>> I execute the below in GRUB2 (which work on AMI BIOS + GRUB2).
>>>> grub> set root=(hd0,gpt2)
>>>> grub> linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.13.0-29-generic root=/dev/sda2
>>>> grub> initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-29-generic
>>>> grub> boot
>>>> 1. Would anyone have any recommendation about the overflow in GRUB2
>>>> payload ? - related to Coreboot.
>>>> 2. Any suggestions on booting Linux given this board's limitations on
>>>> output (HDMI only) ?
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> coreboot mailing list: coreboot at coreboot.org
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