[coreboot] Dell R610 Support

Taiidan at gmx.com Taiidan at gmx.com
Tue Dec 11 22:28:05 CET 2018

On 12/11/2018 04:29 AM, Nico Huber wrote:
> Hello Ed,
>> I just started looking into adding support for the dell r610.
> I really don't want to discourage you, but if I'm looking at the correct
> datasheet, this machine is using Nehalem/Westmere EP processors (e.g.
> Xeon X5550 etc.). If that is the case, this is no project suited for a
> coreboot beginner: It's unlikely that Intel would give out any useful
> documentation about these processors and there is no platform alike
> (i.e. with QPI) in coreboot. Reverse engineering is possible, but as a
> spare-time project this could take years.
> Maybe you can find another system that fits your workloads and already
> has some coreboot chipset support. Though, on the Intel server front
> it's not looking very good. Intel fought hard to keep these platforms
> coreboot free.

Agreed - It is also an old platform without SLAT (hence no qubes) and it
has intels bad first gen IOMMU that doesn't have interrupt support.

IMO buy a KGPE-D16/KCMA-D8 if you want something to use as a daily
driver that doesn't cost too much money or effort and is a good example
of coreboot.

If you wish to port a board I would suggest to obtain another AMD fam15h
system of which I have some suggestions for - the easiest port is the
KCMR-D12 which is the KCMA-D8's E-ATX bigger brother. Otherwise I would
choose something still obtainable and well designed (ie: dual
northbridge so more pci-e slots and lanes) such as the TYAN socket C32
boards or the supermicro C32 LN4F/SAS boards which have onboard i350
quad port nic and a LSI SAS 2008 controller preferably a board with an
AST-2050 so that it could theoretically have OpenBMC ported to it.

x86 is a dead platform when it comes to freedom firmware though since
AMD stopped releasing everything along with taking AGESA closed source
and intel now only releases the fsp binary blob which performs all the
hardware initiation making coreboot not much more than a wrapper layer
for FSP.
OpenPOWER (from RaptorCS) and RISC-V (from SiFive) are the future since
open source firmware comes standard from the factory and they are the
only owner controlled archs now.

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