[coreboot] How coreboot cooperate with other "bioses"

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Sun Nov 9 19:26:00 CET 2008

Hi Michael,

Michal Widlok wrote:
> I am thinking about trying coreboot on a server (dell 2850) and
> after reading of some manuals I fall into doubts. My question is
> how coreboot work with other bioses / firmwares that are usually
> presented on a server boards? For example on my PE2850 I can see
> messages (during boot-up) from: 1) Original Bios, 2) RAID
> controller, 3) BMC controller, 4) Backplane 1, 5) Backplane 2, 6)
> IPMI. Some of them (BMC, Raid, Backplane) can be even upgraded from
> OS or boot disk. Also some of them have a setup screen similar to
> original Bios, that can be accessed by special key press.
>  How coreboot will handle them?

Short answer: It won't.

It can be made to call the ROMs for initialization, but I don't think
it does so by default on any board.

I guess RAID would be the minimum to have a usable system. I would
start there. I know that RAID ROMs have been done.

FWIW I also have a 2850, just that mine is in production. I could
do occasional testing on it.

> Next problem is that I am not sure how to find Bios flash memory on
> mainboard. The are about  3 candidates  (flash chips with stickers),
> however they are all very similar - how to pick the right one?

Can you read the part numbers off the chips?

> I never though about coreboot before, however some time ago I have
> seen a Work In Progress for dell 1850 (very similar to mine)

Are they really similar?

> Was coreboot really installed on this dell? If yes then how
> physically it was done?

I think the flash chip was desoldered and programmed externally. I'm
not sure.


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