[coreboot] Builing Coreboot

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Mon Jun 1 01:43:53 CEST 2009

Hi Ben,

On 01.06.2009 01:27, audiossis at netspace.net.au wrote:
> I'm new to the Coreboot project.


> I am an experienced electronics technician, so 
> desoldering and burning flash chips is second nature to me, but I'm not a 
> programmer so please forgive me if this seems like a silly question.

There are no silly questions.

> My target system is a Clevo laptop with an Intel 82855PM/GM northbridge and an 
> 82801DB(ICH-4m) south bridge. Both of these chips are listed on the supported 
> chipsets page (albeit I understand that the 82855PM/GM is still a work in 
> progress).

There's one problem with your target system: It's a laptop. Laptops have
embedded controllers and those are _very_ hairy to deal with because
they are usually undocumented and talking with them in unexpected ways
can even turn off the machine or wreak other havoc.

> My question is, do I have to set any build flags or edit any configuration 
> files before building Coreboot, to support these chips? Or does Coreboot 
> support every device on the supported chipsets page "out of the box" so to 
> speak?

Due to size constraints in today's flash chips, adding support for
multiple chipsets (or even multiple mainboards with the same chipset) is
almost infeasible.
That's why coreboot has "targets" which are configurations specifying
the exact chipset and each oddball mainboard setting. A target not
exactly matching your mainboard is very unlikely to work.

> I know that I have to edit a configuration file to specify the payload I wish 
> to use, but I cannot find anything that tells me wether or not I have to 
> configure Coreboot for the specific chipset on the target mainboard.

There are a few build tutorials in our wiki for various boards and I
hope some of them can give you an insight into how building a particular
target works.

> I'm keen to help out even if only by testing on different platforms.

We're a team consisting of hardware specialists and software specialists
and a few of us specialize in both. I hope you feel welcome and stick
around. We have plenty of exciting projects which can use help from
electronics specialists like you.



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