[coreboot] Your Opinion: The Best Board for coreboot ?

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Thu Mar 19 20:39:17 CET 2009

Hi Robert,

On 19.03.2009 19:58, Robert Vogel wrote:
> Hi Carl-Daniel,
> I'm just looking for a simple desktop solution that has as few
> 'closed' components as possible.
> Enough so that it can be more trustworthy.
> Last year I wrote the related page, so it isn't up to date. Correct me
> on the points that bother you though
> and I'll fix it.

Sorry, no offense intended.

Here is the (incomplete) list of errors in the BIOS section.

> I am not aware of single motherboard manufacturer that offers an open
> source BIOS.

Tyan offers boards with coreboot. Silicon Mechanics offers boards with
coreboot (though not necessarily boards manufactured by them).

> The most likely vendors (Tyan and Giga) have no interest in allowing a
> substitute BIOS.

See above.

> The Free Software Foundation is working on it 


> It is not practical, right now, for a personal computer.

Works for quite a few boards in the consumer range.

> The Free Software Foundation has listed motherboards
> <http://linuxbios.org/index.php/Supported_Motherboards> [11]

No, it's the coreboot project/group. The FSF has nothing to do with it.

> It has two Free & Open Source BIOS: One, thanks to AMD engineer
> Yinghai Lu who released GPL-licensed code, and the other is from
> *LinuxBIOS*, a Free Software project.

Really? Yinghai contributed his code to coreboot. Only one implementation.

> The modifications and determination of payload are, I think, challenging.

It depends on what you want. SeaBIOS is pretty much what everyone wants

> The FSF page makes this quite clear.

coreboot, not FSF.

> It comes in about 4 different forms, one with SPI.

No. Two with SPI.

> LinuxBIOS runs on many embedded boards, for example the [...] OLPC
> "XO" laptop ([6] laptop.org) .

No longer on the OLPC.

> My question remains, which 64-bit, coreboot board would be best for a
> fully functional desktop ?

The Asus M2V-MX SE. It even works without a video BIOS, giving you
probably the most free solution with integrated graphics and 64bit.

> Would you expect trouble with it ?

No board is completely tested. There will always be some corner case
that is untested and/or not working yet. That even applies to
proprietary BIOS.

If you have no way to recover from a bad flash, you should not reflash
or update any BIOS, regardless of whether it is open source or not.


P.S. RMS thinks a closed source BIOS is OK as long as it is stored in a
real non-reflashable ROM because it is no longer software but hardware.


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