[coreboot] Expresscard Booting Support

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Fri Jan 15 20:59:56 CET 2010

n. prince wrote:
> Can Coreboot support multiple PCMCIA ExpressCards like an 8 raid
> setup.

An ExpressCard slot has one PCIe and one USB connection. Many cheap
cards only use USB. Using the FILO payload it's possible to load a
kernel from USB. FILO does not support RAID. Using Linux as payload
it will probably work completely automatically.

> Will it support hot swap, hot plug-n-play and auto-configuration.

Linux as payload, yes. FILO, no. But what do you want to hotplug
during boot?

> Will it enable booting an OS from an Expresscard.

See above, both Linux and FILO can do this.

> Will it support advance Expresscard support.

By this I suppose you mean the PCIe interface. The ExpressCard should
look like any other PCIe and if there is a card plugged in then
coreboot should enumerate it, and FILO should be able to see a
controller. Hotplugging is not supported by coreboot and FILO. That
means that a PCIe card must be plugged in before coreboot enumerates
the PCIe. (Usually a few 100 ms after power on.) I don't think we
have seen coreboot run on a system with ExpressCard yet however, so
this is just the theory of how it should work. If you can send debug
output from a system with coreboot and ExpressCard that would be

> All other Bios Firmware makers are way behind in supporting the
> most underrated and versatile computer I/O known to man. Can
> coreboot be configured for this support or does it already support
> those feature?

Remember that coreboot never loads the operating system - that is the
job of the payload. coreboot initializes all PCIe devices, and should
also initialize those in an ExpressCard slot (they are not different
from any other PCIe) but ultimately what can be used to load an
operating system depends on the payload.

With Linux as the payload you have a very complete device driver
stack that you can use to boot your system.


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