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Coreboot Installation for T60, X60/X60s and X60 Tablet

Flashing Procedure (Easy Method)

Libreboot is not officially part of the coreboot project. Do not contact coreboot for support; instead, contact the libreboot community.

The Libreboot distribution, distributes pre-compiled ROM images along with scripts and instructions for easy flashing.

NOTE: If following libreboot flashing guides, make sure to follow the 'Advanced' procedure details below, if you want the option of re-flashing Lenovo BIOS at a later date.

Back up Official Lenovo BIOS (Libreboot scripts)

This BIOS image is unique to every motherboard. Do not use another laptop's BIOS image.

  1. Download, extract, and build the latest Libreboot binaries.
  2. From the libreboot_bin/ folder, enter the flashrom/ folder.
    cd flashrom
  3. Run both of these commands to backup the BIOS to factory.bin (don't panic, nothing is being installed):
    sudo ./flashrom_lenovobios_sst -p internal -r factory.bin
    sudo ./flashrom_lenovobios_macronix -p internal -r factory.bin
  4. If a factory.bin file was created in the flashrom/ folder, the Lenovo BIOS has been backed up successfully. If not, try the commands again. Copy this dump to a safe place.
  5. Return to the libreboot_bin/ folder.
    cd ..

Flashing Procedure (Advanced)

Lenovo X60, X60s, X60 tablet, T60 and T60p flashing instructions.

See Build HOWTO for how to build ROM images in coreboot.


  • The BUCTS register bit must be flipped before flashing Coreboot.
    • The bucts utility can be used to flip the bit.
    • This register bit doubles as a unique safety feature that allows the vendor BIOS and Coreboot to coexist.
    • Just unplug the CMOS battery to return to the vendor BIOS, in case Coreboot doesn't boot.
    • The Coreboot ROM has to be specially patched for this to work.
  • Some SPI Flash chips require special flashrom patches.
    • Flash chips can be identified by various commands (REMS*, RDID etc.). Some of them reply with an ID for the vendor and the exact chip model; others just reply with a single byte.
    • Unfortunately, the vendor BIOS forbids higher quality identification commands, so flashrom must be patched to use the lower quality opcodes.
    • This type of patch will never be merged upstream, so we must apply them manually.
  • You have to know the flashchip type beforehand (e.g. by visual inspection).
    • The Libreboot installation scripts have an ingenious method of identifying the flashchip: build two flashrom binaries, one for SST and one for Macronix.
    • Then run both of the binaries until you find one that works. Seems way too simple, but it's way better than ripping out the motherboard just to look at a chip.
  • List of known BIOS flashchips on the X60/T60:
    • SST25VF016B - Requires the SST patch.
    • MX25L1605D - Requires the Macronix patch.
    • Atmel ??? (no patching required) - Found only on a few T60 models.

Step 1: Patch Flashrom

You will need: the flashrom source (at least r1613 to make sure the laptops are whitelisted to work with flashrom), a small modification of it (as explained below in detail), the datasheet of your flash chip retrieve the right values for the modification, and the bucts utility.

  1. Patch flashrom to use RES SPI identification and spi_chip_write_1 for your flash chip, as well as change the flash chip model id to fit the RES opcode.
    • Find the definition of your flash chip in flashrom's flashchips.c
      • Optionally, you can copy the existing definition as it is done in this patch. This will allow to switch between the two definitions with the -c parameter. Be sure to change the .name field in that case (e.g. .name = "SST25VF016B-RES",).
    • Change the .probe field to probe_spi_resN where N equals the number of ID bytes the flash replies to the RES ID command (opcode 0xAB, look it up in the chip's datasheet) (e.g. .probe = probe_spi_res2, if the chip replies with one byte vendor ID and one byte model ID)
    • Change the .model_id field to the RES model ID given in the datasheet of the flash chip (e.g. .model_id = 0x14,)
    • Change the .write field to spi_chip_write_1 (i.e. .write = spi_chip_write_1,)

Step 2: Back up Official Lenovo BIOS (Libreboot scripts)

It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to back up the factory BIOS; each BIOS image is tied to a motherboard with a unique, unrecoverable ID. Do not use another laptop's BIOS image.

  1. Enter the flashrom/ folder.
    cd flashrom
  2. Run both of these commands to backup the BIOS to factory.bin (don't panic, nothing is being installed):
    sudo ./flashrom_lenovobios_sst -p internal -r factory.bin
    sudo ./flashrom_lenovobios_macronix -p internal -r factory.bin
  3. If a factory.bin file was created in the flashrom/ folder, the Lenovo BIOS has been backed up successfully. If not, try the commands again. Copy this dump to a safe place.
  4. Return to the libreboot_bin/ folder.
    cd ..

Step 3: Build the Coreboot ROM

See Build HOWTO for how to build ROM images in coreboot.

Step 4: Patch the Coreboot ROM

  1. Run dd if=coreboot.rom of=top64k.bin bs=1 skip=$[$(stat -c %s coreboot.rom) - 0x10000] count=64k
  2. Run dd if=coreboot.rom bs=1 skip=$[$(stat -c %s coreboot.rom) - 0x20000] count=64k | hexdump
    Verify that the complete range is filled with ff bytes before proceeding! The above command must output:
    0000000 ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff
    If this is not the case, the coreboot image needs to be rebuilt with the second-to-last 64kbyte block unused.
  3. Run dd if=top64k.bin of=coreboot.rom bs=1 seek=$[$(stat -c %s coreboot.rom) - 0x20000] count=64k conv=notrunc

Step 5: Install Coreboot

  1. Run bucts 1
  2. Run flashrom -p internal -w coreboot.rom
    This will be slow, it will output errors for addresses 0x0 and 0x1f0000 when working with a 2 Mbyte flash chip, and it will say "FAILED!" at the end, see Peter's mail before you panic.
  3. Power cycle the machine (i.e. a cold boot, not just a reboot), now starting with coreboot
  4. Revert all changes made to flashrom (maybe backup the binary for later experiments)
  5. Run flashrom -p internal -w coreboot.rom.
    This will successfully overwrite the entire flash chip, including the last 64k that were write protected with the factory BIOS.
  6. Run bucts 0

See also


If you had a bad flash you will need a recovery method.

The libreboot project has picture guides showing disassembly and external flashing instructions (these 3 links are to the libreboot project. Contact libreboot, *not* coreboot, for support):

The libreboot guides linked above are based on the information below from the coreboot project:

If you only set bucts, then rebooted without doing any flash writes, things might be easier: bucts sets a register that lives on the RTC well, ie. it is powered by the same source that keeps the clock alive. Usually that's a battery on the mainboard, and often there's some way to cut the source (by removing the battery, a jumper, or pads that can be shorted). After doing that (for a few seconds, there might be some capacitors in the way that keep power stable), the register should be reset and the system should boot as normal.

On the x60x, bucts issues might also be solved by "discarging RTC", which is done by pressing the power button 5 times for 10 seconds.

Required/advised hardware and informations


0. wire the pomona clip to a programmer that way:

From the #coreboot IRC Channel on FreeNode servers:

Oct 01 15:35:48 <CareBear\>     one important thing is that when you connect the clip to the X60 you should not connect all pins
Oct 01 15:36:22 <CareBear\>     only connect these pins: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Oct 01 15:37:21 <CareBear\>     also important: first connect charger to laptop, then connect the clip
Oct 01 17:49:41 <CareBear\>     GNUtoo-desktop : the mainboard must be powered off, but with the charger connected
Oct 01 17:50:39 <CareBear\>     um, that way there is no way anything will break
Oct 01 17:51:00 <CareBear\>     it is important not to connect 3v3 from the outside
Oct 01 17:51:39 <CareBear\>     because the correct power sequencing is not known, and if any other rail must come on before the standby 3v3 then the machine may well break when 3v3 is applied from the outside
Oct 01 17:52:48 <CareBear\>     it may also be fine - but it is unknown what happens
Oct 01 17:53:47 <CareBear\>     not supplying 3v3 from the outside is safer
Oct 01 17:54:25 <CareBear\>     and because the machine is powered off, there is no risk of the chipset accessing the flash chip

In another hand I didn't follow that and wired it without powering the mainboard(mainboard disconnected from power plug, no battery in) and with all pins and it worked...

  1. Disassemble carefully the laptop, the SO-8 chip is on the bottom of the mainboard...
  2. connect the pomona clip to the BIOS chip
  3. flash coreboot or the BIOS
  4. remount the laptop

See also In-System Programming

Coreboot standard configuration

  • It's now the default that when running SeaBios, that it (instead of coreboot) runs the VGA option rom.

See VGA_support for details on how to include the VGA BIOS image.

VBIOS replacement (native graphics)

The VGA option ROM (see above) is proprietary. Under devices in menuconfig, disable loading option ROM,s and enable 'Native graphics initialization'. Use the GRUB payload.

TODO: add notes here for how to patch coreboot for T60 native graphics (it's in libreboot already, or on 5345 on coreboot gerrit).

Recently tested revisions on the X60

See the most recent board-status submissions

970ad7076388b3ef98988121170df86196d493b4 coreboot-4.0-5534-g970ad70

8496c4dbec41b3a9284fc29b0dcd97fc8946223b coreboot-4.0-5045-g9bf05de

Recently tested revisions on the T60

See the most recent board-status submisssions

a172ea546992c3f6f6a99b4dbaabbdae4c959707 4.0-5611-ga172ea5

9bf05de5ab2842fc83cea8da5e9058417fc4bc24 4.0-5045-g9bf05de