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A Dream Come True: Running Coreboot On A Modern, Retail Desktop Motherboard

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  • #21
    While I am very happy that more open source firmware is ported to other platforms, sadly speaking what 3emdeb did with Dasharo is not helpful to coreboot community at all, more like taking advantage of other’s hard works and milk out of it. Instead of getting the patches merged into coreboot.org, 3emdeb hosted their own repo and wrap it around under Dasharo flag.. coreboot would have died long ago if everyone did the similar way. Wish to see more contributions from them on coreboot or else the community should do something about it.

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    • #22
      Dear Phoronix Community,
      I'm Piotr Król CEO of 3mdeb. I would like to thank Michael for taking the time and testing Dasharo. As I mentioned in other post, we (3mdeb) would like to make this board as attractive to whole community as possible, that's why your feedback is very important to us.

      I will try to get through all posts and reply to all concerns.
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      • #23
        Originally posted by Espionage724 View Post
        I bought an ASUS KCMA-D8 motherboard a few years ago specifically for running Coreboot on it! It was an interesting experience; was my first time dealing with multi-socket and NUMA as well.
        Congratulations Guest for entering the land of trustworthy hardware. World changed a lot since KCMA-D8, but we're still trying to revive KGPE-D16 firmware and reupstream it. In ideal situation we would like to make regular releases, but we will see if we can succeed with that goal. We also look for partners that would be interested in selling KGPE-D16 with Dasharo, and we hope to enable it also for KCMA-D8.
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        • #24
          Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
          I'm not sure if I'd call an Intel motherboard a "dream", more like a specific type of dream, like the ones when you go to school naked or all your teeth fall out.
          Ironmask what would be your dream? RISC-V? POWER? x86 is considered harmful, but this is majority of the market and not much we can do about that. Here I explain our position about AMD.
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          • #25
            Originally posted by rabcor View Post
            So it gives you worse overall performance but not by that much, and outperforms the proprietary default in some cases. Good enough to be worth using in some cases.
            Thank you rabcor , later in this thread JacekJagosz is correct we follow Intel recommended defaults and JEDEC specs for memory configuration. With v1.0.0 we were more concerned about compatibility and feature completeness than performance optimization.

            Dasharo open-source firmware distribution has way different capabilities regarding optimization. First because we want to listen community (not every vendor does) and we have source code that anyone can freely modify or work with us to make it better. Second, because over the years we were able to build relation with silicon vendors gaining access to documentation, support channels and even source code of critical components (at this point without right of redistributing it in source form, just binary). Third Dasharo can be supported way longer than typical vendor lifecycle and even if 3mdeb somehow will end its existence you can take code and maintain it yourself or pay someone for that. Finally, because we made that move nobody has to repeat our mistakes because things can be built on top of code which we right now upstreaming to coreboot.

            With your support we can deliver even more platforms. Of course, it would not be possible with we will not be able to create working business model. What we hope is that you will let us know if we're going in good direction with Dasharo.
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            • #26
              Originally posted by ferrellsl View Post
              Serious question. So what's the use-case for this board after installing Coreboot? A ChromeOS dev system?
              There are many use cases for trustworthy systems. Key thing would be potential of continues improvement which is not always provided by vendors.
              • In case of OS selection you can use any UEFI-compatible OS (including Windows and BSD) - AFAIK Chrome OS is not UEFI-compatible and there is no plan for it. Of course if one would replace UEFI part of Dasharo maybe Chrome OS also would work. First tester was from Qubes OS community.
              • With some knowledge or help you can fuse system to your keys using Intel Boot Guard - in that way whole platform could be tied to your keys and no component in the system could be changed without your signature. This is to some extent simplification, but in general you can lock this platform to your signatures.
              • Further work on power management and clocks could create very performant gaming rig because of way bigger flexibility provided by having source code.
              • Thanks to open-source nature we can think about optimization targeted for given workload.
              • There is potential for delivering firmware level features like system backup and recovery.
              • Some use this kind of workstations to create continues integration for their software. Trustworthy firmware helps in keeping platform secure.
              • There are users who are concerned about their privacy because of the nature of business they work, environment or geolocation. Of course, it really depends on one threat model, but we limited blobs to minimum for modern Intel hardware.
              Finally, by buying open-source firmware based platform you give signal to vendors transparency and trustworthiness is important what eventually will lead to industry change.
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              • #27
                Originally posted by Tokogawa San View Post
                While I am very happy that more open source firmware is ported to other platforms, sadly speaking what 3emdeb did with Dasharo is not helpful to coreboot community at all, more like taking advantage of other’s hard works and milk out of it. Instead of getting the patches merged into coreboot.org, 3emdeb hosted their own repo and wrap it around under Dasharo flag.. coreboot would have died long ago if everyone did the similar way. Wish to see more contributions from them on coreboot or else the community should do something about it.
                Tokogawa San we would appreciate your support in reviewing our patches related to MSI and Intel Adler Lake S. You can find those here. It's around 6k lines of C code which we validated.
                We are always available for discussion about our practices in public during official coreboot leadership calls. Feel free to add item to agenda, and we would be glad to discuss your concerns live.

                I would like to understand better your motivation for writing such posts and help you understand that we want no harm to open-source firmware community. For example here is work in progress documentation in which I'm trying to explain why Dasharo was created.

                Dasharo is open-source firmware distribution. Please think about it as something similar to what Debian/Ubuntu/Red Hat is for Linux.
                twitter | linkedin

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by intelfx View Post

                  Yeah I know about clock management and turbo boost. You'd think all of it was managed by the closed-source blob.
                  Responsibility is spread around firmware components. Part of components are in closed-source blob, which have to be closed for end user distribution, but may be available to firmware vendor. There are also many ways of tweaking blobs like Firmware Support Package (FSP). So we believe obtaining the same performance is definitely possible, but it was not our goal for v1.0.0. We care about your review, testing, hardware compatibility and bug fixes. Performance is important but for that we need more support.

                  Please know we are not hardware vendor earning on selling those boards, we are open-source firmware vendor trying to change industry and prove open-source firmware can be better than proprietary components. What we published is first step.
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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by hax0r View Post
                    Anybody knows if these Coreboot ports to newer motherboards allow you to set/run X.M.P memory profile?
                    No, that feature is not implemented. We have Github issue tracking implementation of XMP - feel free to join discussion and vote for the features.
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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      I presume most advanced features of the original ROM are lost, including intelligent fan management, wake on LAN, SMART monitoring, etc.
                      No, those features are not lost. There are Dasharo based devices on the market that work with Wake On Lan and Fan Management. For now, we test basic set of features. Test results can be found here, but would be glad to extend that list of features including one you mentioned. Unfortunately we are 24 employees company at the moment, where MSI has over 2500 employees. There is quite a difference between capabilities we have and major players. Considering that, as CEO, I have to say we have great team achieving wonderful results assuming resources we have.

                      If adding above features will make this platform better we will try to find resource to make it happen.

                      Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      Oh, and I'm almost sure Secure Boot doesn't work with this ROM either.
                      Not only UEFI Secure Boot works, but also Measured Boot and Verified Boot. Please check test results.

                      Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      Still a nice achievement considering in the past this ROM supported only 10 year old motherboards.
                      Thank you, despite open-source firmware for quite some time supports modern hardware - e.g. NovaCustom laptops, Protectli firewalls, all Chromebooks.
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