Open-Source Coreboot Port Working On A Retail Intel Alder Lake MSI Motherboard
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 12 April 2022 at 08:45 AM EDT. 44 Comments
COREBOOT --
When it comes to running open-source Coreboot on retail motherboards it's sadly mostly a matter of generations-old platforms like various AMD Opteron server motherboards, old ThinkPads, many generation old motherboards for out-of-date Intel CPUs, and other dated hardware. To much excitement, 3mdeb has been porting Coreboot and the Dasharo open-source firmware to the MSI PRO Z690-A (DDR4) motherboards... Yes, finally Coreboot on a retail and broadly available motherboard that's latest-generation!

Open-source firmware consulting firm 3mdeb announced today their work on bringing Coreboot and the Dasharo open-source firmware distribution to the MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 motherboard. Dasharo is the open-source firmware distribution being worked on by 3mdeb. This port is the first publicly available Coreboot port to a retail Alder Lake motherboard compared to the other Coreboot work to date being focused on Intel's reference platforms that aren't available in consumer channels.

A Dasharo binary release is expected soon with working display support, USB, and UEFI boot functionality for this particular motherboard.


MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4


They went on to note in today's announcement, "We looking for feedback from hardware enthusiasts, beta testers, and companies interested in open-source firmware for ADL-based hardware." 3mdeb is establishing a newsletter where they will be documenting more on their Alder Lake Coreboot port to this MSI motherboard. Presumably though this Coreboot port is still contingent upon the relevant Intel FSP binary blobs.

Even if stuck to still relying upon some Intel blobs for initialization, having a Coreboot spin working on a current-generation Intel platform with retail availability is very exciting. The MSI Z690-A PRO WiFi DDR4 motherboard can be found at retailers like Amazon (affiliate link) for about $225 USD. When the binary release of Dasharo is ready, I'll likely pick up a board for testing out this impressive feat.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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