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February 26, 2024

Libreboot Open-Source BIOS/UEFI Firmware Expands its Hardware Support

Today, Leah Rowe introduced a new version (20240225) of the Libreboot open-source and free alternative to BIOS/UEFI firmware, which includes expanded hardware compatibility and other enhancements.

The latest version of Libreboot, 20240225, comes roughly a month after its predecessor and is another “testing” version that should be used solely by those who are confident enough to switch out their proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware for an Open Source one. A stable Libreboot update is expected to be available in June or July 2024.

This update also extends support for new mainboards, including the HP EliteBook 8560w (MXM handling in SeaBIOS included), Dell Latitude E5520, Dell Latitude E5530, Dell Latitude E6520, Dell Latitude E6420, Dell OptiPlex 9020/7020 SFF (with XE2 SFF), and Dell OptiPlex 9020/7020 MT (together with XE2 MT), the latter of which has been tested with both Haswell and Broadwell MRCs.

Another substantial update in the Libreboot 20240225 release that will enhance future hardware support is the substitution of flashrom with flashprog software as a tool for identifying, reading, writing, verifying, and erasing flash chips. To flash BIOS/UEFI firmware images on mainboards, Libreboot employs flashprog.

“This is the first Libreboot release to include flashprog sources, instead of flashrom. Moving forward, we will not be providing support for flashrom. Only flashprog. Libreboot’s distribution of flashprog also includes the macronix workaround (useful when externally flashing the ThinkPad X200),” said Leah Rowe.

This release also updates the pico-serprog utility to support controlling multiple chip-selects, allowing you to set unused chip-selects high, which might come in handy when flashing externally on an Intel IFD-based system where the two flashes are connected, but without resistors between the shared data lines.

Last but not least, the developers have updated the U-Boot release script to support generating standalone U-Boot source archives (e.g. ./update release -m u-boot). Various issues were addressed as well, so check out the release notes for more details. Libreboot 20240225 is available for download from the official website.

Last updated 6 mins ago

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