coreboot is open source firmware for computer architecture including IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7, ARMv8, MIPS, RISC-V, POWER8 platforms. Originally called LinuxBIOS coreboot is a replacement for proprietary system firmware that is shipped on most PCs/laptops today. coreboot is a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy.
coreboot – Fast, secure and flexible OpenSource firmware
coreboot is an extended firmware platform that delivers a lightning fast and secure boot experience on modern computers and embedded systems. As an Open Source project it provides auditability and maximum control over technology. coreboot is a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy.
- Open Source – coreboot is built on the principles of Open Source Software. Many of the engineers working on coreboot have also worked on the Linux kernel. Instead of keeping improvements to one system a secret from all other vendors, in coreboot, these improvements are shared across the board, providing end users with a much better, much more stable firmware.
- Flexibility – The primary flexibility that coreboot offers is through the use of different payloads. We support legacy OS boot through SeaBIOS, network boot with an integrated iPXE ROM, or the latest UEFI payload. Customized payloads can be created using the BSD licensed libpayload toolkit.
- Also, with coreboot, you can do things like easily add your own boot splash screen in jpg format. You can boot so fast that there’s not even time to show a splash screen. You can get a debug console showing your boot log over serial ports, USB, the SPI bus, or even using the PC speaker. Or you can boot quickly and just retrieve the entire boot log once your operating system is up and running.
- Security – coreboot comes with a minimal Trusted Computing Base which reduces the general attack surface. It also supports a secure boot process called VBOOT2. It’s written in MISRA-C standard and provides other languages like Ada for formal verification of special properties. Also the use of platform features like IOMMU, flash protections and deactivated SMM mode increases the security as well.
- Safety – coreboot engineers have worked on many safety critical software projects. The architecture of coreboot is designed to have an unbrickable update process. Updating firmware should be no more dangerous than installing your favorite app on your mobile phone.
- Performance – coreboot is designed to boot quickly. For desktops and laptop machines, it can frequently boot to the start of the operating system in under a second. For servers, it can cut minutes off of the boot time. Some vendors have demonstrated a decrease in boot time by more than 70% when compared to the OEM BIOS.
Next Open Source Tuesday will feature the Geany project.