Coreboot runs for the first time on modern server platform

The mascot of Coreboot is a hare.
The mascot of Coreboot is a hare.

The free firmware Coreboot runs on Supermicro’s X11SSH-TF server platform, as port-based company 9 Elements writes on its blog. According to the announcement, this is the first porting of Coreboot to a modern server platform. Currently, the main purpose of Coreboot is to use it as firmware in Google’s Chromebooks. In addition, there are some community-based porting techniques to mostly older hardware.

Supermicro servers now also available with Coreboot support Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 v6 aka Kabylake-DT as the CPU. Both the processors and the server boards are still commercially available and supported by the manufacturers. For the coreboot support of this platform, the development team has implemented many different components.

This includes the support for the Inteltool, with which registers of the CPU can be read. Also supported are TPM 1.2 and 2.0, as well as the so-called Verified Boot and Measured Boot, which can be used to verify the integrity of the system at startup. The port also includes BMC and Super I / O drivers for the AST 2400 from Aspeed. An IPMI driver for remote maintenance is also available.

The coreboot port was commissioned by the VPN provider Mullvad, which describes not only the use of open source software, but in particular of open source firmware as part of its vision of transparent and independently verifiable servers. The provider Mullvad criticized in his blog but also that for the launch of the server still proprietary firmware parts of the CPU manufacturer Intel or AMD are necessary.