This repository contain documentation and scripts that aim to help PC Engines apuX platform users and developers to customize firmware to their needs.
- Repository structure
- Versioning scheme change
- Feature/bug fix development
- Steps for new release
- Using iPXE
This repository aims to gather all debug notes and documentation related to PC Engines apu1/2/3/4/5 firmware and hardware. Structure of the repository:
- configs - directory with kernel configs used in 3mdeb pxe-server for validation purposes
- docs - overall directory with documents
- ipxe - iPXE scripts, headers and configuration files used in old build system
- scripts - BASH scripts used in the old build system
CPU Boost - document briefly describes what the Core Performance Boost is and how to verify it works in BIOS and operating system.
Fast Boot - document describing research for Fast Boot path for apu boards. The Fast Boot was intended to restore memory configuration from non-volatile storage and reduce the boot time of the platform. You will find the issues and limitations which did not allow to implement the feature.
ROCA - document describing ROCA TPM vulnerablity status and verification on TPM1a module form PC Engines.
APU mPCIe capabilities - list of all signals and interfaces present on mPCIe connectors for apu2/3/4 boards. The document also describes possible usage of the slots.
Cold reset - document describing reset types for the platform.
Firmware flashing - document describes how to flash new firmware for apu2 board on various operating systems. Also there is a description how to safely reboot the platform after a firmware update.
Microcode patching - a guide how to apply a microcode patch on the firmware level by building a custom firmware image.
mPCIe modules - list of supported and tested WiFi and LTE modules. The document also describes issues with certain modules and possible solutions/workarounds.
pfSense installation guide - as in the title
PXELINUX configuration - documents describing possible solutions when experiencing problems with PXELINUX on apu boards.
Old build system procedure (deprecated) - document describing build procedure for older PC Engines firmware releases. It is deprecated, do not use unless You want to build old binaries.
COM2 serial console - a practical guide how to build a firmware binary with native COM2 console support. If You want to use full RS232 COM1 port for other purposes, read the document how to change the main console port.
TPM menu - document describes the usage of TPM configuration menu in SeaBIOS.
TPM pin mapping - document showing the TPM1a module pinout. It may be useful for users that would like to connect the TPM1a module to boards other than apu2.
VBOOT HOWTO - document describing how to build a coreboot image with vboot support and measured boot mode
coreboot with Tianocore payload - document describes how to build a coreboot image with Tianocore payload
GPIO guide - quick guide how to manipulate GPIOs from Linux sysfs
Order of PCI addresses - Describes how PCIe devices are being numbered on APU, and how it can be changed.
You may also find many other documents out there, but we have listed only the most useful. Other are mostly developers notes which may not be that interesting.
Versioning scheme change
v18.104.22.168 we changed versioning scheme skipping coreboot
Why we changed versioning scheme?
In recent version coreboot community introduced tag
v4.8.1 this breaks our
previous versioning scheme which was
z was PC Engines fork
patch number. Because 3rd digit was already taken by coreboot tag this breaks
our versioning scheme. As a result we start to use new versioning scheme
w will be PC Engines fork patch number as always for each
new release counted from 0.
Why we skipped coreboot 4.7?
If you take a look at coreboot tag dates:
refs/tags/4.6 Sun Apr 30 19:48:38 2017 -0600 refs/tags/4.7 Mon Jan 15 00:57:04 2018 +0000 refs/tags/4.8 Tue May 15 17:40:15 2018 +0000 refs/tags/4.8.1 Wed May 16 19:07:34 2018 +0000
After release of 4.7 we simply didn't have enough time to adjust to 4.7 before 4.8 popped up. Please note that coreboot releases are just arbitrary points in time, so trying to follow mainline in each release may make more sense, but requires decent testing.
All information about firmware releases (including changes, fixes and known issues) are available on the PC Engines Github site pcengines.github.io.
All the newest binaries can be found there.
Also please take a look at changelogs:
Building firmware using PC Engines firmware builder
Since releases v4.6.10 and v4.0.17 build process has been simplified. PC Engines firmware builder is a dedicated tool to build fully featured apu firmware binaries using separated docker environment. It provides users-friendly scripts that allow to build release and custom binaries. For more information and usage details please visit: pce-fw-builder.
For releases older than v4.0.17 and v4.6.10 use the procedure described in this document
master- keeps track of coreboot's master branch
release- where all releases are merged
develop- where current development takes place periodically synced with coreboot master
rel_x.y.z.w- release branches, where:
xis coreboot major version
yis coreboot minor version
zis coreboot patch number
wis PC Engines firmware fork patch number counted from
feature_branch- sample feature branch name for workflow explanation needs
Feature/bug fix development
We are in favor of Test Driven Bug Fixing (TDBF).
- Create automated test that validate feature or reproduce bug - test fails at this point
coreboot's master branchto
- Create new branch
- Commit changes to
- Run regression tests and fix bugs - test written in point 1 should pass at this point
- Submit PR to
Steps for new release
- Checkout new branch
rel_x.y.z.wfrom recent commit on
- Merge current
- End of month we close merge window
- Perform automated regression testing on
rel_x.y.z.wincluding all new tests
- Fix all required issues and repeat point 4 until fixed - this doesn't mean all tests pass, this mean that approved set passed
- If results are accepted merge it to
- Add tag, which should trigger CI and publish binaries
- Merge release branch to develop
This option assume that your apuX is in the same networks as your PC. Your PC in this case is used as HTTP and NFS server, which will be utilized to boot apuX over iPXE.
git clone https://github.com/3mdeb/pxe-server.git cd pxe-server NFS_SRV_IP=<your_ip> ./init.sh ./start.sh
Please note that you may have NFS server running on host what leads to ports conflicts.
After starting NFS and HTTP you can boot apuX. Please enable network booting using sortbootorder.
iPXE> ifconf net0 iPXE> dhcp net0 iPXE> chain http://<your_ip>:8000/menu.ipxe
Debian stable netboot 4.14.y after boot login (
for apu2/3/4/5 run:
flashrom -p internal -w apuX_x.y.z.rom
flashrom command line looks like that:
flashrom -p internal -w apu1_x.y.z.rom -c MX25L1605A/MX25L1606E/MX25L1608E
A full power cycle is required after flashing. See firmware_flashing.md for a workaround when this is not possible (e.g. when upgrading remotely).
Some binaries may need
boardmismatch=force flashrom option because of SMBIOS
table issue we had in old releases. Please double check you flashing correct
binary before forcing.
Feel free to send pull request if you find bugs, typos or will have issues with provided procedures.