IBM Monacle and PowerVM firmware updates

[…]Under the Hood of Power Firmware Maintenance

The Service Processor of the server is running an embedded operating system with complex power firmware applications running on it; one of which is an application responsible for handling code updates. […]



Talos FlexVer technology -vs- Evil Maids

Talos has a new post on their use of FPGAs on their OpenPower-based workstation.





OpenPOWER code added to FWTS

Deb McLemore of IBM has submitted multiple updates to FWTS, the FirmWare Test Suite, adding a lot more support for OpenPOWER OPAL firmware.

opal: pci_info: Add OPAL PCI Info validation
opal: mem_info: Add OPAL MEM Info validation
opal: cpu_info: Add OPAL CPU Info validation
devicetree: dt_sysinfo: Add OPAL firmware version checks
olog: olog.json: Update OPAL skiboot errors to check on olog scan

There is a lot of useful diagnostic information in this code, example:
“You are running in manufacturing mode. This mode should only be enabled in a factory during manufacturing.”

More information:


Stewart on compiling your IBM S822LC’s firmware

Stewart Smith of IBM has a new blog post on how to compile your own firmware for the OpenPOWER-based IBM S822LC:

[…] IBM (my employer) recently announced  the new S822LC for HPC POWER8+NVLINK NVIDIA P100 GPUs server. The “For HPC” suffix on the model number is significant, as the S822LC is a different machine. What makes the “for HPC” variant different is that the POWER8 CPU has (in addition to PCIe), logic for NVLink to connect the CPU to NVIDIA GPUs.[…]

Compiling your own firmware for the S822LC for HPC


Talos Secure Workstation: coreboot + POWER8

New potential product on CrowdSupply with a NICE set of features (…and I wonder how secure it will be):

* Blob-free operation
* Fully libre (open-source) IBM OPAL primary firmware w/ PetitBoot interface
* Fully libre (open-source) OpenBMC secondary (IPMI / OoBM) firmware
* NO signing keys preventing firmware modification



fuzzing OpenPOWER firmware

Stewart Smith of IBM has an interesting new blog post about using afl to fuzz OpenPOWER’s firmware:

Fuzzing Firmware – afl-fuzz + skiboot


coreboot 4.4 released!

coreboot version 4.4 has been released, which includes 850 commits by 90 authors added 59000 lines to the codebase since their last quarterly release. This release includes OpenPOWER support and experimental U-Boot payload support. It also has an Intel ME tool which is new (at least to me). There are many other changes, excerpting their announcement:

Significant changes:
* Build system (30 commits) – Add postcar stage, ‘timeless’ builds, extend site-local, test toolchain by version string, update dependencies, catch ACPI errors, l add additional macros.
* Toolchain updates (40+ patches) – Update IASL to v20160318 , LLVM to v3.7.1, add GNU make, add nds32le GCC compiler
* Lint tools (30 patches) – Update existing lint utilities, add lint tests for executable bit, make sure site-local isn’t committed, add test to break all lint tests.
* Payloads (60 commits) – Fixes for libpayload, coreinfo and nvramcui, add new payloads, see below.
* Maintainers file – (8 patches) – continue adding maintainers for various areas.
* Documentation for adding Intel FSP-based platforms (20 commits)

New architectures:
* power8
* qemu-power8

New payloads:
* depthcharge: For ChromeOS verified boot
* iPXE: For network booting
* Memtest86+: Updated with fixes for correctly testing coreboot with payloads
* U-Boot (Experimental): Alternate payload for booting an OS

New/updated mainboards:
* asus/kcma-d8
* emulation/qemu-power8
* google/auron_paine
* google/gru
* intel/amenia
* intel/apollolake_rvp
* intel/camelbackmountain_fsp
* intel/galileo
* lenovo/t420
* asus/kgpe-d16
* google/oak
* google/chell
* intel/kunimitsu

New/updated socs:
* intel/apollolake
* intel/fsp_broadwell_de
* intel/quark
* marvell/armada38x
* rockchip/rk3399
* cpuamd/mct_ddr3
* drivers/intel/fsp2_0
* northbridge/intel/sandybridge/raminit
* soc/intel/apollolake
* soc/intel/fsp_baytrail
* soc/intel/skylake
* soc/mediatek/mt8173

New vendorcode directories:
* siemens

New/updated submodules:
* chromeec
* 3rdparty/arm-trusted-firmware (329 commits)
* 3rdparty/vboot (28 commits)
* util/nvidia/cbootimage (13 commits)

New/updated Utilities:
* archive – Concatenates files into a single blob with an indexed header
* chromeos – Download and extract blobs from a ChromeOS image
* futility – vboot Firmware utility
* intelmetool – Shows information about the Intel ME on a platform.
* marvell/doimage_mv – No usage notes
* post – Simple utility to test post cards

Full announcement: