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


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


OpenPOWER firmware update from Stewart

Stewart Smith has a new blog post about OpenPOWER, focusing on firmware development community changes, including comments on OpenBMC and other projects. As well, apparently now non-IBM developers can now contribute to OpenPOWER firmware, as someone from Foxconn.com has recently done, which sounds like an improvement.


OpenPOWER, OpenCompute and fostering a firmware development community


Stewart Smith on OpenPOWER firmware

Stewart Smith of IBM posted a new blog entry, announcing availability of the video of his recent OpenPOWER firmware talk at LinuxConf.AU:

In mid 2014, IBM released the first POWER8 based systems with the new Free and Open Source OPAL firmware. Since then, several members of the OpenPower foundation have produced (or are currently producing) machines based on the POWER8 processor with the OPAL firmware. This talk will cover the POWER8 chip with an open source firmware stack and how it all fits together. We will walk through all of the firmware components and what they do, including the boot sequence from power being applied up to booting an operating system. We’ll delve into:
– the time before you have RAM
– the time before you have thermal management
– the time before you have PCI
– runtime processor diagnostics and repair
– the bootloader (and extending it)
– building and flashing your own firmware
– using a simulator instead
– the firmware interface that Linux talks to
– device tree and OPAL calls
– fun in firmware QA and testing

My linux.conf.au 2016 talk “Adventures in OpenPower Firmware” is up!


OpenPOWER architecture platform reference doc available

Stewart Smith posted information about public availability of the OpenPOWER Foundation’s PAPR (Power Architecture Platform Reference) document:

PAPR is the Power Architecture Platform Reference document. It’s a short read at only 890 pages and defines the virtualised environment that guests run in on PowerKVM and PowerVM (i.e. what is referred to as ‘pseries’ platform in the Linux kernel). As part of the OpenPower Foundation, we’re looking at ensuring this is up to date, documents KVM specific things as well as splitting out the bits that are common to OPAL and PAPR into their own documents.

Blog URL:

Document URL:

The document appears to be dated March 2015. There are lots of ‘firmware’ references in it! I couldn’t find any other information about this document from the openpowerfoundation.org web site. However, there are two other OpenPOWER specs under public review, due mid-month:


Running OpenPOWER firmware with QEMU

I’ve not had a chance to learn OpenPOWER’s firmware yet. Luckily, Stewart Smith blogs on this topic, so we can learn from him. He just posted two new articles on OpenPOWER, the second one is useful for newbies like me, getting started with OpenPOWER.  🙂