coreboot is a Free Software project aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS
(firmware) found in most computers. coreboot performs a little bit of
hardware initialization and then executes additional boot logic, called a
With the separation of hardware initialization and later boot logic,
coreboot can scale from specialized applications that run directly
firmware, run operating systems in flash, load custom
bootloaders, or implement firmware standards, like PC BIOS services or
UEFI. This allows for systems to only include the features necessary
in the target application, reducing the amount of code and flash space
coreboot was formerly known as LinuxBIOS.
After the basic initialization of the hardware has been performed, any
desired "payload" can be started by coreboot.
See https://www.coreboot.org/Payloads for a list of supported payloads.
coreboot supports a wide range of chipsets, devices, and mainboards.
For details please consult:
- gcc / g++
Because Linux distribution compilers tend to use lots of patches. coreboot
does lots of "unusual" things in its build system, some of which break due
to those patches, sometimes by gcc aborting, sometimes - and that's worse -
by generating broken object code.
Two options: use our toolchain (eg. make crosstools-i386) or enable the
ANY_TOOLCHAINKconfig option if you're feeling lucky (no support in this
- iasl (for targets with ACPI support)
- libssl-dev (openssl)
- doxygen (for generating/viewing documentation)
- gdb (for better debugging facilities on some targets)
- ncurses (for
- flex and bison (for regenerating parsers)
Please consult https://www.coreboot.org/Build_HOWTO for details.
Testing coreboot Without Modifying Your Hardware
If you want to test coreboot without any risks before you really decide
to use it on your hardware, you can use the QEMU system emulator to run
coreboot virtually in QEMU.
Please see https://www.coreboot.org/QEMU for details.
Website and Mailing List
Further details on the project, a FAQ, many HOWTOs, news, development
guidelines and more can be found on the coreboot website:
You can contact us directly on the coreboot mailing list:
Copyright and License
The copyright on coreboot is owned by quite a large number of individual
developers and companies. Please check the individual source files for details.
coreboot is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Some files are licensed under the "GPL (version 2, or any later version)",
and some files are licensed under the "GPL, version 2". For some parts, which
were derived from other projects, other (GPL-compatible) licenses may apply.
Please check the individual source files for details.
This makes the resulting coreboot images licensed under the GPL, version 2.