FreeBSD friendly Motherboard compatible with Coreboot

Sevendogsbsd

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I have no idea what coreboot is but my MSI Z270A Pro is running FreeBSD 11.2 P4 perfectly. I do get a few sound device errors at boot but they don't appear to affect anything. Running an Intel i7 7700 and using the on-chip 630HD for video. This is a workstation and I have had no issues so far (build is about 1 month old).
 

k.jacker

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There isn't really something like FreeBSD (not freebsd) friendly.
As long as you go with AMD64 or i386, there isn't really anything that's not supported.
It's important to know, that most problems with hardware, e.g. won't boot, won't suspend, are mostly caused by buggy acpi, BIOS and UEFI implementations. The hardware itself, is usually well supported.

You will of course find (mostly) dedicated graphics card, wifi devices and shiny blinking gaming keybords with their own brains, that do not work.
Stuff soldered to a mainbaord, should work regardless age or model.

The PCengines APUs come with coreboot installed by the manufacturer and several people here on the forum, got the one or the other model of it, including me. They work very well. Still, when I bought it, I couldn't boot FreeBSD 11.2-RELEASE on it, but 10.4 worked. So I had to install that first, and upgraded it later.
The APU is probably not the workstation type of device you are looking for. I used it just as an example.

Hardware notes for 11.2-RELEASE

Graphicscard support wiki
Not 100 percent up to date, but it looks like, as if KabyLake support has been added recently.
Searching the forum for graphics card models is your best option at the moment.
 
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altern

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so,
globally speaking not freebsd friendly which are considered the best performance boards with a normal budget from that list with column "F" marked "Y"?
(some ppl argue that ASUS and ASRock are Linux friendly, i guess these would be FreeBSD friendly too)

Thanks
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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What you should have said is Footnote 4 = "Y" from that site.

Well if it were me I would pick up a used IvyCreek or Haswell board off that list.
It is old enough to have it in many developers hands but not too old.
Paired with a 3770T or Xeon E3-1265LV2 would be my choice. Using onboard graphics.
I like Gigabyte for desktops. Both of these use a server chipset and I like that.(EDIT:That site is wrong on this-NOT C216)
GA-B75M-D3H
GA-B75M-D3V
Both of these use Realtek LAN which is not good.

I dislike ASRock but their H81M-HDS board with Socket 1150/C216 is viable too.
Realtek LAN as well. Barf

OK after surveying every board that is LGA1155 almost all use Realtek LAN. That is not good on FreeBSD.
One except is:
ASUS MAXIMUS_IV_GENEZ-M
This one has Intel LAN but that "switchable graphics" sounds dodgy. Could be problems on FreeBSD. Unknown.
https://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/MAXIMUS_IV_GENEZ/
when I look up these on Ebay they are real expensive for something so old (~$170USD)
Looks like Sandy Bridge so your talking 2012 Vintage. It uses a Core processor though.
I would not go any lower than Sandy Bridge LGA1155 and the 2500T for a CPU choice. Xeon 1260L or 1265L works too.
I am unfamiliar with AMD chips so I can't recommend anything there.

The reason I would use a cheap used board is I feel there is probably a good chance at bricking the board if you get it wrong.
Used board for cheap migrates that risk some.
You are looking at a highly risky maneuver putting this on an existing board.

I too love my APU2 and APU3 with coreboot. So anything that ships with coreboot is my answer for best new board.
Be advised things like Audio and Video may be crippled on coreboot. It is a work in progress.

The Purism machines are pretty nifty. They have been doing this a while now and have some variety.
https://puri.sm/products/

MinnowBoard3 is also a contender, Though not for performance but low power. So not what you are looking for.
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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One minefield I found while researching this was motherboard revision numbers.
All the Gigabyte boards had several versions of the PCB. For example Revision 1.0, Revision 1.1, ect.
This is bad as manufacturers sometimes change major components on these revisions.
So even if you match up the model number from coreboot table you still have the unknown factor of the board revision.
The coreboot site should also list the board revison, chances are these need to match up exactly too.
Wrong flash because of board revision/changes could mean=BRICK.
 
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altern

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What you should have said is Footnote 4 = "Y" from that site.

Well if it were me I would pick up a used IvyCreek or Haswell board off that list.
It is old enough to have it in many developers hands but not too old.
Paired with a 3770T or Xeon E3-1265LV2 would be my choice. Using onboard graphics.
I like Gigabyte for desktops. Both of these use a server chipset and I like that.(EDIT:That site is wrong on this-NOT C216)
GA-B75M-D3H
GA-B75M-D3V
Both of these use Realtek LAN which is not good.

I dislike ASRock but their H81M-HDS board with Socket 1150/C216 is viable too.
Realtek LAN as well. Barf

OK after surveying every board that is LGA1155 almost all use Realtek LAN. That is not good on FreeBSD.
One except is:
ASUS MAXIMUS_IV_GENEZ-M
This one has Intel LAN but that "switchable graphics" sounds dodgy. Could be problems on FreeBSD. Unknown.
https://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/MAXIMUS_IV_GENEZ/
when I look up these on Ebay they are real expensive for something so old (~$170USD)
Looks like Sandy Bridge so your talking 2012 Vintage. It uses a Core processor though.
I would not go any lower than Sandy Bridge LGA1155 and the 2500T for a CPU choice. Xeon 1260L or 1265L works too.
I am unfamiliar with AMD chips so I can't recommend anything there.

The reason I would use a cheap used board is I feel there is probably a good chance at bricking the board if you get it wrong.
Used board for cheap migrates that risk some.
You are looking at a highly risky maneuver putting this on an existing board.

I too love my APU2 and APU3 with coreboot. So anything that ships with coreboot is my answer for best new board.
Be advised things like Audio and Video may be crippled on coreboot. It is a work in progress.

The Purism machines are pretty nifty. They have been doing this a while now and have some variety.
https://puri.sm/products/

MinnowBoard3 is also a contender, Though not for performance but low power. So not what you are looking for.
Phishfry,
can you write all Mainboard names options so that i can check on the list?

this option:
ASRock H81M-HDS seems interesting do you know if there is a ASUS equivalent board? what about Gigabyte?

Thanks
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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### Minnowboard Max Turbot ####
This board ships with Intel EFI firmware but there is coreboot for it too.
This is much more of an experimenters board so it is good for this purpose.
It also has SPI breakout header so you really can't brick it.
Open hardware and coreboot. That is a good combo.

### PCEngines APU ###
The only pre-built box I can recommend is PCEngines APU1/2/3.
Straight out of the box they use coreboot.
For around ~$150 bucks you can have a headless coreboot experience.
https://pcengines.ch/apu2.htm
You need board, chassis, power supply and their SD cards are of good quality.
If more space is needed then you have to pick a mSATA drive.
They will assemble it for you too for a small fee. USB to serial cords are cheap there too.

There are Minnowboard Turbots on ebay for $78
https://www.ebay.com/itm/253973019954?
You will also need a chassis, but it is an excellent little computer. It has HDMI and SATA.

The rest looks like a gamble to me. Even the instructions for the Minnowboard look intimidating to me.
https://3mdeb.com/firmware/building-coreboot-on-minnowboard/

You need to be an expert with flashrom and you need to interface SPI..
echo 00500000:007fffff cb-region > 8mb ; flashrom -p dediprog:voltage=1.8v -l 8mb -i cb-region -w coreboot.rom
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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It might not hurt to ask around the coreboot mailing lists about boards for sale with coreboot already installed..
Let someone else deal with flashing nuances who knows what they are doing.
For $45 this guy will flash certain laptops/motherboards:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283067353923?
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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I was looking at the Minnowboard coreboot work again and noticed this user has a page up with some supported boards:
https://www.coreboot.org/User:MartinRoth
This IvyCreek board stood out to me: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H
It does use Realtek LAN which is not the best in my opinion.

Why not email or contact MartinRoth and ask details? He sounds like a coreboot guru.
 

rigoletto@

Daemon
Developer

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My usual answer for this kind of question is: Get a Supermicro. Or if you are really looking for something trully open sourced you could get a Raptorcs POWER9 bundle and enjoy.
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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I have only used coreboot/SeaBIOS on APU1/2/3 and this is a serial console-only platform.
Take a looksie at what VGA on coreboot requires.
https://www.coreboot.org/VGA_support
Not for the faint of heart.
All that work for an open bios and then you add blobs back in?
 
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altern

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Phishfry,

using flashrom if you type:
-L | --list-supported print supported devices

it says:
Supported flash chips (total: 391):

can you check output and tell which are the best boards?

Thanks
 
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altern

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Phishfry.

from ASRock H81M-HDS and Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H which is the best option and the easiest to flash?

Thanks
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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I am not trying to ignore you but I have no knowledge here. I simply use coreboot on APU2.
Gigabyte is preferable to me over Asrock.
 
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altern

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I am not trying to ignore you but I have no knowledge here. I simply use coreboot on APU2.
Gigabyte is preferable to me over Asrock.
what about this?

using flashrom if you type:
-L | --list-supported print supported devices

it says:
Supported flash chips (total: 391):

can you check output and tell which are the best boards?
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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I am not ignoring you it is just that all my Coreboot APU boxes are in service. All with NanoBSD installed.
The disk is at 103% and I cannot install any software.
Otherwise I would gladly do this for you. Can't you get this out of the flashrom source code?

Here is a very fresh mailing list post with higher level Coreboot discussion. This guy tells of some working boards:
Note that he has ruined CPU's because of ACPI and fan speed issues with coreboot.

There are other 'Coreboot Working' platforms sprinkled thru this long thread.
 
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altern

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I am not ignoring you it is just that all my Coreboot APU boxes are in service. All with NanoBSD installed.
The disk is at 103% and I cannot install any software.
Otherwise I would gladly do this for you. Can't you get this out of the flashrom source code?

Here is a very fresh mailing list post with higher level Coreboot discussion. This guy tells of some working boards:
Note that he has ruined CPU's because of ACPI and fan speed issues with coreboot.

There are other 'Coreboot Working' platforms sprinkled thru this long thread.
what about for hardware supplier based in EU to buy these boards? which ones you recommend?
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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PCEngines is based in the EU. Here is their sales info:

apu2d0 = 2 i211AT LAN / AMD GX-412TC CPU / 2 GB DRAM (stripped down board)

For something like Asrock E350M1 it is EOL so you will have to find used.
ASUS KGPE-D16 Is also very old and EOL.

If you want the cheapest experience try the APU2 with only 2 ethernet interfaces and 2GB of memory.
Those are $100USD for me and you can't buy a cheaper coreboot experience.

Don't forget system76 is constantly developing new models.
 
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altern

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PCEngines is based in the EU. Here is their sales info:



For something like Asrock E350M1 it is EOL so you will have to find used.
ASUS KGPE-D16 Is also very old and EOL.

If you want the cheapest experience try the APU2 with only 2 ethernet interfaces and 2GB of memory.
Those are $100USD for me and you can't buy a cheaper coreboot experience.

Don't forget system76 is constantly developing new models.
that board you mentioned seems AMD based, there is no alternative for INTEL?

for "Asrock E350M1" where can i find refurbished hardware supplier?
do you know if there is any official hardware supplier listed on FreeBSD or Coreboot website?
 
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altern

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does anyone know about specific markets to buy this HW?

there is any hardware swap market based in EU?

Thank you
 

rootbert

Member

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not really ... still unemployed hehe 😂 so I need some time to pull the trigger - but I will watch this thread and post if I find out
 
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