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Initial Deployment

Initial deployment of Dasharo firmware on ASUS KGPE-D16 can be done:

  • using DTS v1.1.0,
  • manually.

Initial deployment using DTS

Initial deployment for MSI PRO Z690-A (WIFI) (DDR4) is supported in DTS since version v1.1.0. Please check Dasharo zero-touch initial deployment section.

Initial deployment manually

Flashing coreboot can be done from Linux using flashrom with the internal programmer. This document describes the process of building, installing and running flashrom on Ubuntu 22.04.

Build flashrom

Currently, the latest flashrom release lacks support for Alder Lake S internal flashing. Because of this, we need to build flashrom from 3mdeb fork. The procedure is based on Ubuntu 22.04 desktop amd64 ISO burned on the USB stick. Ubuntu 22.04 or newer if preferred, as it contains the network drivers for Ethernet and WiFi. Older versions of Ubuntu would require a USB to Ethernet adapter or equivalent to get a network connection and install required software packages.

Boot the Ubuntu live image and select the Try Ubuntu option. Open a terminal and proceed with the commands below.

Install build dependencies:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git build-essential pkg-config libpci-dev udev

Obtain source code:

git clone https://github.com/Dasharo/flashrom.git -b dasharo-release
cd flashrom

Build and install flashrom:

sudo make install

Flashing

All flash operations require UEFI Secure Boot to be disabled. You may download the binary using scp (need to install openssh-server package) or wget command. The binaries can be found on the release page.

Reading flash contents

Always prepare a backup of the current firmware image. To read the original firmware from the flash and save it to a file (dump.rom), execute the following command:

sudo flashrom -p internal -r dump.rom

IMPORTANT! You will need a second USB storage to keep the dumped firmware backup or alternatively upload it to some cloud or network drive (Ubuntu live has a Firefox browser installed). Ubuntu live image is volatile and has no persistent storage. All changes made in the live image will be lost after reboot.

Migrating SMBIOS unique data

To migrate the SMBIOS system UUID and board serial number follow the Linux instructions below before attempting to flash the binary. The procedure is supported on Dasharo version v1.0.0 and later and requires cbfstool built from coreboot tree. Follow the Building Manual using the v1.0.0 version or newer and then:

echo -n `sudo dmidecode -s system-uuid` > system_uuid.txt
echo -n `sudo dmidecode -s baseboard-serial-number` > serial_number.txt
# assuming in coreboot root directory
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom expand -r FW_MAIN_A
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom expand -r FW_MAIN_B
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r FW_MAIN_A
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r FW_MAIN_B
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r COREBOOT
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r FW_MAIN_A
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r FW_MAIN_B
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r COREBOOT
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom truncate -r FW_MAIN_A
./build/cbfstool build/coreboot.rom truncate -r FW_MAIN_B

One may use msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom (or newer) binary directly and simply build the cbfstool only from coreboot repository:

git clone https://github.com/Dasharo/coreboot -b msi_ms7d25/release
cd coreboot
make -C util/cbfstool
echo -n `sudo dmidecode -s system-uuid` > system_uuid.txt
echo -n `sudo dmidecode -s baseboard-serial-number` > serial_number.txt
# assuming in coreboot root directory
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom expand -r FW_MAIN_A
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom expand -r FW_MAIN_B
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r FW_MAIN_A
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r FW_MAIN_B
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f serial_number.txt -n serial_number -t raw -r COREBOOT
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r FW_MAIN_A
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r FW_MAIN_B
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom add \
    -f system_uuid.txt -n system_uuid -t raw -r COREBOOT
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom truncate -r FW_MAIN_A
./util/cbfstool/cbfstool /path/to/msi_ms7d25_v1.0.0.rom truncate -r FW_MAIN_B

Note you will need to resign the binary after adding the SMBIOS data. Please check Vboot documentation how to resign the data. It is the machine owner's responsibility to generate and use own keys during updates.

Flashing Dasharo

WARNING: If you use an external/discrete GPU and migrate to Dasharo, be sure to unplug the dGPU first (when the machine is powered off before proceeding with flashing), as Dasharo firmware does not support all GPU cards properly yet (as of version v1.0.0). There is a high risk for the graphical output to break in the firmware when dGPU is connected. Effectively it leaves the only option to boot in blind into a previously installed OS (if the platform does not brick and if an OS is present on a disk). The first boot may take up to 2 minutes to fully train the memory, so be patient and wait for the Dasharo logo to appear, subsequent boots will take only seconds. MSI EZ debug leds are not supported by Dasharo and you may notice a red led to be lit. If the platform boots with an integrated GPU, you may try to plug the external GPU back and boot again.

To flash Dasharo on the platform, execute the following command:

Replace the VERSION in firmware file name with the version you want to flash. For example: msi_ms7d25_v1.1.0_ddr4.rom.

sudo flashrom -p internal -w msi_ms7d25_vVERSION{_ddr4,_ddr5}.rom --ifd -i bios

IMPORTANT! After the command succeeds, invoke sudo reboot or click the reboot/restart in the GUI to reboot the board. Press ENTER when prompted on the screen to remove the installation media (if Ubuntu live is used). DO NOT POWEROFF THE BOARD as SMI handlers of original MSI firmware may overwrite flash contents and cause a brick.

After migration from MSI firmware to Dasharo and reboot, the firmware will fail the memory training. After reboot wait approximately 30 seconds and then power the board off by holding the power button pushed for 5 seconds. Dasharo v1.1.0 or newer will signal the memory training failure with PC speaker beeps and blinking SATA LED. When it happens use the power button to power the board off (no need to wait 30 seconds in such case). Power on the board back. Now the memory training should not fail and after approximately 1 minute (can be nearly 2 minutes for DDR5 memory), you should get a Dasharo splash screen on the monitor. Subsequent boots will take only a few seconds.

Flashing back vendor firmware

sudo flashrom -p internal -w dump.rom --ifd -i bios

NOTE: Dasharo version v0.1.0 will not have a network connection. Use a different USB storage or a USB to Ethernet/USB WiFi adapter to move the binary to the live system.