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Dasharo (coreboot + Heads) firmware variant

For the NovaCustom NV4x 12th Gen, Heads-based variant of Dasharo firmware is offered as a Technology Preview Release.

Please consider supporting the project financially by purchasing the Dasharo Entry Subscription. With this subscription, you get access to the Transition from Dasharo UEFI to Heads variant feature in Dasharo Tools Suite and support from Dasharo directly via Matrix. The subscription is not automatically renewed.

Following Release Notes describe status of development of Dasharo (coreboot + Heads) firmware for NovaCustom NV4x 12th Gen.

v0.9.0 - 2024-02-29

Test results for this release can be found here.


Known issues


sha256 sha256.sig

This is a Dasharo Entry Subscription Release. To obtain access to the pre-built binaries you will have to become the Dasharo Entry Subscription subscriber. You will get the access to all of the firmware updates for the duration of the subscription via Dasharo Entry Subscription newsletter.

To verify binary integrity with hash and signature please follow the instructions in Dasharo release signature verification using this key

SBOM (Software Bill of Materials)

Hardware Configuration Matrix

Generally, the same hardware configuration as for the UEFI variant applies.

A notable addition is usage of the Nitrokey 3A Mini USB device, which is required for Heads installation and usage.

Test Matrix

Please refer to the tests results spreadsheet.

Building manual

This section presents the crucial steps required to build the Dasharo Heads firmware. For more information, you may also refer to the official Heads building documentation.


This guide was verified on Ubuntu 22.04. In practice, any Linux distribution with Docker support should be enough to complete it.

Make sure that you have following packages installed:


  1. Clone Dasharo Heads repository:

    git clone
  2. Navigate to the source code directory and checkout to the desired revision:

    cd heads
    git checkout novacustom_nv4x_adl_v0.9.0
  3. Start the build inside the docker container:

    docker run --rm -it -v $PWD:$PWD -w $PWD \
      3mdeb/heads-docker:3.0.1 make BOARD=nitropad-nv41

This will produce a Dasharo binary placed in build/x86/nitropad-nv41/dasharo-nitropad-nv41-*.rom.

Switching from Dasharo UEFI to Heads

To change firmware branches from UEFI to Heads, because of how different the two firmware types are, it's required to disable some security measures before flashing. Follow the steps below to install Heads from an existing Dasharo UEFI firmware installation:

  • Hold down the F2 key and press the Power button to enter the UEFI Setup Menu
  • Enter the Device Manager submenu and disable Secure Boot
  • Enter the Dasharo System Features submenu
  • In the Dasharo Security Options submenu, disable:
    • SMM BIOS Write Protection
    • BIOS boot medium lock
  • In the Intel Management Engine Options submenu disable the Management Engine


For a more detailed guide on the UEFI Setup Menu options, check out the Dasharo menu documentation.

When the update is finished, your laptop will shut down automatically. Power it back on to boot into your new Heads installation!

TOTP secrets warning

On the first boot, you will be shown a warning about TOTP secrets. This is normal and expected on the first boot. Run OEM Factory Reset / Re-Ownership to finish deploying Heads.

Check out Heads documentation for a detailed factory reset guide.

Note for Qubes OS users

After installing Qubes while Heads is installed, you will need to select Reset TPM in the Heads menu to finish the installation.

From the main menu, enter Options -> TPM/TOTP/HOTP Options and select Reset the TPM.

Users upgrading to Heads while Qubes is already installed are not affected.

Switching from Dasharo Heads back to UEFI

To revert back to UEFI, you will need to boot into DTS from a USB stick.

Once finished, your laptop will shut down automatically. Power it back on to boot into your UEFI firmware.

When reverting to UEFI, it's not possible to restore EFI boot manager entries that were added before installing Heads. Therefore, you may need to re-create your boot entries manually, or find your boot loader using Boot From File option in the UEFI setup menu.

Logo customization

To replace the logo, one must rebuild the firmware. Other methods are not supported as of now. You would need to replace the branding/Dasharo/bootsplash.jpg with your own, and proceed with the Building manual.

Initial deployment

The supported method is to follow the initial deployment, and then the Transition from Dasharo UEFI to Heads variant.

Firmware update

Build or download Dasharo Heads firmware, and proceed with the official Heads update documentation.