Retroboot 20201228 beta release, 28 December 2020

Leah Rowe

28 December 2020

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Release date: December 28th, 2020.

This release is available from the download page with ROM images and source code provided. Please read the Retroboot documentation if you wish to learn how to use them. Support is provided at the osboot IRC channel.

Retroboot is a new coreboot distribution, forked from the Libreboot 20160907 build system. The purpose of Retroboot is to provide pre-compiled ROM images for any system that coreboot supports. Retroboot, based on coreboot, provides hardware initialization on supported x86 computers; it sets up the hardware and boots an operating system such as GNU+Linux, BSD and Windows.

Retroboot provides an automated build system that compiled coreboot, GRUB, SeaBIOS and various other required software, with specific configurations. It provides a completely automated way to build and test ROM images of coreboot, in various configurations. Each board added to Retroboot can specify a coreboot version at a specific commit ID from the coreboot Git repository, and custom patches. It can then be used with any number of coreboot payloads such as GRUB, SeaBIOS and (planned for a future release) Tianocore and linuxboot. Read the documentation on the Retroboot website for more information about each system supported in the Retroboot build system.

The aim of Retroboot is to make coreboot easy to use. Coreboot is notoriously difficult to build, and very much not user friendly. Retroboot provides user focused documentation and professional support based on years of experience dealing with coreboot. I, Leah Rowe, am the founder of the Retroboot project and I am also the founder of the Libreboot project.

This release, marked beta, released on 28 December 2020, supports the following machines:

NOTE: tested in this context means that the machine can be observed booting a Linux kernel. Also, Windows 10 was confirmed to boot on the X230 with Intel VGA ROM and SeaBIOS payload. (we recommend the use of free operating systems like GNU+Linux).

For documentation, refer to the accompnying source code release archive. Documentation is included in that archive. You can also refer to the documentation hosted directly at https://Retroboot.org/ and this is more recommended due to it being more up to date.

This is a public beta release. The ROM images provided in this release are NOT guaranteed to boot correctly on your machine. If you install this, you should make sure that you have SPI flashing equipment (for flashing 25XX NOR flash) and, ideally, debugging equipment such as EHCI debug dongle.

Extensive testing is required for all of the ROMs in this release, so user testing is highly encouraged! The plan for Retroboot is to have long, long periods of testing releases, before versions are marked stable (similar to how the Debian project operates).

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