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-
-This HOWTO contains instructions for using LinuxBIOSv2 on the VIA EPIA-M and MII
-mini-itx based motherboards.
-
-Version 1.0 initial write for LinuxBIOSv2 by Nick Barker
-
-Using materials and inspiration from
-- EPIA HOWTO for freebios/linuxbios by Mark Wilkinson
-- Based on the K7SEM HOWTO by Brenden Bixler,
-- which is based on the Sis 630 HOWTO by Ron Minnich.
-- Getting Started with freebios2 - a mail posting by Jay Miller
-
-Unfortunately, there is a step in this HOWTO that could be hazardous. The
-hazards include (but are not limited to)
- 1) destroying your motherboard
- 2) hurting yourself
- 3) killing yourself
-
-Because of these hazards, you must take full responsibility if you
-decide to install LinuxBIOSv2 following these procedures. Neither the
-author of this HOWTO or any organisation or individual associated with
-the LinuxBIOSv2 project can be held responsible for any adverse consequences
-of your attempt to follow these procedures.
-
-WARNING: We assume you've built kernels, know how to open up your PC,
-and how to yank the flash part out while power is on and put in a
-different part. There is NO WARRANTY, express or implied, with this
-software. In fact, if you don't know what you're doing, and you get
-careless, you're going to end up with a nice paperweight instead of a
-motherboard, an emergency room bill, or a funeral service.
-
- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
-
-Additional information available at: http://www.linuxbios.org/
-
-Linux distribution: Most modern distributions are supported.
-
-Other software notes: You MUST have 'as' version 2.9.5 or later.
- You MUST have 'gcc' version other than 2.96.
-
-
-Pre-requisites
---------------
-
-Before you start there are a few things which you need to arrange:
-
-Since you are going to be re-programming the flash rom on the mainboard, and
-it is likely that you first few attempts / images will not be right, then
-you need a way of restoring a known working bios onto a board which is otherwise
-dead.
-
-Recommended: you might want to get a Bios Saviour (RD1-PL) - this is
-a handy little piggy-back flash chip that saves you destroying the original
-flash image. This howto assumes that you have this device, though other methods
-and devices exist for programming flash roms.
-
-LinuxBIOSv2 sends debugging output through the first serial port. You might want
-to arrange a null modem serial cable for connecting this serial port to a
-second computer running a terminal emulation program. I use 'microcom' which
-is simple and allows all output to be captured into a file for later analysis.
-The port is set up to use 115200 baud, 8bit, No parity, 1 stop bit.
-
-Under LinuxBIOSv2 you have a choice of 'payloads'. The payload is the program
-which LinuxBIOSv2 hands over to once it has finished initialising everything
-on the mainboard at boot time. The payload is included in the flash rom along
-with LinuxBIOSv2, and usually its function is to locate and load the operating
-system. The 2 most common payloads are FILO, for booting Linux off an IDE
-disk, and Etherboot for booting a diskless workstation accross a network.
-This howto assumes the use of FILO.
-
-A vga bios image. LinuxBIOS2v2 uses the vga bios of the original Via BIOS to
-initialise the vga. It is not directly downloadable, but you can capture it from
-a system running with the original bios, so you might as well capture it now:
- dd if=/dev/mem of=/video.bios.bin \
- bs=1 count=65536 skip=790528
-
-
-Getting Going
--------------
-
-The steps for loading LinuxBIOSv2 are simple:
-1) Get Linux installed on your machine.
-2) Download and install LinuxBIOSv2 sources.
-3) Understand how to flash your rom.
-4) Download, Configure and build the FILO payload
-5) Configure and build LinuxBIOSv2.
-6) Burn the LinuxBIOSv2 image to the flash.
-7) Reset the machine -- did it work?
-
-Options Once it has booted
- i) Speeding up the boot
- ii) Enhancing ACPI support
-iii) On EPIA-MII, booting the computer from on-board compact flash
-
-
-Step 1)
- Get Linux installed on your LinuxBIOSv2 machine.
- Don't forget to note which partition is / (/dev/hda3 etc.)
-
-
-Step 2)
- Grab the LinuxBIOSv2 source.
- cd to the directory you want the source tree to be.
-
- Note: this will create a sub directory called LinuxBIOSv2 which contains
- the LinuxBIOSv2 source code
-
- Download the latest code for LinuxBIOSv2 from the downloads page at
- http://www.linuxbios.org
-
-
- having expanded the tarball, cd into the LinuxBIOSv2 directory and browse around.
- The top level directory includes:
-
- 'src' - where all of the source files for LinuxBIOSv2 are located.
- 'targets' - where all of the platform specific configuration files
- for each platform supported by LinuxBIOSv2 are kept, and
- where the build files and build process occur.
- 'util' - where various utilities required for the build process
- and debugging are kept.
-
-
- Hereafter, this howto refers to directory locations relative to these directories,
- unless an absolute pathlist is given.
-
-Step 3)
- Whilst getting LinuxBIOSv2 going on your EPIA-M, you are almost
- certainly going to be re-programming the flash rom several times, and
- there is a very high probability that at one of these stages you will
- get a flash rom that fails to boot your mainboard into Linux.
-
- Before we proceed any further, it is absolutley vital that you have
- worked out how to program the flash chip, and how you are going to
- get back to your original bios when things go wrong. Otherwise you
- will end up with a very expensive paper weight as described earlier.
-
- You can use a professional Data I/O burner, or you can be foolhardy
- and simply re-program the flash part of a running machine. However
- whilst getting going a BIOS SAVIOUR RD1-PL is a very inexpensive
- but effective device for ensuring that you always have a working
- BIOS to hand.
-
- The bios saviour is a little device which plugs into the flash rom
- socket of the motherboard, and the original flash rom then plugs into
- the bios saviour. The bios saviour includes a second flash rom chip,
- and either of these chips can be selected as the active chip by a
- simple supplied electrical switch mounted on flying leads. Make
- sure that this switch is clearly visible, so that you know which
- chip you are booting from, and which chip you are about to re-program.
-
- Decide which chip you are going to use for LinuxBIOSv2, and which chip
- you are going to keep the original working bios in, and mark them
- clearly on this switch.
-
- In the 'util/flash_and_burn' directory is the source for the 'flash_rom'
- utility, which is great for re-programming the flash chips on the
- EPIA-M / MII. Once you have built this utility:
-
- Make sure that it can detect both flash chips on the bios saviour:
- with switch set to chip 1 run 'flash_rom'
- flash rom should search through a list of known flash rom
- device types until it finds the type of the original chip
- from your EPIA-M, and report what it has found.
-
- with the switch set to chip 2, run 'flash_rom' again and confirm
- that it can 'see' the second flash chip.
-
- If your are lucky, the actual part number of the 2 chips may
- be different, which you can use just prior to re-programming
- a chip to make sure you are programming the right chip.
-
- Make sure that you can read / write and verify a flash chip:
- with switch set to 1 (original BIOS) run
- 'flash_rom -r original.rom'
- this should read the contents of the original bios into the
- file original.rom
-
- confirm that the newly read file matches the original bios
- 'flash_rom -v original.rom'
-
- set the switch to 2
- confirm if you can that flash_rom 'sees' the second chip
- 'flash_rom' - and look for the detected device type
-
- write the known good bios to the second chip with
- 'flash_rom -w original.bios'
-
- verify that it has written correctly
- 'flash_rom -v original.rom'
-
- with switch left at position 2, reboot the machine and make
- sure that it comes up corectly. If it does then you now have
- a working flash programming environment. If it does not, then
- set the switch back to 1, reboot the machine, and investigate
- further.
-
-Step 4)
- Download FILO from http://felixx.tsn.or.jp/~ts1/filo, and expand
-
- In the FILO source directory, type 'make'
-
- The first invocation of make builds the default Config file, which
- should be edited to meet your needs. In particular look at the line:
-
- "AUTOBOOT_FILE ...."
-
- and make sure that it looks sensible for your setup. The line
- AUTOBOOT_FILE "hda1:/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 console=ttyS0,115200"
- reads as:
- - find a linux os image on device hda partion 1 called vmlinuz,
- - load this image
- - execute the image passing kernel command line parameters of:
- "root=/dev/hda2 console=ttyS0,115200"
-
- after editing Config, type 'make' again, and this will build the file
- 'filo.elf' which is the payload we will be using.
-
- Copy this file to somewhere which the LinuxBIOSv2 makefile can easily
- find it. I just tend to keep it in the root directory though I'm sure
- others will condem me for that practise:
- 'cp filo.elf /'
-
- Make sure that you have compiled a kernel bzImage, and copied it to
- the file location you identified in the FILO Config file.
-
-
-Step 5)
- The next step is to create the build environment for the epia-m. This
- step creates the appropriate makefiles and build directories for the
- epia-m.
-
- 'cd targets'
- './buildtarget via/epia-m'
-
- This step will create a subdirectory in the targets/via/epia-m
- directory called epia-m, which is the build directory for LinuxBIOSv2.
-
- The main configuration file for the epia-m is in
- 'targets/via/epia-m/Config.lb'
-
- If you need to make any changes to the configuration, for example you wish to
- locate filo.elf in a place other than '/filo.elf', or during the more advanced
- steps of this HOWTO, then these changes are made to this file.
-
- You need to re-run the './buildtartegt via/epia-m' after any such change.
-
- The directory 'targets/via/epia-m' contains other sample Config.lb files, any
- of which can be copied through to Config.lb in order to become the current
- configuration.
-
- Once you have your Config.lb set up to your needs, and the build environment
- created with './buildtarget', it is time to build a rom image.
-
- Change directory into the build directory 'targets/via/epia-m/epia-m'
-
- The configuration as set up by the buildtarget process will create a LinuxBIOS
- which is exactly 196608 bytes long, which is exactly 64K bytes short of what
- needs to go into the 256K flash rom. The other 64K is for your vga bios
- which is simply merged with the linuxbios image. The easiest way to make this
- happen is to edit the Makefile and change the line
-
- cat fallback/linuxbios.rom > linuxbios.rom
-
- to
-
- cat /video.bios.bin fallback/linuxbios.rom >linuxbios.rom
-
- Note: the above order of merging the files together is critical
-
- You will need to remember to make this change every time after you have run
- the buildtarget program.
-
- Type 'make', and wait for the build process to complete.
-
- If all went well, then you should find a file 'linuxbios.rom' in your
- current directory. Check that it is 262144 bytes long - i.e. exactly the right
- size for the flash rom chip in your EPIA-M / MII.
-
-
-
-Step 6)
- NOTE: BE ADVISED THAT THIS STEP CAN KILL YOUR MOTHERBOARD !
- IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A MEANS OF RECOVERING FROM FLASHING YOUR BIOS,
- YOU MAY/WILL BE LEFT WITH A DEAD MACHINE.
-
-
- Assuming that you are using a Bios Saviour, make sure that the switch is set
- to the position for your LinuxBIOSv2 image.
-
- Type 'flash_rom' to make sure it can see the flash chip, and verify its type if
- possible.
-
- Only once you are happy that you are about to re-programme the desired chip, type
- 'flash_rom -w linuxbios.rom', and wait the few seconds it takes to program it.
-
- Once it has finished, verify that the chip was re-rogrammed correctly - type
- 'flash_rom -v linuxbios.rom'
-
-
-
-Step 7)
- Power cycle the machine. LinuxBIOSv2 should come up in a few seconds.
-
- With a connection to the serial port set at 115200, you should see LinuxBIOSv2
- come up, launch FILO, and if you have a timeout set in FILO, then it may be
- waiting for you to confirm its boot command line.
-
- As long as you have this command line set up correctly, and an os image in the
- right place, then FILO should proceed to boot into your Linux os.
-
- If you do, CONGRATULATIONS ! It WORKED ! Pat yourself on the back,
- why not try the optional steps now ?
-
- If you don't, time to start capturing the output of the serial port
- and talking to the linuxbios mailing list.
-
-
-Optional steps - for use only if step 7 was successfull.
-
-OK so now we have a BIOS which boots your computer fully into the operating system, and
-depending upon your needs that may be all that you want. However LinuxBIOSv2 has a few more
-tricks up its sleeve should you find yourself hungry for more.
-
-Speeding up the boot
---------------------
-
-Linuxbios sends its debugging output to the first serial port and, depending upon the amount of debug
-output selected, can be the limiting factor in the speed with which it boots your computer - regardless
-of whether you have anything attached to the serial port.
-
-Linuxbios uses the notion of debug levels to control what is sent to the serial port. These levels
-range from 0 to 9 with 0 being the least verbose and 9 being the most verbose.
-
-These levels are defined in the Config.lb file described earlier. To reduce the output set:
- option MAXIMUM_CONSOLE_LOGLEVEL=8
- option DEFAULT_CONSOLE_LOGLEVEL=8
-to lower values.
-
-Next you will have to run 'buildtarget' again to propagate the effects of the config change.
-Then edit your Makefile again to include your video bios in the final merging.
-
-Then run 'make clean' followed by 'make'.
-
-
-Advanced ACPI
--------------
-
- LinuxBIOSv2 now supports ACPI on the epia-m and epia-m II. In particular the interrupt
- processing in Linux can be done through ACPI, and crude power management support
- is provided. This includes software power off, and power management events from the
- power button.
-
- It is possible to enhance this behaviour to provide the full capabilities of the
- original BIOS, which includes different sleep levels and wake from these levels
- upon certain events. This is achieved by using a 'grabbed' copy of the ACPI
- Differentiated System Descriptor Table or DSDT from the original BIOS.
-
- For copyright reasons this table cannot be included with the source distribution
- of LinuxBIOSv2.
-
-
- You MUST have 'iasl' - Intel's ACPI Asl compiler for Unix/Linux -
- http://developer.intel.com/technology/iapc/acpi/downloads.htm.
-
-
- To replace the LinuxBIOSv2 DSDT with the grabbed one from the original BIOS:
-
- - Start the computer using the original BIOS, and make sure that you
- have ACPI set up in the kernel that you are running
-
- - Grab the DSDT table - 'cat /proc/acpi/dsdt >dsdt.aml'
- - Convert to asl code - 'iasl -d dsdt.aml' (creates dsdt.dsl)
- - Convert it to a C hex table - 'iasl -tc dsdt.dsl' (creates dsdt.hex)
- - Replace the file 'src/mainboard/via/epia-m/dsdt.c with dsdt.hex
-
- Now re-build LinuxBIOSv2, re-program the flash and power cycle.
-
- If you wish to return to the LinuxBIOSv2 DSDT, then the original file dsdt.asl can be converted
- into a C hex file using 'iasl -tc dsdt.asl'
-
-
-
-Boot from Onboard Compact Flash (MII only)
-------------------------------------------
-
- LinuxBIOSv2 now supports the onboard compact flash on the MII as an IDE drive,
- and it is possible to boot directly from this drive using the following steps.
-
- The first step is to get Filo or whatever payload you are using to recognise
- and use this device.
-
- In order that the pcmcia subsystem of the Linux kernel can correctly configure
- the device later on in the boot process the CF is set up with its I/O
- registers in a contiguous block of 16 bytes at 0x1e0 through 0x1ef. Unfortunately
- this is not a standard IDE address which is why we need to 'fix' filo to use it.
- (Actually it is half of the address range used by IDE4, and so we need to
- be careful to tell the kernel not to probe that address - more on that later).
-
- The first step is to change the filo Config file.
- 1) Comment out SUPPORT_PCI=1. This line instructs filo to search for PCI based IDE
- adapters only, and the CF is not attached to a PCI based IDE controller.
- 2) Add the following two lines somewhere in the Config file:
- IDE2_CMD = 0x1e0
- IDE2_CNTRL =0x1ec
-
-
- The second step is to modify the file drivers/ide.c in the filo source directory.
- Find the function 'find_ide_controller_compat' and change it to look like
-
- static int find_ide_controller_compat(struct controller *ctrl, int index)
- {
- if (index >= IDE_MAX_CONTROLLERS)
- return -1;
- #ifdef IDE2_CMD
- if(index == 2){
- ctrl->cmd_base = IDE2_CMD;
- ctrl->ctrl_base = IDE2_CNTRL;
- return 0;
- }
- #endif
- ctrl->cmd_base = ide_base[index];
- ctrl->ctrl_base = ide_base[index] + IDE_REG_EXTENDED_OFFSET;
- return 0;
- }
- Filo will now recognise the CF as the first device on the third IDE controller
- (i.e. ide2), and can be referred to as 'hde'
-
-
- The next step is to create an initrd file for your Linux kernel. What? Why?
- The CF socket on your MII is hardwired to the PCMCIA controller and for all intents
- and purposes it is a PCMCIA device. This means that once Linux boots it will be under
- the control of the pcmcia manager. Now according to the pcmcia-utils documentation,
- the pcmcia manager is intended to control and configure devices on an already
- running system. Yet if we need the CF to be the root device, it needs to be mounted
- very early on in the boot sequence, before the stage where pcmcia devices would normally
- be configured. The answer is to use an initrd file to get the pcmcia manager running early
- for the CF. If you are unfamiliar with initrd then 'man initrd' will give you more background.
-
-
- The easiest way to create an initrd is to use the script 'mkcfinitrd' which is at the bottom
- of this howto. This is a tailored version of the 'pcinitrd' script from the pcmcia-utils package.
- Make sure that 'ash' is available on your system as this is the tiny shell programme used during
- the initrd phase of booting.
-
- It is worth mounting the initrd generated, and looking over it to make sure that
- it contains all of the modules necessary to load and initialise the CF. It does not
- need drivers for whatever you use in the pcmcia socket, as that can be initialised
- later on in the boot process as before.
-
- Finally gzip the file created, and move it alongside your kernel.
-
- Next adjust your FILO command line to pick things up from the CF. My linux command
- line in filo looks like:
-
- AUTOBOOT_FILE = "hde:/vmlinuz initrd=hde:/initrd.gz root=/dev/hde console=tty0 ide4=noprobe"
-
- The ide4=noprobe option is required to stop the kernel from probing the address used
- by the CF. As this address is half that used as the standard address for a fifth (i.e. ide4)
- controller, the kernel hangs whilst trying to initialise this device if this option
- is not given.
-
- Finally make sure that you have copied the necessary files onto your CF, and re-boot
- your computer.
-
-
-
-******************* mkcfinitrd script **************************************
-#!/bin/sh
-#
-# Utility for constructing CF initrd for Epia-MII CF Boot
-#
-# Copyright (C) 2005 Nick Barker -- nick.barker9@btinternet.com
-#
-# Based on pcinitrd
-# Copyright (C) 1999 David A. Hinds -- dahinds@users.sourceforge.net
-
-SIZE=2400
-MODULES="pcmcia/pcmcia_core.o pcmcia/ds.o pcmcia/yenta_socket.o"
-BLK="kernel/drivers/ide/legacy/ide-cs.o"
-KERNEL=`uname -r`
-MODDIR=/lib/modules/$KERNEL
-BIN="bin/mount bin/umount sbin/insmod sbin/cardmgr"
-LIB=`ls /lib/libc.so.? | sort | tail -1`
-ETC="/etc/ld.so.cache /etc/pcmcia/config /etc/pcmcia/config.opts"
-DEV="/dev/console /dev/null /dev/ram /dev/tty1 /dev/tty2 /dev/tty3 /dev/tty4"
-MNT=/tmp/initrd.mnt
-
-# name of the initrd file to make
-TARGET=/tmp/initrd
-
-fail()
-{
- umount $MNT
- rmdir $MNT
- exit 1
-}
-trap fail SIGTERM SIGINT
-
-strip_cp()
-{
- if [ -d $3 ] ; then
- DEST=$3/`basename $2`
- else
- DEST=$3
- fi
- strip $1 --verbose -o $DEST $2 | sed -e 's/([^ ]*)//g' || fail
-}
-
-mkdir --verbose $MNT || exit 1
-
-echo "Creating filesystem on $TARGET"
-if [ -b $TARGET ] ; then
- rm $TARGET || fail
-fi
-
-dd if=$ROOT/dev/zero of=$TARGET bs=1k count=$SIZE
-echo "y" | mke2fs $TARGET $SIZE >/dev/null || fail
-mount --verbose -t ext2 -o loop $TARGET $MNT || fail
-
-
-rm -rf $MNT/lost+found
-echo "Creating Directories on $TARGET"
-for DIR in bin dev etc lib proc tmp mnt ; do
- mkdir --verbose $MNT/$DIR || fail
-done
-for DIR in block misc fs net pcmcia ; do
- mkdir --verbose $MNT/lib/$DIR || fail
-done
-
-echo "Copying Files to $TARGET"
-for F in $DEV ; do
- cp -a --verbose /$F $MNT/dev || fail
-done
-if [ -e /dev/systty ] ; then
- cp -a --verbose /dev/systty $MNT/dev || fail
-fi
-
-for F in $BIN ; do
- strip_cp --strip-all /$F $MNT/bin
-done
-strip_cp --strip-all /bin/ash $MNT/bin/sh
-
-for F in $LIB ; do
- strip_cp --strip-debug /$F $MNT/lib
-done
-cp --verbose /lib/ld-linux.so.? $MNT/lib || fail
-
-for F in $ETC ; do
- cp --verbose /$F $MNT/etc || fail
-done
-for F in scsi network ftl ide memory serial ; do
- touch $MNT/etc/$F ; chmod +x $MNT/etc/$F
-done
-
-for MOD in $MODULES ; do
- strip_cp --strip-debug $MODDIR/$MOD $MNT/lib/$MOD
-done
-
-strip_cp --strip-debug $MODDIR/$BLK $MNT/lib/block/ide-cs.o
-
-echo "Creating linuxrc startup script"
-cat > $MNT/linuxrc <<- 'EOF'
- #!/bin/sh
-
- mount -t proc /proc /proc
-
- echo ""
- echo "==== initrd: starting PCMCIA services ===="
- echo ""
- PC=/lib/pcmcia
- insmod $PC/pcmcia_core.o
- insmod $PC/yenta_socket.o
- insmod $PC/ds.o
- insmod /lib/block/ide-cs.o
- if [ "$DEBUG" != "" ] ; then V=-v ; fi
- cardmgr $V -q -o -c /etc -m /lib -s /tmp/stab -p /tmp/pid
- umount /proc
- echo ""
-
- if [ "$DEBUG" != "" ] ; then
- /bin/sh < /dev/console
- fi
-EOF
-chmod +x $MNT/linuxrc
-
-df -P $MNT | awk '/tmp/ { printf "%dK/%dK used\n",$3,$2 }'
-umount $VERBOSE $MNT
-rmdir $MNT
-echo "Finished $TARGET"
-echo "Now gzip $TARGET to create final initrd.gz"
-exit 0
-
-*************************** end mkcfinitrd *********************************** \ No newline at end of file