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# Copyright (C) 2014, Simon Glass <>
# Copyright (C) 2014, Bin Meng <>
# SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0+
U-Boot on x86
This document describes the information about U-Boot running on x86 targets,
including supported boards, build instructions, todo list, etc.
U-Boot supports running as a coreboot [1] payload on x86. So far only Link
(Chromebook Pixel) has been tested, but it should work with minimal adjustments
on other x86 boards since coreboot deals with most of the low-level details.
U-Boot also supports booting directly from x86 reset vector without coreboot,
aka raw support or bare support. Currently Link and Intel Crown Bay board
support running U-Boot 'bare metal'.
As for loading OS, U-Boot supports directly booting a 32-bit or 64-bit Linux
kernel as part of a FIT image. It also supports a compressed zImage.
Build Instructions
Building U-Boot as a coreboot payload is just like building U-Boot for targets
on other architectures, like below:
$ make coreboot-x86_defconfig
$ make all
Building ROM version of U-Boot (hereafter referred to as u-boot.rom) is a
little bit tricky, as generally it requires several binary blobs which are not
shipped in the U-Boot source tree. Due to this reason, the u-boot.rom build is
not turned on by default in the U-Boot source tree. Firstly, you need turn it
on by uncommenting the following line in the main U-Boot Makefile:
# ALL-$(CONFIG_X86_RESET_VECTOR) += u-boot.rom
Link-specific instructions:
First, you need the following binary blobs:
* descriptor.bin - Intel flash descriptor
* me.bin - Intel Management Engine
* mrc.bin - Memory Reference Code, which sets up SDRAM
* video ROM - sets up the display
You can get these binary blobs by:
$ git clone
$ cd blobs
Find the following files:
* ./mainboard/google/link/descriptor.bin
* ./mainboard/google/link/me.bin
* ./northbridge/intel/sandybridge/systemagent-ivybridge.bin
The 3rd one should be renamed to mrc.bin.
As for the video ROM, you can get it here [2].
Make sure all these binary blobs are put in the board directory.
Now you can build U-Boot and obtain u-boot.rom:
$ make chromebook_link_defconfig
$ make all
Intel Crown Bay specific instructions:
U-Boot support of Intel Crown Bay board [3] relies on a binary blob called
Firmware Support Package [4] to perform all the necessary initialization steps
as documented in the BIOS Writer Guide, including initialization of the CPU,
memory controller, chipset and certain bus interfaces.
Download the Intel FSP for Atom E6xx series and Platform Controller Hub EG20T,
install it on your host and locate the FSP binary blob. Note this platform
also requires a Chipset Micro Code (CMC) state machine binary to be present in
the SPI flash where u-boot.rom resides, and this CMC binary blob can be found
in this FSP package too.
* ./Microcode/C0_22211.BIN
Rename the first one to fsp.bin and second one to cmc.bin and put them in the
board directory.
Now you can build U-Boot and obtaim u-boot.rom
$ make crownbay_defconfig
$ make all
CPU Microcode
Modern CPU usually requires a special bit stream called microcode [5] to be
loaded on the processor after power up in order to function properly. U-Boot
has already integrated these as hex dumps in the source tree.
Driver Model
x86 has been converted to use driver model for serial and GPIO.
Device Tree
x86 uses device tree to configure the board thus requires CONFIG_OF_CONTROL to
be turned on. Not every device on the board is configured via devie tree, but
more and more devices will be added as time goes by. Check out the directory
arch/x86/dts/ for these device tree source files.
- MTRR support (for performance)
- Audio
- Chrome OS verified boot
- SMI and ACPI support, to provide platform info and facilities to Linux