How Min Platform led to Max coreboot; a case study
09-19, 17:30–18:00 (Europe/Stockholm), Main Room

LinuxBoot is now widely deployed, by many companies, on millions of systems, in data centers around the world. LinuxBoot was started, in 2017, by intent, as a UEFI project. To put it more strongly, in the beginning, we explicitly rejected coreboot integration as a primary, secondary, or even tertiary goal.
The entire thrust of LinuxBoot was to greatly reduce the size of UEFI, and hence the large attack surface UEFI represented, and replace most of UEFI with Linux. But we never intended to replace all of UEFI: we had no desire to re-argue the UEFI vs. coreboot debate, and, indeed, saw no prospect of ever resuming use of coreboot on x86 servers.

The world is full of surprises. Once companies began to realize how little of UEFI they needed, they began to ask how to remove it completely. As chance would have it, Meta and Intel had started the Sapphire Rapids (SPR) server chipset effort for coreboot. Companies needed coreboot on a modern server chipset; the SPR effort showed a way to get it. The final piece was the structuring of a multi-party NDA to allow joint collaboration.

In this talk, I'll discuss how a project designed for minimized UEFI platforms has now come to include coreboot, and what may come in the future, as more companies join in multi-party NDA efforts on even newer chipsets.

Ron Minnich invented coreboot. More recently, he started the LinuxBoot project (linuxboot.org), which uses another of his projects, u-root (u-root.org). His most recent project is oreboot, i.e., coreboot without 'c'; oreboot is written in Rust.

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