Open Source BIOS Coreboot ported to MSI Z690-A motherboard

According to Phoronix, firmware developer 3MDEB recently implemented Coreboot support – with help from Dasharo, on MSI’s Z690-A Pro WiFi DDR4 motherboard. Coreboot replaces factory UEFI and BIOS which promise to be faster, more flexible and more secure firmware for your motherboard or laptop.

This added support from 3MDEB represents one of the few times Coreboot has arrived on a completely modern platform, specifically on a desktop motherboard. This is also the first publicly available port of Coreboot on a consumer motherboard supported by Alder Lake.

For the uninitiated, coreboot is an open-source firmware platform aimed at providing systems with a lighter and more feature-rich UEFI/BIOS than those provided by OEMs. Thanks to its open source nature, Coreboot updates and improvements can be worked on by a multitude of developers and can be constant.

As such, Coreboot is promised to be a more modern and streamlined UEFI/BIOS than what OEMs can currently offer.

For end users, one of the main features promised by Coreboot is a significantly faster boot time compared to UEFI/OEM BIOS, up to 70%. Make the boot time from pressing the power button until the operating system starts booting almost non-existent. Other features include security enhancements, an almost unbreakable update process, and much more.

But for Coreboot to work, it needs a firmware distribution to run from. It’s there that dasharo comes into play, Dasharo is a company whose expertise lies in making firmware compatible with certain platforms. Dasharo will integrate Coreboot firmware, additional features and platform support for Intel FPS or AMD AGESA into one package that can be installed on a system. 3mdeb’s job has been to port this firmware distribution to the Z690-A Pro WiFi in particular and ensure that it is fully functional.

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For now, the open-source BIOS is still in its preliminary phase, but according to a Tweet from Dasharo, a binary version will be available soon with display, USB and UEFI boot support.

Based on Coreboot’s features, we hope this port to the MSI Z690-A Pro WiFi will provide big improvements in security and performance over MSI’s standard UEFI. However, user discretion is advised if you wish to try this BIOS as it is still an unofficial port which may be prone to bugs not seen on official MSI firmware.



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Steven L. Nielsen