Universal BIOS Flash programmer for Linux, BSD and more
The developers of the CoreBoot project have released version 0.9,0 of FlashROM, which is able to read, delete, rewrite and verify the flash chips which store a systems BIOS. FlashROM runs on Linux and UNIX derivatives such as FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X and allows re-flashing to take place from the command line on a running operating system. With most manufacturers' flash programming utilities, there is only support for Windows or DOS and they require the user to reboot into DOS, from a floppy disk, or an installed Windows system, re-flash the BIOS, then reboot back into Linux.
With FlashROM it is possible to re-flash the BIOS without rebooting the operating system at all. The FlashROM program only requires root access to a system and can be run remotely via SSH (Secure Shell). The developers say the utility supports a wide range of motherboards and flash chip-sets; 157 flash chip families, 75 different chip-sets and support for dozens of non-standard x86 motherboards are handled in the 0.9.0 release. According to the developers, FlashROM has the added advantage of a faster flash cycle than many manufacturers utilities.
The FlashROM home page lists the flash chips, chip-sets and motherboards which have been tested. It does also note that some boards, such as the GA-M57SLI-S4 from Gigabyte of the MSI K8N Neo3 need special command line options, while boards such as the A7N8X-E Deluxe from Asus and some others are listed as not compatible.
- The Open Source BIOS is Ten, an interview with the CoreBoot developers