[Assist] Problem with coreboot vs libreboot

Ben uaqben at disroot.org
Fri Jan 4 17:31:59 GMT 2019

On 14/12/2018 22:08, bill-auger wrote:

> frankly the first logical trouble-shooting step in this case is to
> re-flash your BIOS back to the factory default and verify that parabola
> is actually installed properly and that the standard GRUB can boot it -
> then perhaps next re-install parabola with no encryption on a single
> partition and try booting that with the libreboot GRUB - you would not
> need to keep it that way o/c - this is just basic trouble-shooting to
> isolate the cause from the complexity - o/c people generally do not
> like that suggestion; but the fact is, there is quite a lot of
> complexity in a system with libreboot+luks+multiple-partitions, and the
> more complexity there is, the more things that can go wrong; and
> isolating the problem is exponentially more difficult if one insists on
> testing only the most complex desired configuration - i suspect that the
> libreboot users who have no trouble with parabola, are those who
> installed in a more humble configuration (e.g. an MBR partition table,
> or a single partition, or no encryption, or using legacy BIOS) - thats
> just a guess though
> i can not recall anyone having a problem with coreboot specifically;
> but i think that intersection is quite small, especially if constrained
> to that one single model of computer - you would probably be wise to CC
> this thread to coreboot or libreboot (whichever you want to use) in
> order to reach more users who are running parabola with the same
> computer model

I finally was able to take some time to troubleshoot this further.

1. I tried Denis' suggestion -- recompiled a Coreboot with all suggested
flags: no difference.

2. I reformatted the disk to MBR, and proceeded with full encrypted
Parabola install, as per the wiki (ETX4, and not BTRFS), so as to put
aside the doubt that maybe my initial choice of GPT was the
troublemaker. Still could not boot Parabola (BTW: still using ROM with
Denis' suggested GRUB2 flags)

3. I reformatted again, MBR, two partitions (SWAP & EXT4), no
encryption, no LVM. Coreboot was able to boot Parabola, though I did get
odd `mei_me` errors [1]

So.. I'm thinking that maybe the issue is with Coreboot & LVM. However,
the GRUB2 `lvm` module should be loaded -- as per the compile flags I
set for Coreboot provided by Denis.

Or.. it's the Whirlpool encryption! I just did a quick search, after
reviewing Denis' flags, and `gcry_whirlpool`[2] is not in that list...

So.. I guess it's worth a try to recompile Coreboot with that flag.

I'll post back more info when I've had time to do so.

In the meantime, if anyone has idea/info on the `mei_me` errors, I'm all
ears :)

& Thanks again for your help & patience

& All the best for 2019



[2] gcry_whirlpool - This module provides support for the Whirlpool
(hash function) cryptography tool.

More information about the Assist mailing list