BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

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spekterus
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BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by spekterus » February 29th, 2016, 7:48 am

Hey everyone i bought recently a new apu board from PC Engines.
here a link to the board

After a few weeks i found out the board has a couple childhood disease... after contacting PC Engines they made a new BIOS Update for the Board.

Step by Step instruction for the update:
1. get the newest BIOS version from here
2. get the TinyCore Linux installer from here
3. create a usb boot installer
4. copy the newest BIOS Update files to the root of the boot installer
5. boot into the TinyCore Linux
6. navigate to into the root of the installer (to your bios update files)
7. and run the update with: flashrom -w apu160211.rom -p internal

after the installation reboot your board and check the BIOS Version.

!! now you have to change the boot order again !!

if there are any other questions let me know ;)
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bigpook
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by bigpook » May 14th, 2016, 10:57 pm

Thanks for your instructions, it worked : )

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Roberto Peña
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Roberto Peña » May 15th, 2016, 7:39 am

Good days spekterus and bigpook.

One question, does it work properly IPFire installed on an SD card ?. ¿Start right ?. I ask this as I plan to buy several of these motherboards and had understood that there were problems concerning the bios booting from SD.

Thank you.
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by bigpook » May 15th, 2016, 2:05 pm

Roberto

I used an m2sata card that works with no issues. I did not use or try an SD card.

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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Roberto Peña » June 3rd, 2016, 6:53 am

Hi again spekterus.

I have one issue with Apu2c4 bios and boot order. I explain it:

When I change boot order putting msata first, when I restart IPFire, no detect USB 3.0 pendrive. I have shutdown machine and unplug completely mains. So, bios go back to recognize USB pendrive.

It is corrected by updating the Bios to apu2_160311.zip?

Thanks for all.
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Roberto Peña » June 3rd, 2016, 8:22 am

No, it is not solved.

I have updated to the latest Bios and still the same.

I have connected to a USB3.0 port a Pendrive Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 PMAP 64Gb and Samba shared, but at startup, if the default boot order is allowed, does not load the mSATA and end, and tries by iPXE It stays there.

If the boot order to start the mSATA first change, you have to disconnect mains to detect the Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 by Bios. Once you started correctly, if you restart the IPFire no longer detects it and does not load the ExtraHD and therefore does not appear in the shared Samba.

Greetings.
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Hellfire » July 31st, 2018, 5:27 pm

Small update: Firmware for apu2c4 and others can be found on github: https://pcengines.github.io/.

I was told from the developer/manufacturer that it's safe to use the binaries from the Mainline Releases.
Though, I did not update my BIOS so far. Hence I do not know how reliable this information was.

Michael
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Hellfire » August 4th, 2018, 2:29 pm

spekterus wrote:
February 29th, 2016, 7:48 am
5. boot into the TinyCore Linux
Hi,

I'm thinking about flashing the latest firmware and wonder how I can boot into BIOS when a memory stick is attached, using serial console?

Is this step done automatically?

cu,
MIchael
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Arne.F » August 4th, 2018, 3:57 pm

The bios messages displays a key to press for the bios. I think it was f10 or so. This works also via serial console.
I'm thinking about flashing the latest firmware and wonder how I can boot into BIOS when a memory stick is attached, using serial console?
I had serious problems with newer bios versions. The lastest working was legacy 4.0.14 because in 4.0.15-17 the option “Legacy Console Redirect” cannot be disabled.
Arne

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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Hellfire » August 4th, 2018, 4:12 pm

Arne.F wrote:
August 4th, 2018, 3:57 pm
The bios messages displays a key to press for the bios. I think it was f10 or so. This works also via serial console.
Ok, will give it a try.
Arne.F wrote:
August 4th, 2018, 3:57 pm
I had serious problems with newer bios versions. The lastest working was legacy 4.0.14 because in 4.0.15-17 the option “Legacy Console Redirect” cannot be disabled.
What is the purpose of this setting? Will I have this option to be disabled to use serial console at all?

I was told from the manufacturer that I could use the firmware binaries from the Mainline Release (link posted above by myself). There are although legacy binaries available, I guess the one you mentioned before, right?

Michael
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Arne.F » August 4th, 2018, 5:49 pm

What is the purpose of this setting? Will I have this option to be disabled to use serial console at all?
This option not disable the serial console. It disables a redirection of normal video calls to the serial port.
This redirection is a good idea because, if it works correct you not need special serial console support in your software.
But the current implementation has compatiblity issues with IPFire and also freebsd, so we need a bios that can disable this.
Arne

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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Hellfire » August 4th, 2018, 6:00 pm

Ok, thanks for this explanation.

FWIW, I hoped to get entropy running after a BIOS update. Right now the daemon is not running because it "the system has no source for entropy"

I bet I've read somewhere that a certain BIOS version does fix this, but I may be wrong though,

Michael
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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Arne.F » August 4th, 2018, 6:42 pm

At my informations the chipset of the apu doesn't have a supported rng.
Arne

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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by pietrushnic » August 9th, 2018, 12:19 am

Hi all,
I just found this thread and think IPfire community can provide great feedback about PC Engines firmware quality.

I decided to submit issue based on an above-mentioned problem with disabling Legacy Console Redirection. At least we have to clearly describe the feature in the documentation.

In case of TRNG apu2 SoC contain PSP which provide random number generator through its cryptographic coprocessor. It should be used through Linux ccp driver. Unfortunately, it is not clear to me how to validate this entropy source - I placed that on our roadmap here.

The only method that I found which should be validated ccp is rng-tools based documented here, by default ccp module on my Debian use rng_core module. Unfortunately, I'm getting all 0xff, so the questions are if this is regression or lack of implementation. If anyone has previous experience with ccp usage please let me know.

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Re: BIOS Update instruction for apu2c4 - (PC Engines Board)

Post by Arne.F » August 9th, 2018, 5:04 am

The hardware rev of the ccp (if i remember correct was 4.x) is not supported by the linux ccp driver.
Older kernels like 3.14 try to access it and get wrong results.
Newer kernels ignore the ccp of the apu.
Arne

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