[PATCH v2 0/1] meson: Demonstration of using binman to produce the image

neil.armstrong at linaro.org neil.armstrong at linaro.org
Thu Aug 31 09:54:10 CEST 2023

On 31/08/2023 05:37, Simon Glass wrote:
> Hi Ferass,
> On Wed, 30 Aug 2023 at 11:53, Ferass El Hafidi
> <vitali64pmemail at protonmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Simon,
>>> So I wonder how best to move this forward so that we can build things
>>> using binman and everything works?
>> It's still not ready yet, but I'm working on porting U-Boot SPL to some
>> Amlogic SoCs [1]. I'm currently working on Amlogic S905 boards, but
>> eventually I'll work on Amlogic S905X devices too. And speaking of
>> signing, Jonas Karlman wrote amlimage, and integrated it into mkimage,
>> and I applied his patch to my tree. There's a few things to be aware of
>> about Amlogic signing and binaries in general, however.
>> amlimage was intended for use with U-Boot SPL, which obviously has
>> no support for Amlogic's FIP format and as such amlimage will only do as
>> little as possible to get the bootROM to load U-Boot SPL. Most of the
>> packaging format is handled by BL2. The fact that the signing process is
>> completly different across SoC generations makes it difficult to
>> implement them all into one single tool (and by which I mean all of it,
>> not just signing BL2 for the bootROM to run it, that's mostly the same
>> across SoCs). amlimage has been confirmed to work on GXBB (ODROID-C2 and
>> the KII Pro set-top box), GXL (librecomputer lepotato), and SM1 (ODROID-C4).
>> My U-Boot SPL port is still rather incomplete. As of today, it still
>> can't boot anything from any storage device. The goal eventually is to
>> be able to load upstream TF-A BL31 and U-Boot+linux.
>> While Amlogic distributes proprietary BL31 binaries upstream Trusted
>> Firmware-A has a port for some Amlogic SoCs [2], but as far as I know
>> SM1 (which is the SoC generation your ODROID-C4 is using) is still
>> unsupported. GXBB, GXL, AXG, and G12A are all supported however, but the
>> overall port still lacks some features the proprietary implementation
>> has.
>> As for the SCP firmware (aka. BL30) I'm not aware of any
>> reverse-engineering efforts for that.
> Thanks for your efforts on this. I look forward to seeing where it ends up.
>> Honestly, in my opinion, including proprietary and poorly-written
>> Amlogic utilities lacking a proper license, into U-Boot looks like a bad idea.
> With Binman, we don't really include them in U-Boot; we allow them to
> be fetched easily so that a complete build can be produced.
> I don't like it either, but for users it is better than doing the
> build manually.

I'll rather spend time and effort to have a fully-upstream TF-A boot chain
for Amlogic SoC (when possible) that maintaining support for bulky closed-source
x86-64 binary only tools. The tools aren't even officially distributed.


>> [1]: https://git.vitali64.duckdns.org/misc/u-boot-kii-pro.git/log/?h=wip/spl
>> [2]: https://git.trustedfirmware.org/TF-A/trusted-firmware-a.git/tree/plat/amlogic
>> Cheers.
> Regards,
> Simon

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