"Big Pilot" email@example.com writes:
So there are two issues: a) DOS isn't supported and b) the floppy as a boot device isn't supported. That will make it a very difficult sell for mobo manufacturers. Can you imagine me buying a Linux PC with LinuxBIOS and it crashing. How am I going to repair it then?
Which hardware you can boot from depends on the bootloader you pair LinuxBIOS with. ADLO is one, that is just recently maturing into usability.
Etherboot is another.
The linux kernel is another.
9Load for Plan9 is another.
Both etherboot,Linux, and I believe 9Load have floppy support so there are cases where you can boot from a floppy.
For several of the developers the primary boot devices is the network, which makes recovering if something goes wrong quite simple, but it does assume you have a second machine.
The basic boot sequence with LinuxBIOS runs: A) LinuxBIOS sets up some hardware, and allocates the rest unique addresses. B) LinuxBIOS loads an ELF formatted bootloader from somewhere normally the same rom chip. C) The bootloader 9loader/ADLO/Etherboot/(A Linux kernel + initrd) loads and decides what to do. D) The final kernel (usually Linux) is loaded and you go about your usual computing.
The primary users so far are embedded users, and cluster users.
For use in a cluster, a primary bit of usefulness is how easy you can see what is wrong (the serial port is available before ram is initialized) and how easy it is to recover from a machine crash.
The company I work for can currently sell LinuxBIOS, and it has helped us to get some of our biggest deals. So as it is salable to some, and it is open source so fell free to pay us back, by developing the features you want.
Basically LinuxBIOS has one core design. Don't do unnecessary work. It takes some thought to see how, to make use of that, but it is not too hard to work with.