Alignment of LinuxBIOS table structures

Ronald G. Minnich rminnich at
Tue Nov 30 05:41:00 CET 2004

On Tue, 30 Nov 2004, Stefan Reinauer wrote:

> So you are saying people out there are building LinuxBIOS with non-gnu 
> compilers? I actually doubt that, assuming a lot of objcopy/objdump/ld
> magic is pretty much gnu specific as well.. 

no, what i'm saying is that there are people (me, at least) building
payloads with non-gnu compilers. If you use gcc magic to fix that struct,
and said magic is not available in the other compilers, then the payload
will not be able to read the table easily. I've had this very same problem 
passing structs between Xen and Plan 9; Xen relies on every gcc trick in 
the book, which is very hard to deal with when you have a non-gcc 

Plus, even if you get all the gcc flags done correctly, we still have the
table version problem, as has been shown with the various versions of the
SMP tables.

It's been shown in practice that you can avoid these problems by not using
a binary table; plan 9 has used strings for 16 years now with no ill
effects. I would NOT recommend that V2 use a binary table but there seems
to be some resistance to a strings-based table. In any event, V3 will use
a string-based interface.

> Fixing the issue among all gcc versions while not breaking anything on
> others. It really sucks that gcc does magic here that makes writing
> portable code really ugly.

it's only an issue because we're trying to using binary tables in a way 
that is simply not appropriate for portability. The problem is easily 
fixed, but there seems to be some resistance to doing this in V2. 


More information about the coreboot mailing list