[LinuxBIOS] [RFC] Call for Action: LinuxBIOS foundations

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Tue Aug 28 20:17:45 CEST 2007

On 28.08.2007 19:38, Uwe Hermann wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 12:48:06AM +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
>>> created. So I carefully wonder what the real goal of such a call would
>>> be, except gathering random people with random boards? Something like:
>>> We have 10 people who are willing to work on this or that mainboard if
>>> you get them a system they can keep for doing the work, given that the
>> Would it be possible to create sort of a pseudo-port which only ensures
>> working RAM, serial and flashing? Such a pseudo-port would leave people
> No, "working RAM" is already 95% of the work in most cases.

If that were the case, we'd have dozens of recent boards supported.
Think of all the MCP55 boards. RAM works. North- and southbridge are
supported. The "little things" are what keep us from supporting them
completely. A generic MCP55 port which loads the payload (additional
board init etc.) over serial can be the ideal starting point.

>> Maybe a call for action for tools only? Flashrom and probe_superio
>> support are necessary requirements for easy porting. And if our tools
>> get used for stuff besides LinuxBIOS (maybe in the lm-sensors project or
>> somewhere else), they get wider testing coverage and maybe even outside
>> contributors. I see this chance especially for flashrom.
> Yes, I agree on that. We should really get more people to use flashrom,
> not only as cheap advertising for LinuxBIOS but also because it really
> _is_ a lot better than all those crappy "use DOS boot disk" or "create
> CDROM with DOS *.exe flasher on it" solutions people keep recommending
> all the time.
> I've written up a short article on that already, see
> http://www.hermann-uwe.de/blog/flashing-a-bios-the-linux-way-tm-using-flashrom
> (and I think the "flashrom on about 140 computers" was a direct result
> of that post)
> http://www.linuxbios.org/pipermail/linuxbios/2007-July/023046.html

Maybe publish an article on lwn/slashdot/whatever about flashrom? You'd
have to make sure people merge MAC addresses and other stuff from the
old into the new image, though, otherwise we'll have a load of boards
with the same MAC address and quite a few of them may have
00:00:00:00:00:00, resulting in malfunction of some switches, network
stacks etc.

>> People want to flash their proprietary BIOS under Linux now, without
>> having to reboot. They benefit from flashrom support for their system as
>> much as we do. Giving people a working tool for something that is really
>> complicated right now could even make them interested in LinuxBIOS.
>> After all, they would have to visit our website to get flashrom.
> Full ack. How can we advertise flashrom some more?

Article in widely read publication. I'll contact lwn.net and report back.


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