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

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Wed Aug 29 09:37:31 CEST 2007

* popkonserve <popkonserve at gmx.de> [070828 20:59]:
> Why trying to support bleeding edge hardware almost nobody has 
> datasheets for instead of writing reliable custom drivers that would 
> support older hardware. 

It takes round about 6-8 weeks to port LinuxBIOS to a completely new
system with new northbridge, southbridge, superio, mainboard.

This is a lot of time, and most ports that actually happen are done
because there is some interest in using a large number of that hardware.

For hobbyist ports, you can boot a single machine a lot of times before
those 5s you safe make up for the 6 weeks you have to put in before it

So most ports have been commercially used in some product, and nobody
planning to use LinuxBIOS today in a product will plan to use hardware
that you can not buy anymore (ie. a mainboard older than a year).

> i'm willing to write more generic full featured drivers 
> (northbridge/southbridge) for older chipsets (i posted a list and i'll 
> stick to that list). 

This is great!

> my problem is not that i don't understand the 
> hardware itself but the linuxbios framework. i don't want to spend hours 
> of code surfing just to understand how and where certain code sniplets 
> are called or how certain config files need to be written. 

I want to invite you to help us work on v3 then. The framework got a lot

> a 
> documentation to the code is close to non-existant. while this might not 
> be a problem to long-term developers it drives new ones away.

For understanding the code, this one has generally been pretty useful.


> what i would like to see is: generic support for usb/cdrom boot, 

FILO (soon grub2) should do this.

> ide support in southbridges 


> an onscreen menu (nothing fancy) 


> and a far better documentation for users and developers.

I think the big problem here is that as soon as people understand the
code they are too busy to document it ;) I want to give this request
back. Please, if you have a specific question about the code, do
document it. Ask it on the list and document the answer in a way that
others don't have to ask again.

The mailing list contains 70% or more of our knowledge, the rest is
stored in the Wiki.

And we really want to improve.


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