[LinuxBIOS] What to implement "system recovery" features in bios

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Thu Jan 25 23:54:09 CET 2007


On Sat, Jan 20, 2007 at 11:33:12PM +0800, li pan wrote:
> Thanks for your suggestions! They are really helpful
> I still have some more detail questions,
> ---------
> 1 Is linuxbios a "real" linux?
>   I mean can a normal linux app run on it?
>   We want the user to use this app to recovery a faild pc, so we need
> the app in BIOS, not harddisk

Depends. LinuxBIOS is (despite the name) not the same as Linux. It's
some tiny initialization code, which then "boots" a payload, which can
be almost anything, e.g. a Linux real kernel or FILO or whatever.

See http://linuxbios.org/.

It _is_ possible to run small (special) applications purely from the
BIOS (no harddrive) I guess, as long as it doesn't need any resources
which are not in the BIOS or not accessible at the time the BIOS runs...

FILO is one "application" which does just that.

> 2 I  am still not sure about the linuxbios/awardbios coexistence stuff.
>   Al mentioned DualBIOS, but as long as I know, that means mainborad
> holds 2 biso chips, and if one fails, mainboard will use the other. (Correct me
> if I am wrong, I don't know much about this)
>  But I need the award bios be used in normal case, and if the user hit some key
> while booting, the computer will switch to linuxbios, which will load
> the backup/recovery appliaction. I think the IBM app works this way.

Not sure you can do that, you'd have to modify the AWARD BIOS to react
on the keypress and then jump into LinuxBIOS, right? You don't have the
AWARD BIOS source code, so...

You can just physically swap the BIOS chip (if it's socketed) or build a
solution so that the mainboard holds two BIOS chips and you can switch
between them physically (a small switch or so) while the computer is
turned off.

I'm just guessing though, I've never done something like this...

http://www.hermann-uwe.de  | http://www.holsham-traders.de
http://www.crazy-hacks.org | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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