[LinuxBIOS] Specifications

Jordan Crouse jordan.crouse at amd.com
Fri Jun 15 00:36:01 CEST 2007

On 14/06/07 21:33 +0200, Stefan Reinauer wrote:
> > The intention here is to allow payloads to auto-detect the method they
> > should use for text output, such that no end-user configuration of the
> > payload is necessary.
> This is a very good idea.

I disagree.  Letting payloads rely on LinuxBIOS to set up devices is the
start of a slippery slope that we should try like mad to avoid. 

There is nothing about LinuxBIOS today that guarantees that any output
method is available (even serial).  If we encourage payloads to use
structures like these and make assumptions about the state of the
hardware, then when a developer chooses to omit initializing the serial
port or other output method, his e-mail will quickly catch on fire, 
thereby implicitly forcing everybody to support serial and video and
heaven knows what else.  It is not LinuxBIOS's reponsiblity to make
life easier for the payloads.

> > Consider the multi-boot specification. OS developers can write code
> > that complies with the multi-boot specification without regard to any
> > bootloader, and bootloader writers can write code with that complies
> > with the multi-boot specification without caring about any OS. Despite
> > this, all OSs and all boot loaders that comply with the multi-boot
> > specification will work together without problems. The same applies to
> > EFI and OpenFirmware.
> I think some of this is actually more in the domain of EFI and Open
> Firmware than in LinuxBIOS, which is more a low level firmware. So we
> should work on getting EFI / OFW easily usable as an interface for everyone 
> instead of defining a third interface. to the OS and user. Our interface
> is to OFW / EFI though (plus other options of course)

Absolutely.  LinuxBIOS is not a OS loader, it shouldn't be asked to 
act as one.


Jordan Crouse
Senior Linux Engineer
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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