[coreboot] SMM handling and resident coreboot

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Tue Jul 29 17:43:17 CEST 2008

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 04:33:15PM +0200, Stefan Reinauer wrote:
> >This thread seems to reinvent VSA.
> VSA is one possible implementation of an SMM handler.

I was thinking about the plugging and services and so on. I have
always enjoyed coreboot being SMM free, and I consider that a huge
marketing advantage even with the SMM handler being optional.

Also, if it is easy to add SMM code to coreboot I'm afraid it will
become a trend and to me, it is not the right fix for anything.

> Advocatus diaboli: Just like Windows is a possible implementation
> of a protected mode OS. Does this make protected mode bad per se?

I like PM, but not SMM.

My beef with SMM besides virtualizing hardware is the segregation and
to some degree duplication of logic between OS and $othercode. Just
like we enjoy Linux as bootloader because drivers are only in one
place, I want to enjoy the operating system doing everything SMM is
used for. You know, operations. Yes, it is revolutionary, at least
for PCs.

> >I agree with Stefan that we have to go through this as a learning
> >exercise. Things will undoubtly get a lot worse before they get
> >better.
> What exactly makes being able to support laptops so bad in your
> opinion?

Not what, but how. Again, it is an inevitable first step, but I don't
want to settle down once it is done.

I am afraid that what I consider to be the wrong solution will gather
critical mass very quickly because people think it is good enough,
and that yet another migration will be too painful. Sorry if I sound
too cynical. Blame the kernel guys who show no love. :p


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