[coreboot] SMM handling and resident coreboot

ron minnich rminnich at gmail.com
Tue Jul 29 18:27:26 CEST 2008

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 8:43 AM, Peter Stuge <peter at stuge.se> wrote:

> 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.

I'm not really talking SMM. I'm talking about a hypervisor to provide
a superset of what SMM and ACPI and all the others provide. This is a
research activity and I'll see where it goes. It may go nowhere.

But it will be utterly GPL, and it will either do a far better job,
and give us an improved world, or we don't do it.

> 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.

It is, sadly, becoming revolutionary for Linux :-( Linux on Opteron
can't really work right without ACPI. And YingHai's last try at fixing
that was rejected by Andi Kleen.

But the low level VM layer, done right, can work well: see IBM, who
sell billions of dollars worth of power and 390 and Cell systems every
year that do this.

Anyway, it's not going to happen any time soon, if at all. I'm just
looking at it. But our inability to kill ACPI tells me something. Even
OLPC has to do ACPI now. The last valiant charge of OFW is going to
come to naught in the PC world, I am afraid. Sometimes, the
(sub)standards are impossible to kill.


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