[coreboot] LinuxBIOS V1 ?!

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Fri Jan 29 22:11:40 CET 2010

Welcome back, Tyson!

On 1/29/10 9:08 PM, Tyson Sawyer wrote:
> Hello,
> A small voice from the distant past here.
> I have a custom system using LinuxBIOS V1. Yes! 1! This is a
> PIII/440BX based system.
> We have found that we can boot 2.6.23-17, but can not boot 2.6.24.
> Investigation using characters posted on the serial port suggest that
> we are starting the kernel and getting to about the point where the
> clock speed of the CPU and then it just stops as far as we can tell.
Could you provide a log of the boot with each kernel? It might help
getting an idea of what could be going wrong.

> We've found that if we put in more output to the serial port, it dies
> earlier in the code. We can't be sure, bit it appears that it might be
> some sort of a time based problem. It dies after a certain amount of
> time and if we use that time by polling characters out the serial
> port, then we don't get as far through the code before death.
How early in the code can you get it to die? I wonder whether some
watchdog driver could cause the trouble?

> One thought that almost fits the facts is that a interrupt might be
> occurring and not handled properly. But it happens that the CPU clock
> speed code disables interrupts and this is where it is dying.
Knowing a bit more about the hardware and kernel configuration would
certainly help.

> There seems to have been a number of changes in 2.6.24 to support
> booting kernels in virtual machines and to merge ia64 and ia32 under
> x86. Some notes were added about 32 bit boot loaders that reference
> LinuxBIOS. However, we've been unable to find what it is that we are
> doing wrong. We have grep'ed the internet and browsed through the
> CoreBoot email archives, but failed to find anything that might have
> been in either "place".
Worst case you could diff between 2.6.23-17 and 2.6.24 and do a binary
search over the differences until you find the culprit. But maybe there
is a higher level approach that wants to be taken first.

Best regards,

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