[coreboot] BBC EFI story
hagigatali at gmail.com
Sat Oct 2 09:49:03 CEST 2010
Dear Ron Minnich,
I started with Wiki pages of Coreboot and i found Kontron, 986LCD-mITX
as a supported mother board. I though its documentation is open
because Coreboot is open source and ordered 4 motherboards, over
After investigating more about Intel manuals I found out that many
registers of North bridge, 82945 have not been expressed!! and Intel
gives this information to big BIOS companies ONLY.
At least you could update Wiki pages to state this fact clearly to
stop people waste money.
How people can contribute the code while they do not have
documentation and necessary information?
On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 12:22 AM, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:
> This story is full of errors. I thought I'd point out a few.
> "New PCs could start in just seconds, thanks to an update to one of
> the oldest parts of desktop computers."
> I've got news for the UEFI forum: OLD computers, starting 10 years
> ago, have been starting in seconds, thanks to the coreboot project. We
> first showed a 12 second boot at the Atlanta Linux Symposium in Oct.
> 2000. It is hardly news that one can boot a computer quickly. The
> project then was called LinuxBIOS; the project today is called
> Coreboot. Coreboot works on embedded systems, desktops, laptops, and
> supercomputers. It has run in the iRobot packbot for 10 years,
> searching mines and saving lives. Some of the biggest supercomputers
> in the world have run coreboot. Work on coreboot was, in fact, funded
> first by the US Gov't (Dept. of Energy) and more recently by the
> German Government (see, for example,
> So why, might you ask, did vendors not pick this technology up 10
> years ago? Technology that worked on x86, 64-bit x86, Power PC, and
> DEC Alpha? The reason is simple: it's open source. And, while vendors
> finally did decide that an open source operating system might be
> acceptable, they have had a lot of trouble accepting an open source
> BIOS. They feel that too much information is divulged if the BIOS is
> open source. They make a lot of excuses, but in the end, they finally
> admit that the issue is that they don't want the hardware to be that
> "The upgrade will spell the end for the 25-year-old PC start-up
> software known as Bios that initialises a machine so its operating
> system can get going."
> The BIOS could have been ended ten years ago, but for a simple fact:
> many customers don't much like EFI. It's clumsy, slow, and closed. And
> it's hard to work around, as it is designed to hide information.
> "The code was not intended to live nearly this long, and adapting it
> to modern PCs is one reason they take as long as they do to warm up."
> There's a lot more to it than that. The closed nature of the BIOS
> software made it very hard to replace. And, again, the vendors have
> shown time and again that they prefer a closed, proprietary solution
> to an open source solution. That's the real problem.
> "Alternatives to UEFI, such as Open Firmware and Coreboot, do exist
> and are typically used on computers that do not run chips based on
> Intel's x86 architecture."
> This statement is completely wrong. Coreboot has run on x86 systems
> from the start and, in fact, only runs on x86 systems now. Open
> Firmware also runs on x86 systems and is in fact the BIOS for the One
> Laptop Per Child project -- an x86 system.
> ""At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see
> the first bit of OS sign-on," he said. "With UEFI we're getting it
> under a handful of seconds.""
> It's nice to see UEFI catching up only 10 years later; the first
> versions took 10 minutes to boot. Automobile computers, using ARM
> processors, and an open source BIOS called U-boot, boot Linux in 8/10
> of a second. So, while UEFI is where coreboot was ten years ago, we've
> all moved on; seconds is kind of slow nowadays.
> "He said that 2011 would be the year that sales of UEFI machines start
> to dominate."
> Dominate what? Certainly not cell phones. Certainly not the ipad. In
> fact, UEFI is going to dominate a segment that matters less and less
> nowadays -- PC-compatible desktops and laptops.
> I think you can do better than this article; the BBC is one of the
> finest news organizations in the world. It seems you took a puff-piece
> from the UEFI group and removed the quotes. I'm very disappointed in
> the BBC.
> Ron Minnich
> Founder, LinuxBIOS, which is now coreboot.
> coreboot mailing list: coreboot at coreboot.org
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