[coreboot] coreboot certified hardware

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Sun Oct 3 02:06:02 CEST 2010

On 03.10.2010 01:28, Warren Turkal wrote:
> I think that a base coreboot certification should basically state that
> all the hardware on the board is usable with a major free OS (e.g.
> Linux-based OSes like Debian, Ubuntu, and Redhat maybe).
> We could maybe have extended certifications for things like non-free
> OS and driver compatibility.

Well, if we only care about Linux, you can avoid most (if not all) of
ACPI on many machines, and you can avoid SeaBIOS as well. Heck, you
could even avoid FILO and require a Linux kernel in flash. Whether such
ab board would be usable for end users is a totally different question.
IMHO being able to install a Linux distribution from CD is an absolute
must even if you only target professional users in clusters etc.
Windows support means a board is usable by the general population, and
this is something vendors care about deeply. We renamed LinuxBIOS to
coreboot exactly because people said all the time "I don't want Linux",
and EFI marketing would love to make fun of us if we ever said "Linux
only is good enough for certification".

> My comments below are what I would expect minimum coreboot compliance to mean.
> On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 3:44 PM, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger
> <c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net> wrote:
>> If there is interest in such an idea, we will have to decide which
>> criteria have to be fulfilled to get such a certificate, and if the
>> certificate has an expiry date and/or is bound to a specific svn revision.
>> Off the top of my head, I can think of the following criteria:
>> - coreboot+SeaBIOS works well enough to boot $ENTERPRISE_LINUX,
>> $ENDUSER_LINUX and Windows 7 (Vista and XP as well?)
> Why should Windows be important criteria? Should we really withhold a
> coreboot certification on the condition that a non-free OS work?

Please see above.

>> - Nvidia and ATI graphics drivers (both free and closed) work if booted
>> with a coreboot+SeaBIOS image?
> Frankly, I think that ability to use the free drivers should be good
> enough. We shouldn't be hold out any kind of coreboot certification on
> the condition that non-free drivers work.

There are two aspects of the problem:
- We can't test everything (fact of life)
- Closed-source drivers have a huge market share, and won't go away any
time soon

>> - Legacy ports (if present) work
> How about any ports on the board should work, legacy or not?

Absolutely. I just wanted to point out that many vendors don't care that
much about legacy anymore.

>> - Fans work well enough (temperature-based scaling if present in the
>> "normal" BIOS)
> I don't think that we should compare coreboot to the "normal" bios. We
> should decide whether this feature is needed or not in a certified
> system that is capable of it.

Fans can be loud. If all fans run at 100% non-stop, machines can be
essentially unusable for noise reasons.

>> - SeaBIOS source code is available
> Yes.
>> - SeaBIOS code is merged into SeaBIOS git
> Yes. Doesn't this imply the previous item?

Indeed, but given that vendor code may not always be suitable for
merging, do we want to withhold certification if code is available but
not merged? And what happens if Kevin is on vacation?

>> - At least some serial output (coreboot version) if a serial port
>> (header) is present, otherwise... USB Debug? Floppy? LPC bus? POST card
>> on port 82h?
> I thought that POST cards showed valued outputed on port 80h. What is 82h?

Some POST cards support port 80h/82h/84h and you can decide which port
they should listen to. Some multi-functional POST cards support
reprogramming in a way that allows you to send text output to port
82h/84h and normal POST codes to port 80h.

> Basically every coreboot system should output POST codes that a POST
> card can display if it's possible to insert a POST card.
> Any physical ports (including headers for ports) on the board should
> be supported.




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