[OpenBIOS] OpenBIOS for TFTP

Stefan Reinauer stepan at suse.de
Wed Dec 18 15:29:25 CET 2002

Hi Jack,

> Many thanks for your useful answer. I do not quite understand
> the difference between openbios and linuxbios, to the
> uninitiated like me they sound like the same thing. 

LinuxBIOS was started quite some time ago after the OpenBIOS project
only had a little bit of practically useless code. It concentrated on
doing the very basic initialization of a machine, i.e. dram init and
pci init. Early versions then gave control to a Linux kernel that was
able to boot another Linux kernel (so one would gain all the hardware
support to load a recent kernel from any device). By now LinuxBIOS has
many more options, like using Etherboot or the Bochs bios for booting an
OS and it can boot a couple of operating systems (including some windows
flavours afaik)
OpenBIOS basically starts where LinuxBIOS ends - it aims at implementing 
an IEEE 1275-1994 Open Firmware system that is able to use the platform
independent boot code available on quite some expansion cards. Open
Firmware is available commercially on many platforms and at least Linux
and BSD know how to communicate with it. Open Firmware has an object
oriented driver design which makes it easy to write simple drivers for
hardware initialization that is not dependent on the underlying CPU 


The x86 isn't all that complex - it just doesn't make a lot of
sense.          -- Mike Johnson, Leader of 80x86 Design at AMD
	                          Microprocessor Report (1994)
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