[OpenBIOS] Curious as to current status

Mark Cave-Ayland mark.cave-ayland at ilande.co.uk
Sat Jun 10 12:38:40 CEST 2017

On 10/06/17 05:04, Jonathan C Day wrote:

> Hi,
> The git repository seems alive, so there's someone out there, but the main website hasn't been updated in a while and the list is... quiet.
> I'm looking to find out where OpenBIOS is, if it handles large devices (or if I need TianoCore for that, which I'd really not like) and whether the project is still in serious development (good) or is more maintenance mode (proprietary vendors have won).
> I'm also curious as to what will boot cleanly. Coreboot only seems to give results for direct payloads and SeaBIOS, and I don't see a list on OpenBIOS' site (but may have missed it), so it's not obvious what works well, what's YMMV and what's in the paperweight category.
> If things are semi-active to active, and if I can find a way to program the flash chip when things fail, I'd be happy to do testing.

Hi Jonathan,

Great to hear from you! OpenBIOS is still being developed gradually by
myself and others using QEMU, although the focus these days tends to be
on SPARC32/SPARC64/PPC since OpenBIOS is the default BIOS for these QEMU

Regarding x86/amd64, yes there is still support in the tree however it
isn't being tested particularly regularly. Last time I booted OpenBIOS
in QEMU x86 was a long time ago, although it did work. And since then
there have been plenty of improvements such as a complete rewrite of the
memory management routines/context switching.

Note that OpenBIOS compiles to an ELF binary so you still need to build
coreboot and include the OpenBIOS ELF binary as a payload. Generally
most people will use a coreboot/SeaBIOS/OVMF combination on x86 since
these are commercially supported, have more developers and most likely
more features.

If you are interested then I'd suggest testing under QEMU x86 first to
get a feel for where things are and then report back to the mailing list
and we can point you in the right direction. Is there any application in
particular that you have in mind?

Finally the mailing list can be quiet, however it just means that myself
or others are working very hard. I've got a few patch queues in the
pipeline that I'll try to flush out over the next few days...



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