Time and Place
Saturday, 6th of February 2010, at FOSDEM2010 in Brussels, Belgium.
FOSDEM is simply the biggest free software developers event in Europe. For the last 10 years, on one weekend in February, a campus from the Brussels Free University gets raided by some 5000 open source developers and enthusiasts. There are main tracks with high profile talks, there are project specific devrooms with talks and hands on session, there are booths, and all of it is free (although donations are appreciated).
Coreboot will have its very first DevRoom at FOSDEM this year. We will have AW.124, which can hold 60 people, from 13:00 to 19:00. We will have talks and hands-on sessions there and generally be very cool and interesting :)
- 13:00 : Peter Stuge - coreboot introduction
- 14:00 : Peter Stuge - coreboot and PC technical details
- 15:00 : Rudolf Marek - ACPI and Suspend/Resume under coreboot.
- 16:00 : Rudolf Marek - coreboot board porting.
- 17:00 : Carl-Daniel Hailfinger - Flashrom.
- 18:00 : Luc Verhaegen - Flash Enable BIOS Reverse Engineering.
- Peter Stuge - coreboot introduction
The BIOS and it's successor EFI are considered by many to be the final frontier for open source software in commodity PCs. This talk introduces the open source BIOS replacement coreboot (formerly known as LinuxBIOS) and the projects that surround it, including many popular payloads that combine with coreboot to make up an innovative firmware for PCs. The talk also looks at the 10 year long history of the project, describes the current state of development and considers some possibilities for the future.
- Peter Stuge - coreboot and PC technical details
A modern PC is quite different from the 1980s original, and while the BIOS still lingers after 30 years it must now solve many tricky problems. When the original PC with it's pre-ISA expansion bus was powered on, it was almost immediately ready to run an application. Today's PC can have several multicore CPUs interconnected by HyperTransport, Front Side Bus or QuickPath, DDR3 RAM on each CPU, and a large number of buses and peripherals. Many components require increasingly complex initialization to be implemented in software. This talk describes the technical challenges encountered by coreboot developers and their solutions.
- Rudolf Marek - ACPI and Suspend/Resume under coreboot.
Ever wanted to know more about ACPI? This talk will introduce the software part of ACPI as well as provide the necessary hardware details to get the bigger picture. A tour through the Coreboot ACPI implementation will be given, and the nitty-gritty details of the suspend and resume procedure will be explained.
- Rudolf Marek - coreboot board porting
You don't like your BIOS? Want coreboot instead? Here is my story... This talk introduces some strategies for porting coreboot to new hardware. We go over the information gathering stage, data-mining, datasheet usage and common gotchas. The porting of a new motherboard but with existing chipset support, as well as kick-starting a new chipset port, are explained.
- Carl-Daniel Hailfinger - Flashrom, the universal flash tool.
Flashrom is the open source utility of choice to identify, read, write, verify and erase flash chips. It is commonly used to flash BIOSes from under Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris and Mac OS X, but it also has the ability to reflash graphics cards, SATA controllers, network cards and one game console. A wide variety of external programmers is supported as well, from ultra-cheap homemade setups to high end commercial machines. Hotflashing and crossflashing complete the feature set. This talk introduces flashrom, and explains its structure and implementation. Common issues and future directions are explained, and even a demonstration will be given.
- Luc Verhaegen - Flash enable BIOS reverse engineering.
Many board makers provide extra write protection for their BIOS chips. The developers at the flashrom project have to devote part of their time on finding out what protection is present and how this can be disabled. Some of this information comes from the BIOS itself, and the procedures for some common BIOSes, and the tools involved will be introduced in this talk. Part of the time will be spent on digging through an actual BIOS with a crude tool like ndisasm.
Information for Speakers
A DevRoom at FOSDEM contains a sometimes working network (several thousand people are trying to use wireless at the same time), power, an LCD projector and some whiteboards. Next to that, the room will be filled with highly interested free software people, some of which you know or will get to know after your talk. It always is a very friendly and highly interested audience that can handle very technical information well. Talks should not be kept shallow at all as little pandering is needed. Talks should generally last about 45 minutes, so that there is some time for people to move in and out of the room or to come and talk to you directly.
If you want to give a talk at this DevRoom (and as you can see, there are plenty of slots still available), please contact Luc Verhaegen (libv) by dropping him an email at libv at skynet dot be.
The FOSDEM website contains tons of information on the event itself, transportation, getting around in brussels, finding hotels, pretty much everything you need. Next to that, there are archives of the website for the previous years, where you can find out about previous talks and shedules.
Flashrom speed talk at Alt-OS devroom
Porting challenge: Flashrom, the universal flash tool
Flashrom is the open source utility of choice to read and write flash chips and a real porting challenge because it needs full hardware access from userspace. Some say that only X.org needs a similar level of hardware access. Flashrom is working under Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris, Mac OS X and Windows (somewhat) and people use it to reflash BIOSes, graphics/network/SATA cards, a game console and to control a boatload of external flash programmers.
This talk gives a short overview of flashrom and its architecture, and then goes into detail about the work needed to port it to your favourite OS.