[LinuxBIOS] Names names.. [was: Linux vs. Open?]

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at cdy.org
Thu Mar 17 07:08:11 CET 2005

On Wed, Mar 16, 2005 at 07:41:25AM -0500, Kevin O'Connor wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 15, 2005 at 10:57:56AM +0100, Peter Stuge wrote:
> > "BIOS" is quickly getting obsolete.. Plus LinuxBIOS as of now doesn't
> > do much in the traditional BIOS sense; there are no callbacks, by
> > design. It's a mainboard firmware rather than a BIOS. That's actually
> > pretty good, "mainboard firmware" - but then I'm back at the original
> > problem; what to call the non-payload part. Core? Hardware init?
> I think the term "BIOS" means different things to different people. 
> Some think of it as the POST stage - which is what LinuxBIOS
> replaces.  Others would associate it with the old DOS callbacks (as
> you did).  And yet others think of the menu screen in a COTS BIOS
> where boot options can be set.

Right. Are there more fundamental blocks in a classic BIOS that I
can't think of?

- Hardware init controlled by battery-backed NVRAM
LinuxBIOS does this but it is instead controlled by compile-time
options. What is the desired development of this part?

- Boot process controlled by NVRAM
LinuxBIOS does this too, by loading a payload, and this is also
controlled by compile-time options. What is the desired development
of this part?

- Legacy services, and the only way BIOS is visible after OS loads
LinuxBIOS does not, and should not, ever, do this. Right?

I'm not saying a LinuxBIOS firmware image cannot have callbacks, but
they probably shouldn't be to this project, but rather, as Ron says,
to the Linux kernel itself. I keep making this distinctions since we
will not start developing the kernel "inside" LinuxBIOS, but a
firmware image will instead be a marriage between LinuxBIOS parts and
kernel parts.

> I wonder if the pain of changing names would be worth preventing the
> perpetual misunderstanding that the current name creates.

Right. Perhaps it will.

> LinuxBIOS right now has nothing to do with Linux.  The misconception
> that Linux is in the firmware or that the firmware was derived from
> Linux comes up frequently.
> (See one of the replies in this thread..)


> Interestingly, Linux is a trademarked term.  If a manufacture ever
> started shipping LinuxBIOS, they'd need to put the little blurb
> about "Linux is a trademark owned by Linus Torvalds" in their
> promotional material -- even though Linus and Linux have nothing to
> do with the product.

This is also a reason to change the name. And a pretty good one IMHO.

> Also, if LinuxBIOS+ADLO ever matures, one could get in the very
> awkward position of trying to explain to end users that they're
> really running Windows and not Linux.  :-)



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