[LinuxBIOS] IT8718F support.

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Wed Aug 30 14:37:59 CEST 2006


On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 12:11:14AM +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> The FSF has a campaign (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/free-bios.html)
> we could use for sampling which SuperIOs are used in commonly sold
> boards. Their "how can you help" section could state prominently that
> we need a list of boards with matching SuperIOs.
> Suggested text follows:
> "The LinuxBIOS project needs your help to make LinuxBIOS work on
> your mainboard. A first important step is to know which SuperIO your
> mainboard uses. This information can be obtained easily following
> the directions on <some LinuxBIOS wiki page>. Once that is known,
> you can download a matching experimental BIOS image and test the
> code."
> The LinuxBIOS wiki page could read as follows:
> "How to find the SuperIO on your mainboard? There are two ways to
> do it:
> 1. Find the chip on the board (usually a bigger chip with ITE, NSC,
>    SMSC, VIA or Winbond written on it). See <photo> and <photo>
>    for reference.
> 2. Find the chip with sensors-detect and look for something named
>    SuperIO. See <sample output> for reference. Equipped with that
>    information, you may also want to find out if that chip is really
>    soldered on your board.
> Please add this your findings to the wiki so others can verify
> and profit from it.
> <example board> <example superio> <link to bios image>
> <example board> <example superio> <link to bios image>"
> What do you think?

Asking for help in the FSF campaign is definately a good idea, as it
reaches quite a lot of people, I guess.

I'm not sure whether a list of Super IOs is all that useful, though. We can
simply support all of them (a coordinated effort shouldn't take more
than a few weeks to support almost all Super IOs you can get a datasheet

I'm sure there are other areas where the project needs lots more help;
Someone who is more involved with the project than I am should
probably create a list of such areas.

IMHO these things are quite important:

 1) publicity among non-coders to make the project well-known, and to
    make the fact known that there's a viable, working Free Software
    alternative to proprietary BIOSes.

 2) Get as many coders as possible involved. Create incentive to try
    LinuxBIOS, which will result in active contributions in many
    cases. It's crucial to have support for a wide range of hardware,
    as only that will really ensure a wide-spread use of LinuxBIOS
    (I'm especially thinking about desktop machines here).

 3) Create pressure on those companies which do not give out datasheets
    for various hardware parts. This is much easier if 1) is successful
    and many people/customers demand LinuxBIOS support.

HTH, Uwe.
Uwe Hermann 
http://www.it-services-uh.de  | http://www.crazy-hacks.org 
http://www.holsham-traders.de | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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