[LinuxBIOS] [RFC] Call for Action: LinuxBIOS foundations

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Wed Aug 29 16:47:13 CEST 2007

On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 08:17:45PM +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> On 28.08.2007 19:38, Uwe Hermann wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 12:48:06AM +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> >>> created. So I carefully wonder what the real goal of such a call would
> >>> be, except gathering random people with random boards? Something like:
> >>> We have 10 people who are willing to work on this or that mainboard if
> >>> you get them a system they can keep for doing the work, given that the
> >> Would it be possible to create sort of a pseudo-port which only ensures
> >> working RAM, serial and flashing? Such a pseudo-port would leave people
> > 
> > No, "working RAM" is already 95% of the work in most cases.
> If that were the case, we'd have dozens of recent boards supported.

OK, if you talk about boards where northbridge+southbridge is already
supported it's less work, yes (still not trivial, though).

> Think of all the MCP55 boards. RAM works. North- and southbridge are
> supported. The "little things" are what keep us from supporting them
> completely. A generic MCP55 port which loads the payload (additional
> board init etc.) over serial can be the ideal starting point.

Why? I don't really see a use for this. If someone is able to run such
a payload, build LinuxBIOS, test patches etc. it's not much additional
work to just add proper support for the board in the first place.
No need for such a "test-payload", I think.

Yes, a couple more MCP55 and CK804 boards would be nice; I'm working
on A8NE-FM/S (I already sent a preliminary patch a few weeks ago),
and the K9N Neo is a good candidate, too (which I have here, just lack
some spare time to work on it).

> Maybe publish an article on lwn/slashdot/whatever about flashrom? You'd
> have to make sure people merge MAC addresses and other stuff from the
> old into the new image, though, otherwise we'll have a load of boards
> with the same MAC address and quite a few of them may have
> 00:00:00:00:00:00, resulting in malfunction of some switches, network
> stacks etc.

Can you elaborate? Where is the MAC address stored? On which boards?
I doubt that all boards out there do this. What happens if you download
a BIOS image from $VENDOR website? Does the flasher contain special code
to deal with the MAC address?

> >> People want to flash their proprietary BIOS under Linux now, without
> >> having to reboot. They benefit from flashrom support for their system as
> >> much as we do. Giving people a working tool for something that is really
> >> complicated right now could even make them interested in LinuxBIOS.
> >> After all, they would have to visit our website to get flashrom.
> > 
> > Full ack. How can we advertise flashrom some more?
> Article in widely read publication. I'll contact lwn.net and report back.

Great, thanks!

http://www.hermann-uwe.de  | http://www.holsham-traders.de
http://www.crazy-hacks.org | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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