[LinuxBIOS] Distribution of binary images and Intel NDAs...

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Wed Mar 21 14:07:24 CET 2007

* Marcelo Coelho <marcelocoelho at gmail.com> [070321 12:14]:
> I've seen the LinuxBios presentation and I'd like to know if there is
> a technical reason that would prevent the creation and distribution of
> binary BIOS files, ready to be flashed onto the motherboard's BIOS.
There is such a distribution of binary files already:


One reason against it is that you want to make sure the images work on
your system. Therefore we added the LinuxBIOS test system:


You can get a list of tested mainboards here:


note how many boards are tested at the moment ;-) so, please everyone
who can add a board to the test system, please do so. This helps
increase the quality of LinuxBIOS a lot.

Mainboard vendors: If you wish to have your boards tested in the
LinuxBIOS test system, please contact me. coresystems offers to set up
the test system for you, or to host it for you, depending on your needs.

> If that could be done, then the possibility of a developer signing a
> NDA with Intel to develop a BIOS for it could be done, right?

That's a completely different story. Sure you can almost always
distribute a binary ONLY bios. But this would completely miss the point
of LinuxBIOS and drop one of its major advantages. You already get a
closed source bios with most boards.

> I know that NDAs aren't the way for better software, but at least it
> allows that a piece of software exists... :S

NDAs are not too big a problem (for companies). Most hardware vendors
require an NDA for their data sheets. coresystems maintains NDAs with
about a dozen hardware vendors for that reason. Most companies are very
open to see you release the code under GPL even though it is created
from the NDAed data sheets, as it gives them a large competitive

Best regards,


coresystems GmbH • Brahmsstr. 16 • D-79104 Freiburg i. Br.
      Tel.: +49 761 7668825 • Fax: +49 761 7664613
Email: info at coresystems.dehttp://www.coresystems.de/
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Freiburg • HRB 7656
Geschäftsführer: Stefan Reinauer • Ust-IdNr.: DE245674866

More information about the coreboot mailing list