[coreboot] EFI strategy

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Sat Feb 9 16:45:23 CET 2008


with that regard, the change to coreboot improved the perception of
LinuxBIOS a lot. It's no longer a BIOS. :-) 

You are right, EFI is not a completely new idea.  It is roughly an
attempt to write a C implementation of what was 1994 (not '95)
standardized as Open Firmware (IEEE 1275-1994) and existed for about a
decade before that.

EFI is really nothing we should be hostile about. EFI is just
yet another bootloader, a payload in coreboot speak. It can be just one
of the "personalities" of coreboot. Just like gPXE, OpenFirmware, ADLO,
GRUB2, Linux-as-a-Bootloader, (FILO, OpenBIOS).

EFI is a problem that was solved quite a while ago: If you want coreboot
to be your EFI, you can have that. If you want it to be Open Firmware,
go ahead. coreboot _is_ whatever people _require_ it to be. An
interesting interesting observation is that not a whole lot of people
require coreboot to be EFI (or Open Firmware).

Today's OS landscape had to find a way around the Firmware mess of the
70's, 80's and 90's and started defining there requirements feature
driven rather than standards driven almost a decade ago. This was when
coreboot, called LinuxBIOS back then, started to be successful.

Our customers usually stop asking for (U)EFI once they understand it is
just another bootloader. That is what it was designed as. coreboot
really is, what Intel calls a "pre-EFI environment": PEI. This is the
part where the interesting things happen (everything else except loading
a kernel and bringing the graphics adapter to light.) But this is just
what we experienced. I am sure there are parts of industry where EFI
might become the solution of excellence - Just like there is such a
market for Intel's Itanium® processors.

None the less, I think it is important that we offer this variation just
as any other. This is one of the reasons coresystems became a member of
UEFI. We were able to build up some remarkable contacts to Intel for
supporting their hardware and we think it is in common interest to have
Intel work with us in this community in the long run. There are guys
from Intel on this mailing list, and I think we should welcome them
heartly for their interest in our technology rather than cutting the
rescue rope by prematurely sounding the trumpet for attack ;-)

Best regards,


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