[coreboot] Free BIOS for personal computers and laptops - you will explode!

joe at smittys.pointclark.net joe at smittys.pointclark.net
Mon Feb 11 23:36:23 CET 2008

Quoting Ward Vandewege <ward at gnu.org>:

> The FSF would like to prepare some PR around this response an FSF supporter
> got from Intel customer care representative asking them about support for
> free BIOS on Intel hardware. Any thoughts from the coreboot community on
> this?
> --------------------------
> Thanks for your email.
> Writing BIOS code is not like writing an OS device driver.  Chipset
> specifications can vary not just between chipset models, but between
> steppings of the same chipset.  Problems in chipset hardware and
> problems in BIOS code are hard to distinguish without specific hardware
> instrumentation.  End user BIOS replacement with a third- party BIOS
> (whether free or not) on a commercial motherboard is not allowed by
> nearly all hardware vendors because of the potential for BIOS viruses
> and the risk of rendering the hardware useless through ill-advised
> modifications.  For example, a laptop battery could explode if incorrect
> power management algorithms were applied.
> BIOS is a part of the reliability and performance promise of the
> hardware.  Chipset specifications at the level being discussed are
> commonly considered proprietary by all silicon vendors, not just Intel.
> The open source firmware work that Intel *is* sponsoring could lead to a
> solution where proprietary low-level chipset initialization code from
> silicon vendors is made compatible with open source higher-level
> platform initialization and pre-boot management.  If you are interested,
> we invite you to participate at www.tianocore.org.
> Thanks once again for your interest in Intel.
> Sincerely,
> Intel Customer Support
> --------------------------
> Thanks,
> Ward.
I don't know about that Ward, I think they are being a little silly on  
the matter. I have coreboot running on my Intel based board without  
exploding batteries. Sounds like some advertizing propoganda for  
tianocore to me:-)

Thanks - Joe

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