[coreboot] "How come it's so slow?"

Thomas Gstädtner thomas at gstaedtner.net
Fri Mar 5 18:58:23 CET 2010

Imho it's just a sad sign for our industry.
There is a great, fast, cheap and very easy to implement solution for
x86 bootfirmwares. coreboot, but somehow the industry doesn't seem
Instead every company invents the wheel over and over again and they
never do it good or even right.
One would think that coreboot could give a company a real advantage in
the market, but still - nobody even tries (some exceptions in special
market segments excluded).

I hope that changes soon, not only "this decade", and I hope that AMD
stays on course and tries harder.

Anyway, you're doing a great job, keep up the good work!

On 2010-03-05, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:
> Just got a new nehalem box in for test yesterday. Experiences so far:
> 1. POST from power-on takes 45 seconds. *45 SECONDS*. Now, I had it
> said to me at SCALE7x last year from someone from Intel that all new
> BIOSes on Intel chips are really EFI underneath -- is this indicative
> of what we are to expect? If so, it's awful. It's 15 times slower than
> what we had ten years ago, and 50 times slower than what we can do
> today on coreboot.
> 2. POST from reset took infinity, sometimes, and 60 seconds others.
> 3. With no keyboard attached, we got the 'Hit any key to continue'
> message. I can't this problem still occurs.
> 4. No PS/2 connectors, which might be ok, except:
> 5. USB keyboard doesn't work well enough to get to the config screen.
> Oh, it works, just not right away. We can't get to the BIOS setup.
> 6. It's too dumb to realize that if there really are no storage
> devices attached, it really ought to try the network. And we can't
> force the 'boot from net' setting yet. See (5).
> Experiences on a MAC with EFI
> 1. "How come it's so long to be responsive?"
> 2. The only way to make it bearable is to load REFIt.
> 3. there's a file on the "EFI FLASH partition". It defines the
> partition tables. Yep, you might think that it could just read the
> drive, and no, that's not good enough: it can't boot an installed
> linux unless you rebuild this file too.
> So, the score so far: we've had a superior open source solution for 10
> years, and there are lots of sectors starting to listen (I hear from
> more each week), but we're still stuck with Old Fashioned BIOS on our
> desktops and servers. :-)
> I expect this problem to change this decade, just not sure when :-)
> ron
> --
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