This is my idea-page for LinuxBIOS on Desktop-computers
I think that the usecases can be very different between a BIOS for a cluster with 1000 nodes and for a single desktop computer. Because of this, i will try to make these differences clear, and think about possibilities for LinuxBios to improve. You are free to edit this page if you have an account for this wiki.
As Linuxbios is today, it is mostly made for the "Configure once use a thousand times on the same hardware". This approach is good for vendors, which deliver servernodes or thinclients to a single customer. No hardwarechanges needs consideration, because the delivered system won't change in the livetime. Because all hardware is well known, LinuxBios can be made very lean and tight fitting. This is one thing, why LinuxBios has the advantage of a very short time to boot an operatingsystem (about 3 seconds are possible for a nongraphical boot).
LinuxBios on a desktop
In my opinion LinuxBios must go another way, to get popular on the normal desktop computer (and fix some flaws of propritary Bios'es on the way).
The user expects the Bios to be present and configurable all the time.
- No operatingsystem or bootdisk should be needed to change settings in the Bios. This can be an option.
- A graphical screen should indicate, that LinuxBios is installed on this computer. (splashscreen)
- Bootoptions should be displayed, from which can be chosen at the start with the cursor keys. (A waittime is needed for this approach)
- One of the options must be Bios setup, which is the last thing in the options. The boot-order should be selectable in the bios setup. It can go like this: " CD-ROM,--> USB, --> Harddisk,--> Bios setup". Another possiblity could be to only boot from harddisc and detect if someone presses a key to boot from CD-ROM, but i think this is not possible with a serial terminal or makes it very complicated.
- If no Monitor is detected, all output (including a text version of the bootoptions) must be sent to the first serial port as serial terminal. (modern mainboards don't neccesarily have any serial port, so is this of any use in the future?)
- Maybe security funktions can be implemented, to make you able to encrypt your harddisc or any future security playtoy like usb-dongle or smartcard-reader.
- Possibility in Bios setup to make a filesystemcheck and show, which filesystem is on which harddisk.
- fit into 512KB flash memory :)