Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Dec 2006 22:06 UTC
Linux After seven years of work, the LinuxBIOS project is on the brink of making a free BIOS a standard option for computers. Serious obstacles remain, including a lack of resources and resistance from some proprietary chipset manufacturers and OEMs, but the advantages of LinuxBIOS indicate that its availability to the average computer buyer may be only months away.
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LinuxBIOS vs EFI
by Finchwizard on Thu 7th Dec 2006 22:16 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

Is there any comparisons of LinuxBIOS vs say EFI?

I know EFI has been around for a long time and has been trying to get pushed but hardware vendors are reluctant.

I wonder what it's like for LinuxBIOS.

Would be interesting to get some more information about them, seeing as the BIOS isn't something that's really discussed much, compared to the OS and hardware anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE: LinuxBIOS vs EFI
by segedunum on Thu 7th Dec 2006 23:11 UTC in reply to "LinuxBIOS vs EFI"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there any comparisons of LinuxBIOS vs say EFI?

Yer. LinuxBIOS is more likely to actually work. I never cease to be amazed by how broken implementations of EFI are.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: LinuxBIOS vs EFI
by kaiwai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE: LinuxBIOS vs EFI"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Or how many BIOS vendors are hugging onto the last bit of monopolistic position that they have, which allow them to screw everyone over.

Sure, EFI is 'technologically nice' but when it comes to real world, nothing beats OpenFirmware (which is what OpenBIOS is implementing).

Personally, I'd love to see motherboard and hardware vendors move completely over to OpenBIOS, then finally we would start to see fixes being released alot quicker than the current proprietary process.

Reply Score: 3

cool
by deanlinkous on Thu 7th Dec 2006 22:33 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Exceelllleeennnnttt...

Final step to world domination - mwa ha ha mwa ha ha

Reply Score: 5

Good stuff
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 7th Dec 2006 22:42 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd *love* for this to be viable and reliable. I'd love to get rid of the BIOS on my Inspiron intentionally crippled by Dell; my desktop (assembled myself) has full-featured BIOS and I'm much happier with total control.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good stuff
by raver31 on Thu 7th Dec 2006 22:54 UTC in reply to "Good stuff"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

not only that... but what about "these companies" that are pushing for DRM to be included in the BIOS !!!!

Reply Score: 5

benefit
by microFawad on Thu 7th Dec 2006 23:06 UTC
microFawad
Member since:
2005-12-09

What benefit the end-user will get from Open Source BIOS?

Reply Score: 2

RE: benefit
by prince_seth on Fri 8th Dec 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "benefit"
prince_seth Member since:
2006-11-22

A lot, if that user has some technical prowess. Even if they don't you would be surprised how many computers are second hand and even third hand, so you never know who's hands Aunt Tillie's old computer will end up in. Open "anything" on a computer will mean that if someone has a curiousity they can learn about the system, fix it or even improve it. That is how I learned. That is how many of us learned. And we would like those that follow us to continue to learn.

Reply Score: 5

RE: benefit
by twenex on Fri 8th Dec 2006 11:06 UTC in reply to "benefit"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Open Source BIOS won't contain DRM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: benefit
by eMagius on Tue 12th Dec 2006 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: benefit"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

DRM is just another word for security.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: benefit
by twenex on Tue 12th Dec 2006 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: benefit"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

No, it's another word for "oppression".

Reply Score: 2

RE: benefit
by B. Janssen on Fri 8th Dec 2006 13:15 UTC in reply to "benefit"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

microFawad:What benefit the end-user will get from Open Source BIOS?

Let me answer this question by asking you a question:

What benefit does the end-user get from a propritary BIOS?

Reply Score: 2

RE: benefit
by Priest on Fri 8th Dec 2006 14:59 UTC in reply to "benefit"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

One thing that annoys me about my dell system is that I can't list hard disks in the boot order.

This would be cool because I could stick ~50 OSís on my secondary HDD and disable the first one in the BIOS when I need to play with the second one.

As it is now I canít install anything on disk2 without overwriting my primary boot loader on disk1, and without disk2 in the boot order I canít just disable disk1.

Since my primary systems (Windows/Ubuntu) are on disk1 I donít want any of the random OSís or distros on disk2 fsking up my installs on disk1.

This means for ďtestingĒ I am forced to use a slow test machine connected to the KVM switch instead.

I was hoping I would be able to just disable disk1 in the bios and have my way with disk2 but no, the BIOS has locked me out.

If anyone knows an OEM that does not do this with thier BIOS I will consider them for my next upgrade cycle.

Reply Score: 3

still not clear....
by jtrapp on Fri 8th Dec 2006 00:22 UTC
jtrapp
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is this being targeted at OEMs? Or as a replacement BIOS on existing machines? I would love to get this on a new computer, but would be hesitant to flash an existing BIOS for fear that I would turn the MoBo into an expensive paperweight.

As to benefits: smaller, cheaper, and a hedge against future technology enforcing DRM....all worthy goals.

Definately a project worth keeping an eye on...

Reply Score: 3

RE: still not clear....
by Sphinx on Sat 9th Dec 2006 02:17 UTC in reply to "still not clear...."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

fear that I would turn the MoBo into an expensive paperweight.

Which would set you back about what, $100 USD and maybe an hours time. Truly a bargain when one considers the price some pay for their freedom.

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 00:33 UTC
RE: ...
by porcel on Fri 8th Dec 2006 00:47 UTC in reply to "..."
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

You can do what you would do if any BIOS upgrade does not work. Reset your jumper on the motherboard or use a special keyboard combination on some models that will take you back to your previous Eprom.

Almost all modern motherboards have a way to reset and back up the BIOS. Besides, you would not flash a functioning motherboard unless you had a reason for it and there will soon be lists of motherboards that are well supported by Linux BIOS.

But hey, nobody is forcing you to do anything, so stop putting forth strawman arguments.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 8th Dec 2006 05:22 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

There are also some fairly simple windows-based tools which will make images of your current BIOS for backup purposes. I would imagine that there are similar tools for Linux as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by Flatline on Fri 8th Dec 2006 15:29 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Flatline Member since:
2006-03-06

Actually, according to this: http://linuxbios.org/images/9/97/LinuxBIOS.pdf

You don't flash the OEM BIOS at all. You actually remove the chip and replace it with another chip that is capable of loading linuxBIOS; in other words, it is only viable on systems with removable BIOS chip.

An interesting project, nonetheless, and geared more toward remote management and fast boot times for specific types of system than for general use, apparently.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by Soulbender on Fri 8th Dec 2006 02:14 UTC in reply to "..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't see anyone holding a gun to your head, forcing you to install it.
Oh wait, you're just trolling as usual.

Edited 2006-12-08 02:14

Reply Score: 3

v ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 00:47 UTC
RE: ...
by shiny on Fri 8th Dec 2006 01:04 UTC in reply to "..."
shiny Member since:
2005-08-09

What's the problem advocates of "Freedom", can't handle the truth?
Oh yeah you are all hypocryts pushing the mod down button.


Yes, we are ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: ...
by TechGeek on Fri 8th Dec 2006 01:17 UTC in reply to "..."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

NO, we just dont like you Mitarai. Didnt you get the memo? No body is putting a gun to your head so why dont you just pipe down if you dont like it. Geez. You must REALLY hate linux to piss on every story that comes out about it.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
RE[3]: ...
by tmack on Fri 8th Dec 2006 01:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

As a side note, I don't think LinuxBIOS is going to be able to compete with the new WinBIOS from Microsoft.

According to its going to be quite a LinuxBIOS killer.

However, as we all know, Linux isn't ready for the BIOS and won't be for sometime. Not unless they drop the ridiculous color scheme and add support for and make sure it only runs on one type of hardware.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: ...
by dylansmrjones on Fri 8th Dec 2006 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Haha ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by twenex on Fri 8th Dec 2006 11:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

LOL, Nice one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by hyriand on Fri 8th Dec 2006 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
hyriand Member since:
2006-04-03

By tmack (1.84) on 2006-12-08 01:41:12 UTC in reply to ""
However, as we all know, Linux isn't ready for the BIOS and won't be for sometime. Not unless they drop the ridiculous color scheme and add support for and make sure it only runs on one type of hardware.


Hey! But next year will be the year of LinuxBIOS!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by Sphinx on Sat 9th Dec 2006 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

and me out of mod points, damn.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by Soulbender on Sat 9th Dec 2006 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Hey! But next year will be the year of LinuxBIOS!"
It will also be the year of Windows security!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by czubin on Fri 8th Dec 2006 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
czubin Member since:
2005-12-31

First thaught that occured to me readying your reply is: f--k OFF!

sorry dude but you're nothing more but a troll and doesn't deserve any attention from me anymore.

You're worse then the GPL, windows and mac freaks.

Seriously read your first comment. It only pissed people off without a damn good reason. NO excuse possible.

Don't hate linux except the gpl trolls? Guess what:
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster"

:P

Reply Score: 1

v RE[4]: ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
RE[5]: ...
by czubin on Fri 8th Dec 2006 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
czubin Member since:
2005-12-31

I got nothing to hide, I'm no saint and neither am I the devil ;)

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
v ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 02:31 UTC
RE: ...
by Gullible Jones on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:20 UTC in reply to "..."
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Nobody's telling you you have to use Linux. No one said they disapprove of people who don't use Linux. The only person who brought up the GPL was you.

Having seen enough of it here myself, I can understand anger at the Linux-centric viewpoint, but you're not making any valid comments on the cited article or the Linux-centricity of the OSNews community. You're just throwing off insults at people, and claiming that they're hypocrites as some kind of lame attempt at covering your arse. Which makes you something of a hypocrite too, no?

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:29 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
RE: ...
by Soulbender on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:58 UTC in reply to "..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Too bad I neither use Linux nor approve of the GPL, eh? 0 out of 2, not so good.
Reading comprehension isn't your strong suite, is it?

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: ...
by Mitarai on Fri 8th Dec 2006 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
RE: ...
by twenex on Fri 8th Dec 2006 11:15 UTC in reply to "..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

So you don't feel it's necessary to comply with linux licence? Why then should anyone feel it's necessary to comply with (say) Windows licences or film copyrights?

Face it, Mitarai, you're just a GPL-hating loser who's full of crap.

Reply Score: 3

Can't we block people?
by NeoSmart on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:44 UTC
NeoSmart
Member since:
2006-06-26

...Like we can on Digg? You know, those that waste two full pages spamming, there is no "feature" to permanently block viewing of all comments of such users?

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Can't we block people?
by Manuma on Fri 8th Dec 2006 03:51 UTC in reply to "Can't we block people?"
old systems
by Gooberslot on Fri 8th Dec 2006 04:13 UTC
Gooberslot
Member since:
2006-08-02

I wonder if they plan on supporting old systems. This might be a way to add more modern features (like booting from USB) to older systems.

I do think Windows support is a definite must though. Actually, I don't see why the BIOS you run should care what OS you use. I guess this one does things a bit differently.

Reply Score: 3

RE: old systems
by SomeGuy on Fri 8th Dec 2006 06:11 UTC in reply to "old systems"
SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

It's the other way around. The OS you run cares about the BIOS you use. Often OSen use direct calls into the BIOS to figure out stuff about the machine, so the OS has to be able to call into the BIOS. This implies it has to know enough about the BIOS to know what to do with it. (and yes, this should be solvable with smarter bootloaders, although this means that the OS would kind of care about what bootloader it used, or at least would have to be revamped to interface with it differently.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: old systems
by miscz on Fri 8th Dec 2006 12:07 UTC in reply to "old systems"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

One of the reasons for open-source modern BIOS is dumping legacy stuff that's slowing the boot process so I don't think this will happen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: old systems
by knighcl on Fri 8th Dec 2006 13:22 UTC in reply to "old systems"
knighcl Member since:
2005-07-06

If booting windows is a support request then it seems to be in-process. OLPC prototypes are at Redmond trying to boot to XP (probably Win/CE) using an SD card.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2170209/microsoft-looking-windows...

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Why should GNU/Linux users care if it will reach the unwashed masses. Without "Windows status" it works just as fine on my machines as it would work if every Joe, Dick and Harry used it.

Maybe you should move on and accept the fact that GNU/Linux users don't care about the pontifications of an "anything but Linux" individual.

Reply Score: 2

Is it compatible?
by Brendan on Fri 8th Dec 2006 05:48 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Last time I looked at the LinuxBIOS project (a while ago now) I got the impression that it was intended as a special BIOS for remotely managing clusters of Linux computers only.

I haven't found anything to suggest that all of the (admittedly ugly) standard BIOS functionality is supported. In this case it isn't a viable replacement BIOS for a normal computer (unless you never want to run anything except Linux and possibly some OSs that rely on GRUB).

Fortunately, there is something like Apple's "Boot Camp" for it called ADLO (see http://linuxbios.org/ADLO) which should eventually allow standard software to boot. Of course this isn't as easy as it sounds, as it's based on the Bochs BIOS, and the Bochs BIOS is designed for the hardware emulated by Bochs (and not designed for your hardware).

I'd also assume that mainstream motherboard manufacturers would consider this entirely unusable for normal desktop machines, where the highest priority for those manufacturers is probably Windows/Microsoft compatability.

Reply Score: 2

license
by trenchsol on Fri 8th Dec 2006 09:44 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

What license it is going to be ? I hope that there is not going to be something viral that claims that everything created on the computer as derivative work.....

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE: license
by cyclops on Fri 8th Dec 2006 10:46 UTC in reply to "license"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"LinuxBios Licence

LinuxBios is release under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2, June 1991 Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA"

Considering you have not looked up the license which takes seconds. I do not really think you are the best person to comment on what is a really interesting topic.

The pros vs cons of using this license for this specific task...is actually quite unique.

Reply Score: 3

Probably a good thing for hardware vendors
by MORB on Fri 8th Dec 2006 11:07 UTC
MORB
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think that what might make this viable eventually is that when it matures enough to be able to run windows, hardware vendors will have many reason to like it because it will be cheaper (free) than buying a commercial bios, and most of the support and maintenance will be provided by the community.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

As people have already said, it isn't a question of being "mature enough to run Windows", any more than it's a question of the PC being "mature enough to run Windows". If you want to use the words "mature enough", then it's a question of, on the one hand, "Windows being mature enough to run on the PC" and "Windows being mature enough to run on LinuxBIOS".

Edited 2006-12-08 11:17

Reply Score: 3

Few months, seriously?
by Karitku on Fri 8th Dec 2006 17:51 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

If you look what hardware LinuxBIOS support you pretty much disappoint in it. No support for Nvidia or Ati bridges, mostly network boot support is in satisfactory situation but thats useless in home usage. So few months my @ss! Still too fresh project to see it coming near average consumer in next year, but definetly intresting project.

Reply Score: 1

My only concern...
by elektrik on Fri 8th Dec 2006 18:50 UTC
elektrik
Member since:
2006-04-18

Is the name. LinuxBIOS may have a negative connotation to the average user, implying that it only works with computers that run the Linux operating system.

I suppose this could work out to be a minor point, but it may scare joe computer user away from it as an alternative if they think it is geared towards any one particular O.S. over the other-specifically if it is one they don't know or necessarily care to use.

As I said, it may be a minor point, but time will tell...

Reply Score: 1

tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

OEMs aren't going to adopt an open source BIOS; hence, the only folks who are going to use it are those hobbyists & or embedded devs who can/are able to replace the BIOS chip on their mobos -- which is practically nobody.

Reply Score: 1