Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Feb 2007 16:42 UTC, submitted by Luis
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 is the first-ever desktop motherboard supported by a Free & Open Source BIOS, thanks to AMD engineer Yinghai Lu who released GPL-licensed code last month. This state-of-the-art motherboard is based on the NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI chipset and AMD's latest Socket AM2." I am not exactly a Free Software evangelist, but I am a strong proponent of open BIOS, for various reasons. Good thing, this.
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Features?
by renox on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:11 UTC
renox
Member since:
2005-07-06

What will be interesting is to see what are the features brought by the LinuxBIOS compared to the "regular" BIOS that is used by Gigabyte..

Reply Score: 5

Thanks to AMD
by Luis on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:12 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

Another great news. Thanks to AMD for making it possible.

Now I just have one doubt... If I would buy a new computer, I'd love to have a free BIOS, but at the same time I love having good open source drivers (for example for my video card). Unfortunately, it seems that if you go for AMD you can have free BIOS, but not free drivers for your graphic card, and if you go for Intel you can have free drivers for your graphic card, but not free BIOS.

Now that AMD bought ATI, let's not lose our faith in them opening their drivers...

Reply Score: 3

Two small questions..
by fithisux on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:35 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

1. Do I have to install LinuxBIOS or it is pre-installed?
2. The article/post says "we can now fix the BIOS ourselves." but it can be done only if specs for HW are released.Am I right?

I cheat . 3. Can FreeBSD/Solaris run transparently with LinuxBIOS?

Edited 2007-02-27 17:35

Reply Score: 1

RE: Two small questions..
by Ford Prefect on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:39 UTC in reply to "Two small questions.."
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

1. install yourself
2. if the source code (released by AMD) is well documented, that could be as well as the needed specs in other form
3. yes

Reply Score: 3

*sigh*
by Almafeta on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:00 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Now I have to check my hardware for OSS code?

Reply Score: 1

Might whant too keep off computer
by Moulinneuf on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:47 UTC in reply to "*sigh*"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

You might want to keep of computer completely everything is built on Open Source Software/hardware. Nothing started closed or is fully closed.

Reply Score: 2

Great!
by Jedd on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:07 UTC
Jedd
Member since:
2005-07-06

Awesome! I wanna get me one! ;) LOL! I've always wanted to try a LinuxBIOS, because of the incredible boot speeds. This is truly a great moment in computer history as far as I'm concerned.

Reply Score: 2

Just got one
by SEJeff on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:12 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

This is a really nice motherboard for bios hackers. In fact, it includes 2 identical bios chips so that if you flash one and brick it, you have a backup one usable to recover your system with. By default, these motherboards use Award BIOS, but it isn't very difficult to flash them with LinuxBIOS. They claim to have gone from poweron to a login prompt in 3 seconds using LinuxBIOS, but I can only get it down to 8 seconds ;)

Maybe some more hacking and I'll get it <5 seconds to a login prompt.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Just got one
by renox on Wed 28th Feb 2007 09:04 UTC in reply to "Just got one"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I suppose that to have such small time, you have to disable memory checking done by the board (*)..

IMHO you should precise that the time you're measuring is the time of the initialisation of the board itself
(I think), to measure the boot time you still need to add the startup of the rest..

Still 8s is nice, I remember that on my old Celeron333 (128Mo of RAM), BeOS started under 20s but the board itself took >30s to initialise!
So 30s->8s is nice for the board, but now Linux (kernel+KDE) takes >1min to boot instead of <20s for BeOS :-( :-(

*: Now that's not necessarily a bad thing as the memory checking done by the BIOS is quite limited, memory checking should really be done in the background continuously, but currently it isn't..

Reply Score: 2

getting one
by diegoviola on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:29 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

I'm getting one ASAP.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, but...
by Temcat on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:29 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

Does it run Windows? I'm serious BTW. Can I run Windows with Linux BIOS?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yes, but...
by A.H. on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:38 UTC in reply to "Yes, but..."
A.H. Member since:
2005-11-11
1 down million of others to go ...
by Moulinneuf on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:40 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

"I am not exactly a Free Software evangelist"

Advocate or proponent is the right word here , GNU/Linux , Free Software have nothing to do with the bible , religion or God.

Tyan ship with LinuxBIOS on all their Opteron based products.

My big problem is that hardware manufacturer don't use it as default and don't offer it , advertise it use or/and recognize that they offer it , might seem like a small detail , but its a pain in the ass to go hunting for it online when you don't have internet but you have the vendor CD/DVD that is full of *other* software and tools.

No offense meant here as it is great work done by the LinuxBios project , but they need to go beyond just scratching there itch and make them self a competitor to other existing BIOS vendor , Developer need to recruit volunteer who go after the motherboard makers so that can get on the *prototype* and other models. I am sure and certain that the component of this board is similar to other brand name and probably would work with a little work on them also.

http://www.bios-drivers.com/

Reply Score: 4

Blikkie Member since:
2005-08-16

Apart from the fact that I have heard the term before, I think it might be a Dutch-ism, we are much more loose when it comes to using terms like evangelism.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Luis ( the submitter of this news ) is from Spain ( is user profile say so ) , so I fail to see the Dutch relation , sorry.

The term is incorrect and don't apply , this religious association of Free Software and GNU/Linux , is an insult. Many people of many faith use GNU/Linux , they are drawn to it by its freedom and availability at low cost.

Reply Score: 1

Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually it is a common use for evangelist since the 90s. Including the somewhat well known Guy Kawasaki, whose official title at Apple was "Evangelist". I believe, but am not certain, it was from his title and role at Apple that the term evangelist started getting used as someone who promotes a technology. (Addendum: Yes, Guy was the origination, I found confirmation in some of the links below.)

Technology Evangelist (general term):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_evangelist

Microsoft Evangelists:
http://www.jeffsandquist.com
http://dotnet.org.za/kevint/archive/2004/02/24/500.aspx

Free Software Evangelists:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997961,00.html
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2002/0...

Other Software Evangelists:
http://freshtakes.typepad.com/sl_communicators/2006/12/sl_business_...
http://www.askdavetaylor.com/whats_a_technology_evangelist.html

EDIT: simplified the link to Jeff Sandquist's Blog since the article linked to was a random result from google. The important part is that he is a Microsoft Evangelist.

Edited 2007-02-27 21:02

Reply Score: 3

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Another word that got a twisted meaning after thousand years of usage , oh well live and adapt as they say.

I don't like it in its new form. Thanks for the info.

Reply Score: 1

MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

If you want to go way back, the word 'evangelist' comes from Greek 'evangelistes' which is literally 'bringer of good news.' It was traditionally used with a religious connotation sure, but the literal meaning IMHO fits quite nicely with the "new" usage.

Explanations aside, language changes ;)

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Luis ( the submitter of this news ) is from Spain ( is user profile say so ) , so I fail to see the Dutch relation , sorry.

Any opinional content in a teaser is that of the staff member (in this case me) and NOT of the submitter. We NEVER allow submitters to add opinional content to teasers; we always strip it out.

The term is incorrect and don't apply , this religious association of Free Software and GNU/Linux , is an insult. Many people of many faith use GNU/Linux , they are drawn to it by its freedom and availability at low cost.

The Dutch Armed Forces have a saying. 'Einde moeilijk doen, start normaal leven'. End whining, start acting normal.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Its not whining , I don't like the use of religious term in a technical board/forum , even less in association with anything Open Source or Free Software, now I was wrong the term as another accepted meaning , that don't mean that I cant formulate politely my objection to your use of this word. Sorry If you don't like my objection , its not personal to you or your origins.

Edited 2007-02-27 21:43

Reply Score: 1

Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

Luis ( the submitter of this news ) is from Spain ( is user profile say so ) , so I fail to see the Dutch relation , sorry.

Just to clarify: while I'm from Spain, I didn't make that comment. I have to guess it was Thom Holwerda who did it, but he just forgot to put My Take: as he usually does. And Thom is indeed Dutch.

EDIT: Late again. Thom clarified it while I was posting.

Edited 2007-02-27 21:04

Reply Score: 2

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry , I associated Thom comments to you.

Reply Score: 2

justinbest Member since:
2006-06-29

What? Open Source isn't recognized as an Official Religion? I never would have known.

Edited 2007-02-27 20:16

Reply Score: 1

I'm excited
by jasutton on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:58 UTC
jasutton
Member since:
2006-03-28

I'm really interested in seeing this ported to other main-stream desktop products. Just the faster boot times would be great. I just hope that it will support all the nice features on the ASUS boards, such as jumper-free FSB and multiplier settings.

Reply Score: 2

Jack Malmostoso
Member since:
2006-01-20

If this were from Intel, we could have a truly 100% free software system, from the BIOS, to the kernel, to the fully accelerated 3D drivers (Integrated Intel, obviously).

Nonetheless, just one more step in the right direction!

Reply Score: 5

csasso Member since:
2007-02-27

But if I buy this mother-board and an Intel graphic-card, I will be able to have a PC that runs on all free drivers, won't I?

Thank you! chris

Reply Score: 1

options from stock bios
by jimveta on Wed 28th Feb 2007 00:06 UTC
jimveta
Member since:
2006-09-21

Does the new LinuxBIOS still retain the same tweakability as the stock bios (especially after pressing Ctrl+F1 in the main Award bios screen)?

You know, voltage, clock, divisors, memory timings, fan control, etc

Reply Score: 3

Why?
by heh heh on Wed 28th Feb 2007 01:49 UTC
heh heh
Member since:
2005-07-06

AM i missing something? What is the point?

Reply Score: 1

Uh..
by TurboI on Wed 28th Feb 2007 02:52 UTC
TurboI
Member since:
2006-10-27

It's just a metaphor...

Reply Score: 1

Here's hoping it is a success
by anomie on Wed 28th Feb 2007 05:29 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

As always, vote with your wallets.

I believe I've found my next motherboard.

Reply Score: 2

Treacherous Computing?
by jaygade on Wed 28th Feb 2007 16:20 UTC
jaygade
Member since:
2005-06-29

Reading the original article, what is "Treacherous Computing"? I'm not familiar with the term.

Reply Score: 1

Openfirwre as been freed by sun
by !dev!null on Wed 28th Feb 2007 22:40 UTC
!dev!null
Member since:
2006-06-18

and is in my opinion a lot better option than linux bios as openfirmware is processor agnostic.

Reply Score: 1