Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 6th Jun 2005 22:01 UTC
Editorial Today's confirmation that Apple is going x86 makes today a historic day in the industry. It may mean that Microsoft might see a few percent decline of their market share the next few years, but what about Linux? If Linux were to lose an equal amount of share it would alter its spread to the desktop, a spread that has been very positive so far.
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Porting and OpenFirmware
by Steve on Mon 6th Jun 2005 23:20 UTC

If the new Intel-Macs use OpenFirmware (likely IMHO), getting Linux to run on them will be trivial. Linux already runs on OpenFirmware (LinuxPPC). OpenFirmware just loads linux kernel with OpenFirmware support compiled in and goes.

Getting windows to run on them will be a bit trickier. Likely you would get OpenFirmware to boot a mini-kernel, this mini-kernel would probe OpenFirmware to find out about the hardware (easy to do OpenFirmware is Open -- we have the specs), it would then convert this hardware info into standard PC-BIOS info and load the Windows kernel feeding the Windows kernel the info it requires.

The other choice would be for MS to modify the Windows kernel, which I find highly unlikely.

Flashing OpenFirmware to be a PC-BIOS -- impossible. Completely different chips (well at least very hard).

Getting MacOSX-Intel to run on regular PC's. A bit harder since PC-BIOS does not allow the flexibility of OpenFirmware to boot something else first then have it load a kernel, but it is possible. OpenFirmware can run machine language programs -- PC BIOSes cannot do things like this.

Now, why I figure this will not work, is because of the Intel DRM stuff built into the chip which will likely be used to cause the faked-out MacOSX on regular PCs to not work. Or better but, will be a requirement for MacOSX to run on real Intel-Mac PC's. Can this be hacked? Perhaps, but we don't know much about Intels DRM yet. We do know the whole purpose of it is to make hacking difficult though.