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SubjectRe: OpenBIOS (was Re: UDI and Politics (was Re: Linux, UDI and SCO.) )
In message <>, Carlos Morgado writes:
| > What is boils down to, is that I would like to see bios concentrate on
| > the thing which it is desinted to: a) init device from which it is
| > to load kernel b) load kernel c) _optionally_ provide some basic Input
| > output.
| Unfortunatly BIOS stand very close to the hardware. PeCes are not the case
| of Alphas were you have 1 architecture. BIOSs are made in some degree to fit
| the hardware they are running on.

True, but possibly not relevant: since Linux doesn't use the BIOS, it
already knows how to "fit the hardware" itself. That knowledge could e.g.
be transported into an x86-pc Open Firmware implementation. (And OS
writers, except possibly Microsoft, would thank you. Intel would hate your
guts, though :-)

| > What I mean here is that I don't see my my BIOS need to have "Virus
| > Protection" or "date setup". But I would like to see my BIOS to provide
| > a) serial console support
| the serial is pretty much standard i think. except for the "fish the irq/io
| port" issue.

Standardize on COM(1,3E8,4), override if needed from keyboard+monitor. If
an Open Firmware serial card is present, use that before assuming COM1.

| This would be fun except for the pain it would to be to make firmware for
| all the motherboards out there. (or wouldn't this be needed ?)

It probably would. But it would be nice if the x86-pc world started moving
toward Open Firmware or eqyuivalent. We could support it the way 2.1
supports fbcon (i.e. as an option on x86) with implementations on common
motherboards, etc. to start the ball rolling.

It also needs firmware on the devices, though; the "support for netbooting
so I don't have to burn a PROM" comment missed the point there. You still
need a PROM specific to each card, it just exports a standard interface.

A boot monitor which understood how to operate all possible boot devices
itself would be equivalent to the Linux kernel itself, at least from the
standpoint of device support. Somehow, I don't think booting a mini-Linux
(where "mini" doesn't include removal of drivers) in order to boot Linux
solves any problems --- you still need to boot that "mini"-Linux, and it's
not clear that it would be "mini" enough to fit into a flash-ROM.

brandon s. allbery [os/2][linux][solaris][japh]
system administrator [WAY too many hats]
electrical and computer engineering KF8NH
carnegie mellon university

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