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SubjectRe: Flash linux into PC bios?
On Sat, 17 Apr 1999, Paul Jakma wrote:

> theoretical question:
>
> what would happen if i flashed a linux kernel into the BIOS of a
> recent pc motherboard, given that the EEPROM is big enough to hold
> the kernel.
>
> would it work. the kernel already can initialise most motherboard
> chipsets, eg PIIX, VP3, so how much stuff does the bios do that the
> kernel can't? is there any really low level stuff that needs to be
> tweaked, eg memory timings, that linux couldn't do?

The BIOS does lots of scary chipset setup and may set up custom chips on
the board that you don't even know are there (CPLDs etc). Memory detection
and sizing, cache setup, and then of course then there's the P6 update ...

It could be done, but it would be very board specific (think about soft
set motherboards etc).

It would be a lot easier to Flash the kernel in as a boot ROM. For some
BIOSs this is just a matter of reading out the BIOS image, tacking it on
the end of your boot ROM, and Flashing the result back. Usually this is
not the case, and it's easier to use an empty socket on a network card for
your own Flash part.

You should also checkout http://www.openbios.org.

P.

---
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
| Peter Horton - software engineer - Linux 2.2.5 |
+---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
| pdh@berserk.demon.co.uk | http://www.berserk.demon.co.uk |
| pdh@colonel-panic.com | http://www.colonel-panic.com |
+---------------------------+-----------------------------------+



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