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SubjectRE: Linux-2.4.15-pre9

On Thu, 22 Nov 2001, Leif Sawyer wrote:
> adding the 'pci=biosirq' to my kernel boot command line causes an oops:

Well, you seem to have a buggered BIOS - the oops is actually in the BIOS
segment, and the BIOS appears to try to re-load the ES segment register
with some strange non-existing segment.

Your BIOS PCI irq routing routines probably only work in real-mode or
something like that.

This is the reason Linux avoids BIOS calls like the plague, and why you
have to ask for them explicitly - the likelihood of any random BIOS being
broken is actually rather high. That's probably because

- the BIOS is written mostly in assembly
- the BIOS is tested exclusively with DOS and Windows
- most BIOS writers appear to simply be incompetent, or just not care.

Not a good combination, in short.

I'd love to just remove the support for BIOS calls entirely, but for every
ten broken machines there is one machine that actually works, so..


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