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SubjectRe: [PATCH] x86: alternative identifier for Phoenix BIOS

* Alan Cox <> wrote:

> On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 17:55:20 -0800
> "H. Peter Anvin" <> wrote:
> > Philipp Kohlbecher wrote:
> > > My laptop (a Samsung X20) contains a Phoenix BIOS and would benefit from
> > > patch 1e22436eba84edfec9c25e5a25d09062c4f91ca9 (x86: reserve low 64K on
> > > AMI and Phoenix BIOS boxen).
> > >
> > > However, according to /sys/class/dmi/id/bios_vendor, the BIOS identifies
> > > its vendor as "Phoenix Technologies LTD" (sans the comma).
> >
> > Given that AMI and Phoenix combined is something like 80% of the BIOS
> > market, if not more, it might simply be easier to make it unconditional,
> > or make it a whitelist instead.
> Far more useful would be to make people aware of the problem. If the
> BIOS is scribbling in the low 64K of RAM not just BIOS areas, and
> doing so outside of ACPI marked areas they need to fix the BIOS
> ASAP. If they leave their BIOSes randomly scribbling in operating
> system memory areas then as with previous (hardware related) cases
> of vendors knowingly shipping corrupting equipment they'll be
> building up a huge class action legal liability.
> As such making sure the vendor knows in a way they cannot deny is a
> very useful activity.

CONFIG_X86_CHECK_BIOS_CORRUPTION=y will do that, it prints:

Corrupted low memory at 0x1000 (4096 phys) = 0x1234
Memory corruption detected in low memory
< stack trace >

if enough distros turn it on (at least in their debug kernels) it
creates the right kind of user pressure.

This debug feature to catch BIOS-generated low-memory corruption is
already upstream.


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