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  • #41
    Originally posted by JanC View Post
    Faster boot.
    Sure
    Use your favourite bootloader as a payload, so the Windows installer can't overwriting it anymore.
    Not an issue for most users.
    Load emulation for IBM PC BIOS, OpenFirmware, EFI, etc. when needed.
    And for an end user, running BIOS or an emulator running BIOS doesn't really matter.
    Protection against (some) rootkits built into the "BIOS" payload.
    Links please.
    System check utilities (e.g. memtest86) integrated into the "BIOS". (I can also imagine some special tools to pop up for overclockers & such to test/optimise their system.)
    Not very useful for an end user. Memtest86, sure, but what other system check utilities that'll fit into a rom chip exist?
    Rescue system in the "BIOS".
    You know how big BIOS is, right? How are you fitting anything close to a rescue system in a 1 or 2 megabyte image?

    Integrate simple games into the "BIOS". (Imagine CoreBoot Solitaire booting in 1 second, that would be a killer app! )
    Yes, because this has proven successful when attempted by other manufactures. Dell had laptops that played music from your hard drive from BIOS. Several motherboards had the embedded Linux with a web browser in BIOS-ish. Nobody cared.

    Coreboot might be interesting for the enthusiast or code hacker. Coreboot is literally nothing to an end user. To dive into the car analogies, BIOS is the oil filter. Most of your population doesn't care what brand or type is down there as long as they can go placed.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by locovaca View Post
      Not an issue for most users.
      Ask an office worker how long it takes to boot up his/her workstation.

      You know how big BIOS is, right? How are you fitting anything close to a rescue system in a 1 or 2 megabyte image?
      It's variable. Mine has Firefox in it, next to the BIOS. Also didn't DOS fit on a floppy?

      Yes, because this has proven successful when attempted by other manufactures. Dell had laptops that played music from your hard drive from BIOS. Several motherboards had the embedded Linux with a web browser in BIOS-ish. Nobody cared.
      True. But why waste time with going though a shitload of checks when nobody cares about DOS? And if they care they can put DOS in there; not needing a stupid floppy. Bloat is bad. Clean implementations are generaly good.

      Coreboot might be interesting for the enthusiast or code hacker. Coreboot is literally nothing to an end user. To dive into the car analogies, BIOS is the oil filter. Most of your population doesn't care what brand or type is down there as long as they can go placed.
      Why do people care about Apple? Because it hides the technology. Now how pretty is that post srceen of yours? Why not eliminate the need for a post screen and boot straight into a boatloader that has a Linux kernel with KMS in the BIOS?

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      • #43
        Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
        Ask an office worker how long it takes to boot up his/her workstation.
        My work laptop with Win 7 takes 30 seconds from POST to the Login screen. It takes 8 minutes from password entry to a workable desktop. POST and BIOS is the least of my concerns; it takes 4 seconds to POST. That's not even 1% of my total startup time.

        It's variable. Mine has Firefox in it, next to the BIOS. Also didn't DOS fit on a floppy?

        True. But why waste time with going though a shitload of checks when nobody cares about DOS? And if they care they can put DOS in there; not needing a stupid floppy. Bloat is bad. Clean implementations are generaly good.
        I don't need DOS in a BIOS. Nobody needs DOS in a BIOS. DOS needs to die. Restore partitions work well enough for the average consumer; optical media is the backup should a total hard drive failure occur. None of this should be the worry of the code which is simply to bring up devices to a workable state.

        Why do people care about Apple? Because it hides the technology. Now how pretty is that post srceen of yours? Why not eliminate the need for a post screen and boot straight into a boatloader that has a Linux kernel with KMS in the BIOS?
        Some BIOS supports full screen logos in lieu of a nitty-gritty POST message. All the main manufacturers do this. And even then, they are very quick. My Acer C2D posts in 2 seconds. The difference between 2 seconds and 1 second is barely noticeable. You're splitting hairs at this point.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by locovaca View Post
          My work laptop with Win 7 takes 30 seconds from POST to the Login screen. It takes 8 minutes from password entry to a workable desktop. POST and BIOS is the least of my concerns; it takes 4 seconds to POST. That's not even 1% of my total startup time.
          Then your work laptop is special. My desktop at home gets from login to usable desktop (Win7 64-bit) in 30 seconds (with my few auto-loaded programs fully ready). Is your machine force-launching a re-index or virus scan every startup? Are network mounts timing out and confusing explorer while they wait? 8 minutes to a usable machine is not normal.

          Originally posted by locovaca View Post
          I don't need DOS in a BIOS. Nobody needs DOS in a BIOS. DOS needs to die. Restore partitions work well enough for the average consumer; optical media is the backup should a total hard drive failure occur. None of this should be the worry of the code which is simply to bring up devices to a workable state.
          I can definitely say that I wouldn't mind having a partition manager, drive imager, and maybe some form of file manager/virus scanner that could be launched from outside of an OS. Even if I had to load the virus definitions from a thumb drive, it could be very useful when attempting to rescue a system which has trashed itself (or a family member infected the machine and it falls to me to clean it up).

          Originally posted by locovaca View Post
          Some BIOS supports full screen logos in lieu of a nitty-gritty POST message. All the main manufacturers do this. And even then, they are very quick. My Acer C2D posts in 2 seconds. The difference between 2 seconds and 1 second is barely noticeable. You're splitting hairs at this point.
          Your computer may post in 2 seconds, but mine takes about 15 before I hit the boot loader (almost half of which is due to the hardware-RAID card). Considering that I often have to sit in front of the computer to make sure that the correct OS is selected for boot, that's 15 seconds that I could be heading to the coffee maker to get a pot of coffee started. Yeah, it's only once or twice a day, but it's still annoying.

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          • #45
            On all of my hw since 2006 POST has been the bottleneck on boot. On the current system it takes 5-6s, when the rest of the boot is 3-4s.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by Veerappan View Post
              Then your work laptop is special. My desktop at home gets from login to usable desktop (Win7 64-bit) in 30 seconds (with my few auto-loaded programs fully ready). Is your machine force-launching a re-index or virus scan every startup? Are network mounts timing out and confusing explorer while they wait? 8 minutes to a usable machine is not normal.
              Nope, no timeouts. Virus Scan has something to do with it. A lot of corporate crap is set to load on startup. I know Win 7 is faster than that, but Vin!cent's example as corporate folks waiting minutes to use their computers. It's not due to a POST sequence, it's due to crap like this.

              I can definitely say that I wouldn't mind having a partition manager, drive imager, and maybe some form of file manager/virus scanner that could be launched from outside of an OS. Even if I had to load the virus definitions from a thumb drive, it could be very useful when attempting to rescue a system which has trashed itself (or a family member infected the machine and it falls to me to clean it up).
              All of those functions can be done from a Pen Drive or PXE boot. I'm not debating their utility; they do not belong in the same process as bringing up hardware.

              The whole point to LinuxBIOS and Coreboot was "Hey, BIOS is initializing hardware, and then the kernel just does it a second time, that's a waste of time." It was not to cram an entire operating system onto a flash chip.

              Your computer may post in 2 seconds, but mine takes about 15 before I hit the boot loader (almost half of which is due to the hardware-RAID card). Considering that I often have to sit in front of the computer to make sure that the correct OS is selected for boot, that's 15 seconds that I could be heading to the coffee maker to get a pot of coffee started. Yeah, it's only once or twice a day, but it's still annoying.
              You're not a typical user. The discussion was that AMD's announcement increased the possibility Coreboot was going to be on mainstream, commodity hardware. Hardware RAID cards are not mainstream, commodity hardware and are not in use by said audience. The mainstream, commodity market that has HPs, Dells, etc. already have a POST done in 2-3 seconds. Coreboot's advantages will not be seen by that market.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by locovaca View Post
                The whole point to LinuxBIOS and Coreboot was "Hey, BIOS is initializing hardware, and then the kernel just does it a second time, that's a waste of time." It was not to cram an entire operating system onto a flash chip.
                Yes, but once you limit the core firmware to just the bare minimum needed to bring up something else, it implies that the user (or OEM) has a choice of what the "something else" should be. That's why it's not called LinuxBIOS anymore. I agree that most users will not be interested in trying to "cram an entire operating system onto a flash chip".

                You're not a typical user. The discussion was that AMD's announcement increased the possibility Coreboot was going to be on mainstream, commodity hardware. Hardware RAID cards are not mainstream, commodity hardware and are not in use by said audience. The mainstream, commodity market that has HPs, Dells, etc. already have a POST done in 2-3 seconds. Coreboot's advantages will not be seen by that market.
                The typical user will never know the difference between legacy BIOS and UEFI, or the difference between NTLDR and WINLOAD. The typical user shouldn't notice these things, which is the main reason that so much effort goes into making them work on mainstream, commodity hardware. Isn't coreboot in the same boat?

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                  The typical user will never know the difference between legacy BIOS and UEFI, or the difference between NTLDR and WINLOAD. The typical user shouldn't notice these things, which is the main reason that so much effort goes into making them work on mainstream, commodity hardware. Isn't coreboot in the same boat?
                  It is, except that Coreboot has never made itself a serious alternative. As I said before, even if they magically get things working for a large number of boards, they still have to get some sort of support system in place. Right now it's more or less a volunteer to keep a board running with each new version of code. Motherboard companies have not been very helpful in release their source code to the public; look at the EEE PC and Splashtop. It was pulling teeth to get source code released for these. Why would a motherboard manufacturer suddenly want to release their proprietary BIOS-replacement code to the world?

                  Either Coreboot needs to offer a paid support, closed source version for motherboard manufacturers, or else they have to be prepared implement all functionality and support it 100% through the open source movement. Motherboard manufacturers have no interest in Open Source; the "pay for a Phoenix/AMI/whatever BIOS" has worked for decades. There is no business incentive for a switch.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by locovaca View Post
                    It is, except that Coreboot has never made itself a serious alternative. As I said before, even if they magically get things working for a large number of boards, they still have to get some sort of support system in place.
                    That's not part of the project as such, though. It'll happen if/when more people and companies start taking an interest in coreboot. Red Hat wasn't founded by Linus.

                    Motherboard companies have not been very helpful in release their source code to the public; look at the EEE PC and Splashtop. It was pulling teeth to get source code released for these.
                    That's happened with a bunch of companies, usually because they're clueless about the requirements of copyleft licenses. I don't see how motherboard vendors are special here.

                    Why would a motherboard manufacturer suddenly want to release their proprietary BIOS-replacement code to the world?
                    Why wouldn't the proprietary parts be in the payload? I doubt board vendors are differentiating their BIOSes with secret chipset configuration registers. libpayload is permissively licensed, so there shouldn't be a problem with shipping proprietary payloads. Besides, a lot of what motherboard companies are differentiating lately isn't really in the BIOS at all, but rather in Windows apps to configure settings and monitor performance.

                    Motherboard manufacturers have no interest in Open Source; the "pay for a Phoenix/AMI/whatever BIOS" has worked for decades. There is no business incentive for a switch.
                    I think it's not so far-fetched that motherboard vendors might like to stop paying Phoenix/AMI/whoever and be able to offer a royalty-free customizable firmware to OEM customers. I'm not in the business, though, so I guess that's just speculation.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                      That's not part of the project as such, though. It'll happen if/when more people and companies start taking an interest in coreboot. Red Hat wasn't founded by Linus.
                      It's a chicken and egg problem. They won't provide paid support unless they get enough companies, and a lot of companies won't look at open source products without some sort of proprietary license and paid support.

                      Our company is currently switching from WebLogic's Java App Server to tcServer. Why tcServer? Because it's a commercially supported version of Tomcat. If crap blows up, we have someone to ring up and yell at to fix. For a lot of organizations this is an important safety net.

                      That's happened with a bunch of companies, usually because they're clueless about the requirements of copyleft licenses. I don't see how motherboard vendors are special here.
                      In this case it's software that interacts with otherwise the same hardware. If Asus comes up with a spiffy way of overclocking a board, do you think they really want Gigabyte to get their hands on that?

                      Why wouldn't the proprietary parts be in the payload? I doubt board vendors are differentiating their BIOSes with secret chipset configuration registers. libpayload is permissively licensed, so there shouldn't be a problem with shipping proprietary payloads. Besides, a lot of what motherboard companies are differentiating lately isn't really in the BIOS at all, but rather in Windows apps to configure settings and monitor performance.
                      Well don't take my word for it:

                      http://www.gigabyte.us/products/prod...px?pid=3856#ov

                      Navigating through the BIOS to change system settings can be a daunting task for users not familiar with control “F”functions and mouse-less navigation. While some EFI BIOS try to address this with a mouse friendly environment, many implementations still lack a certain ease-of-use necessary for most people. With GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™, GIGABYTE engineers have completely re-imagined how users can interact with their BIOS, allowing for a more intuitive user experience. In fact, with a touch screen monitor, GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™ is as easy to use as most apps on your iPhone.
                      http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD...ir_IV_Extreme/

                      Two BIOS ROM, Two BIOS settings, Twice the overclocking flexibility
                      Flashback act as a SaveGame function for BIOS management. Go back to any other BIOS version you like!
                      http://www.abit.com.tw/page/en/mothe...&fMTYPE=LGA775

                      abit SoftMenu™
                      The original jumperless motherboard design allows for CPU setting changes completely through the BIOS. For GigaOverclocking! Boost your PC's Performance by up to 50%. Convenient and easy-to-use fine tuning from within a self-explanatory BIOS menu.
                      Many MB manufacturers pimp their "exclusive" BIOS features. Whether or not they are truly exclusive is another point, but if you told your president that you could switch to this fancy new system but you'd have to give away all the "exclusive" code that you wrote, who would do that? Coreboot has to re-license, even if it's seemingly stupid.

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