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Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI

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  • Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI

    Phoronix: Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI

    Mark Shuttleworth has called for an end to ACPI (the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) and other executable firmwares that could prove to be attack vectors on PCs, phones, and other devices...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTYzMjg

  • #2
    Right on. Given how much trouble ACPI has caused !Windows operating systems, it is good that Shuttleworth is taking advantage of his highly visible position to attempt to drive interest in this area.

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    • #3
      For once I agree 100% with Shuttleworth. The Operating System should be Sovereign - no firmware should ever run on the main CPU after the kernel has booted! NONE!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by shaurz View Post
        For once I agree 100% with Shuttleworth. The Operating System should be Sovereign - no firmware should ever run on the main CPU after the kernel has booted! NONE!
        100% this ^


        Operating systems have been able to be biosless, one day I hope we have an open computing platform however with intel incorporating more and more drm it's likely we are going in the opposite direction. Even AMD seems to be headed that way.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nightmarex View Post
          100% this ^


          Operating systems have been able to be biosless, one day I hope we have an open computing platform however with intel incorporating more and more drm it's likely we are going in the opposite direction. Even AMD seems to be headed that way.
          I agree, but let's face it - Utopia.

          Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

          Many hardware suppliers use closed firmware to diversify their products, based on the same chipset.
          They even tell you that this is one crucial pillar of the business.
          It's not hard to see that they simply won't change this - unfortunately.

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          • #6
            Then what does he propose to replace ACPI?

            If we intend to remove potential harmful firmware, then we need to target the worst of them all; EFI. EFI has full access to any device in the computer.

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            • #7
              Putting his money/code where his mouth is

              Originally posted by Serge View Post
              Right on. Given how much trouble ACPI has caused !Windows operating systems, it is good that Shuttleworth is taking advantage of his highly visible position to attempt to drive interest in this area.
              He needs to put his money/code where his mouth is.

              Until then, his statement is as weighty as his support for Wayland.

              If he wants to change the system, he cant just call for it and others do the same. Code matters.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by You- View Post
                He needs to put his money/code where his mouth is.

                Until then, his statement is as weighty as his support for Wayland.

                If he wants to change the system, he cant just call for it and others do the same. Code matters.
                In all honesty he's just one in a long line of people who can't really do anything at all to change the current situation who have complained about it, SteamMachines give Valve the ability to try something but otherwise we're left at the behest of Microsoft to change the status quo. In spite of how far the coreboot guys have gotten, they've really gotten nowhere in terms of marketshare because it's not just code that's required here but basically ability to strongarm the motherboard manufacturers into doing what you want.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shaurz View Post
                  For once I agree 100% with Shuttleworth.
                  this^

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                  • #10
                    It seems that his main objection is to DSDT tables etc. But those are tied to the firmware (and they're much better than what was in APM times, where PnP BIOS controlled everything to begin with). So the main thing is to get rid of the firmware, for which Coreboot is the obvious answer (it deals with DSDT by providing open DSDT files). Sure, something better than ACPI would be nice (as usual vendors often screw up and ship broken DSDT), but that's not the main issue.

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                    • #11
                      Grayson reads the headline "Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI"

                      "What, you got any proof?"

                      Grayson reads the article...

                      "I don't think so."

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                      • #12
                        @GraysonPeddie
                        Maybe you want to read the article again. I think that is the part where Mark Shuttleworth calls for an end to ACPI (italics in original):
                        Arguing for ACPI on your next-generation device is arguing for a trojan horse of monumental proportions to be installed in your living room and in your data centre. I’ve been to Troy, there is not much left.
                        On the topic, I think Mark Shuttleworth is completely right. I would go even further and say that UEFI (a horribly complex specification, whose implementations clock in at dozens of MB of code) should be placed right next to ACPI on the list of things to be abolished.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          DRM platforms can be boycotted, older gear used instead

                          Originally posted by nightmarex View Post
                          Operating systems have been able to be biosless, one day I hope we have an open computing platform however with intel incorporating more and more drm it's likely we are going in the opposite direction. Even AMD seems to be headed that way.
                          It's always possible to reject DRM support. Example: AMD knows that any DRM code let into the Linux ecosystem will be instantly cracked. They still open-sourced their UVD for recent cards-by finding and stripping out the DRM support. The cards support Blu-ray DRM that we don't use, but can be run in Linux with that support disabled or removed.

                          If a DRM'ed CPU or other device comes out that refuses to run other software (example" Windows Surface w/ Windows rt) we can refuse to buy it. It's harder to buy computers for Linux than it was a couple years ago, but the supply of good used hardware grows and grows. For a platform not used for something like video editing, any board with a PCI-e slot supporting an AMD Athlon X2 or better/Core2 duo/quad or better, amounts to a lot of hardware circulating on ebay, from the dumpster, surplus auctions, you name it. For video editing, a Core 2 Quad or Phenom X4 is the minimum, for gaming add an r600 or RadeonSI class ATI/AMD card.

                          Had UEFI been hard-locked against us to the point that a "bus pirate" was needed to remove the locking code, you'd see a lot of bus pirates sold, like modchips for gaming consoles are sold legal or otherwise. As Linux gets harder to install in newer systems, the value of the immediatley previous systems in the used market will climb, and fewer of those systems will be discarded outright. The last generation of hardware that we can use will be the best ever produced for our purposes and can be stockpiled.

                          Due to the uncertain future of the computer industry, I do not discard any computer hardware capable of running DSL (Damned Small Linux).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alan Cox has been complaining about ACPI for quite a while now. Welcome to the party, Mr. Shuttleworth.

                            Check this out from the ACPI article on Wikipedia:

                            "In 2001, other senior Linux software developers like Alan Cox expressed concerns about the requirements that bytecode from an external source must be run by the kernel with full privileges, as well as the overall complexity of the ACPI specification.[8]"

                            2001! Again, welcome Shuttleworth.

                            More stuff:

                            "The fact that it takes more code to parse and interpret ACPI than it does to
                            route traffic on the internet backbones should be a hint something is badly
                            wrong either in ACPI the spec, ACPI the implenentation or both."
                            -- Alan Cox

                            "With the current ACPI code in my test boxes it seems to be no worse than
                            APM, unfortunately it would be hard to be worse."
                            - Alan Cox on the ACPI mailing list

                            Oh and this one is good too:
                            "The fact that ACPI was designed by a group of monkeys high on LSD, and is
                            some of the worst designs in the industry obviously makes running it at
                            _any_ point pretty damn ugly."

                            - Linus Torvalds on linux-kernel
                            Last edited by jeffgus; 03-17-2014, 02:59 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                              @GraysonPeddie
                              Maybe you want to read the article again. I think that is the part where Mark Shuttleworth calls for an end to ACPI (italics in original):
                              Arguing for ACPI on your next-generation device is arguing for a trojan horse of monumental proportions to be installed in your living room and in your data centre. I’ve been to Troy, there is not much left.
                              On the topic, I think Mark Shuttleworth is completely right. I would go even further and say that UEFI (a horribly complex specification, whose implementations clock in at dozens of MB of code) should be placed right next to ACPI on the list of things to be abolished.


                              I suppose it'd be nice to see a working example of that as I did read the article entirely.

                              "Arguing for ACPI on your next-generation device is arguing for a trojan horse..."

                              I want proof or I can include a video card which also contains executable firmware that needs to be banned as well. How do you know Mark is right? How do you know that?

                              Perhaps a video will show me proof of a working example. (Sigh) I don't know...

                              EDIT: Oh, I didn't read the rest of the thread... Hold on a minute...

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