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Coreboot Sandy/Ivy Bridge Gains Native RAM Initialization

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  • #11
    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    Not exactly true. UEFI BIOS is great beacuse it lets your system fast boot
    "UEFI" boots systems fast because the fast path bypasses about 90% of UEFI.

    We were able to do that with coreboot in 2006, and PC BIOS could also have done it, if they had cared enough to implement it.

    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    , provides additional security against boot sector viruses for casual users.
    UEFI Secure Boot is mostly concerned about closing the holes UEFI cut into system security in the first place.

    There was also Phoenix Trusted BIOS, and coreboot does verified boots since 2008, longer than UEFI Secure Boot. Again, they're followers, not leaders.

    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    UEFI BIOS was also needed because all modern hard drives require GPT partitioning instead of MBR. Without UEFI you can't boot from a GPT disk and you'd need some old MBR disk for booting.
    It would have been trivial to extend BIOS to support GPT. In fact, that's what GRUB2 on i386-pc indirectly does on GPT disks.

    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    Additionally computer hardware has got very complex. It's not possible to have 64 kB BIOSes anymore, modern UEFI BIOS is tens of megabytes.
    The real "meat" for hardware initialization is 700kb or so (as determined by a coreboot build for modern hardware). Everything more than that must be UEFI bloat.

    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    UEFI BIOS can also support wider variety of hardware. Such as GPU accelerated fullhd video, bluetooth devices out of the box. For example all Mac owners know how great it is that you can install OS from scratch and have only bluetooth devices. Same thing on PC. Plug your bluetooth dongle in and start setting up Windows installer on UEFI BIOS. Bluetooth HID is a standard so it just works.
    Bluetooth HID is a standard, bluetooth USB dongles - not so much. Even where there are USB standards (eg. the USB mass storage class), some hardware vendors prefer to do their own thing. All you introduce with UEFI drivers is _yet_ another set of drivers that need to handle all those quirks.

    Sane solution? Boot into Linux (or Windows Embedded, if you're a Wintel-proponent), use its drivers, and once the real system is to be booted, kexec out of the running OS. Instead we got that UEFI crap forced upon us, where just as it gains popularity in the market, they have to start adding hacks (such as UEFI Secure Boot) to fix the biggest issues of an architecture they want to keep alive for the next 30 years or so.

    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    Old legacy x86 BIOS didn't necessarily even support usb keyboard, only ps/2.
    That is, old legacy x86 BIOS from times when there was no USB?

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    • #12
      The problem with UEFI...

      As a repair technician, let me describe what I feel is the worst outcome with UEFI: It isn't microsoft locking you out of running Linux (though it can complicate it) - the real problem for us is diagnostic tools that require legacy BIOS boot mode to run and UEFI systems that no longer allow it at all.

      Need to reset a password on a newer win8 machine? Good luck booting ntpasswd.

      Want to run hiren's boot CD for chkdsk? yeah, about that...

      Freedos for updating drive firmware, etc? Try again.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by BradN View Post
        As a repair technician, let me describe what I feel is the worst outcome with UEFI: It isn't microsoft locking you out of running Linux (though it can complicate it) - the real problem for us is diagnostic tools that require legacy BIOS boot mode to run and UEFI systems that no longer allow it at all.

        Need to reset a password on a newer win8 machine? Good luck booting ntpasswd.

        Want to run hiren's boot CD for chkdsk? yeah, about that...

        Freedos for updating drive firmware, etc? Try again.
        YMMV, but I've bought several Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge / Haswell boards and they all support legacy boot mode. So yes, you can boot DOS, but they've disabled booting from USB CD/DVD drives. Mass storage sticks and hard drives work though. And internal SATA DVD drives.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by caligula View Post
          YMMV, but I've bought several Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge / Haswell boards and they all support legacy boot mode. So yes, you can boot DOS, but they've disabled booting from USB CD/DVD drives. Mass storage sticks and hard drives work though. And internal SATA DVD drives.
          I've only seen one machine that didn't support legacy boot yet (that I'm aware of and that we had to try booting other media on): I believe it was a toshiba laptop.

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