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Thread: Flashing Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

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  1. #1
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    Default Flashing Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

    Phoronix: Flashing Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

    Linux hardware support has improved a great deal over the past few years, but there are still a few troubled spots. With computer motherboards, for instance, the core functionality is generally there and most consumer motherboards will "just work" with the latest desktop Linux distributions out there. Where users though can run into problems are with the ancillary features. Motherboard manufacturers usually bundle proprietary software with their products that allow monitoring of hardware sensors, flashing of the motherboard BIOS, and overclocking all from within the Windows operating system. With the exception of LM_Sensors providing some sensors support, this is a grey area for Linux. Fortunately, however, the folks working on the CoreBoot project have developed a program that will near universally allow you to flash your motherboard's BIOS from within the Linux desktop.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13794

  2. #2
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    A wonderful thing to bring to the attention of the community. Thanks Michael.

  3. #3
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    This is so great

    Flashing from Windows is totally crap and dangerous, and depends on the company behind the motherboard. If this tool works reliable, this would make things easier for Linux users than for Windows users I'll try it out once the v1.0 release appears.

  4. #4
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    This is indeed great news although many modern mainboards now have a flashing tool integrated on a static part of the BIOS.

    But still ... it's good for remote BIOS flashing and updating old boxes.

  5. #5
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    I think I'll stick with boot floppies running freedos thank you, too big a chance of bricking...

    good thing some boards now have the utility built into the bios itself to grab the flash from a usb stick.

  6. #6
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    Hmm. I'm not a big fan of flashing your BIOS while an operating system is running on top of it either. If you have any kind of power management running chances are pretty good that there are occasional calls into the BIOS happening... and if one of those calls happens while the BIOS ROM is blank, that would be a problem.

    I wouldn't flash the BIOS under any OS unless I already had a recovery plan - either a disk or a shadow BIOS stored in the flash.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    If you have any kind of power management running chances are pretty good that there are occasional calls into the BIOS happening... and if one of those calls happens while the BIOS ROM is blank, that would be a problem.
    i didnt think any modern operating system made bios calls.
    http://www.coreboot.org/FAQ#Which_di...reboot_boot.3F

    the flashrom utility looks great, now i just need something from coreboot to replace the crappy bios i am stuck with now. (asus and gigabyte bios suck)

    matt

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmatteh View Post
    i didnt think any modern operating system made bios calls.
    http://www.coreboot.org/FAQ#Which_di...reboot_boot.3F

    the flashrom utility looks great, now i just need something from coreboot to replace the crappy bios i am stuck with now. (asus and gigabyte bios suck)

    matt
    I don't understand this. I have to configure how much memory I want to use for the IGP in the BIOS, and Linux really respect this. So Linux must make some sort of call to the BIOS, eventhough I have also heard that Linux doesn't use the BIOS for anything...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    I don't understand this. I have to configure how much memory I want to use for the IGP in the BIOS, and Linux really respect this. So Linux must make some sort of call to the BIOS, eventhough I have also heard that Linux doesn't use the BIOS for anything...
    BIOS provides some system information using acpi tables that kernel reads for initialising system. BIOS also provides some basic hw access which isn't used.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmatteh View Post
    i didnt think any modern operating system made bios calls.
    http://www.coreboot.org/FAQ#Which_di...reboot_boot.3F

    the flashrom utility looks great, now i just need something from coreboot to replace the crappy bios i am stuck with now. (asus and gigabyte bios suck)

    matt
    maybe not the OS. But the hardware does. Ever heard of SMM? Look into that mess and weep.

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