The manual tests in the Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit (Release 3) include suspend/resume, LMBench, Bash Linux shell, speaker test, USB port validation, MCFG test, FADT test, and PowerTOP. The suspend/resume test will attempt to suspend-to-ram and then the resume process must be triggered manually. LMBench Version 3 is made up of bandwidth and latency benchmarks. The Bash Linux shell test, well, just presents a bash shell for any commands you wish to run manually. The PC speaker test just emits three different tones, which should be heard if the firmware is setup properly. The USB port validation executes a basic test on any attached USB storage device and the second component of this test is emitting a tone when a USB device is attached to each USB port, for testing connectivity. The MCFG test attempts to validate the MCFG table and the FADT test checks whether the FADT SCI_EN bit is enabled. Many Linux end-users are familiar with PowerTOP, which is another Intel OSTC project and is designed to conserve power consumption by analyzing the system and then making power-saving recommendations.
The final area of the LFDK is for poking hardware, specifically for the PCI configuration space and MSR (Model-Specific Registers). The PCI configuration space poking allows the user to select a device on the PCI bus and then will display the PCI configuration data. Following that, you can then write to the PCI configuration space. The MSR poking allows you to read and write current values. This hardware poking area is geared for BIOS/firmware developers and not end-users.
Intel's Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit isn't as end-user friendly/useful compared to Sun's Check Tool for Solaris, but they are focusing upon slightly different objectives. The design goals for the LFDK are to provide easy Linux testing without a high learning curve, valuable feedback that isn't hard to read, and easy to contribute towards this project via writing your own firmware tests. This kit is about testing the EFI/BIOS on the running system to see how compatible it is with various Linux kernels, but with the addition of tests such as PowerTOP and LMBench, its capabilities are extending beyond the firmware.
LFDK is targeted for developers, but the Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit accompanied by other Linux tests can aide in determining the Linux viability of a system. We are currently evaluating the LFDK for possible use in future motherboard reviews and as a complement to the Phoronix Test Suite. Download links and additional information on this Intel open-source project are available at LinuxFirmwareKit.org.
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