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Flashing Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

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  • phoronix
    started a topic Flashing Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

    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

  • libv
    replied
    Originally posted by cruiseoveride View Post
    @libv. As much as we all hate ATi and everything to do with it. Don't make it personal. State the facts and leave it at that.
    I wish everyone would state facts and the truth all the time; guess why this becomes personal.

    Leave a comment:


  • cruiseoveride
    replied
    @libv. As much as we all hate ATi and everything to do with it. Don't make it personal. State the facts and leave it at that.

    Leave a comment:


  • energyman
    replied
    sure, flashing under a 'normal' os is perfectly fine and safe. Tell that my friend who killed a board that way. Flashing in windows.

    Leave a comment:


  • libv
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    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.
    BS.

    The bios image in the flash is read out at boot, parts of it are executed in situ, parts of it are copied/extracted to ram and then executed, and the parts that are needed later are kept around in C,D,E and F segments, with the necessary hooks installed in the interrupt vectors and the EBDA. So whatever you need at runtime no longer depends on the contents of the flashchip.

    Stop spreading useless FUD about real free software.

    Backup plan when it fails under linux: make sure you don't reboot or power-off and contact the developers right away (on irc or on email).

    If you do mess up and have a socketed bios, you can find someone to flash your bios for you or you can buy a new pre-flashed chip off of ebay for an arm and a leg.

    It is clear where you stand against BIOSes and all that surrounds them, and it is clear why. Equally it is clear where i stand, and why i stand there: because i have been dealing with them all my time as a free software developer and only found them to be: buggy/hard to fix, and forcing solutions which are not as good as they can be, which are full of workarounds. Don't dare claim anything else.

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  • audiohacked
    replied
    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
    Not all AMD procs had such thermal protection either. It wasn't until later Athlon XP revisions that (barton core IIRC) that you finally couldn't burn up a CPU in seconds with a misplaced heatsink.
    Yes, at that time it was common practice to include a thermal diode in IC's and Intel's P2/Celeron and AMD's Athlon XP/MP started to include a thermal diode and fuse.

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  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by audiohacked View Post
    Other processors from both Intel and AMD use a hardware limit to keep the processor from killing itself, the software limit (SMM) is used to down/up clock the CPU to further control Thermals.
    Not all AMD procs had such thermal protection either. It wasn't until later Athlon XP revisions that (barton core IIRC) that you finally couldn't burn up a CPU in seconds with a misplaced heatsink.

    Leave a comment:


  • audiohacked
    replied
    Originally posted by energyman View Post
    you didn't even read the links. Did you?
    I did. One RTAI is not a good reference, and the P4 needs a ton of thermal protection because it will literaly burn/melt itself. Other processors from both Intel and AMD use a hardware limit to keep the processor from killing itself, the software limit (SMM) is used to down/up clock the CPU to further control Thermals. SMM is a bad idea still because you can disable it, or it can fail to run. You should know that software can not be trusted, and can/will fail without reason.

    Laptops use an Embedded Controller for various functions in addition to replacing the SMM Thermal Protection with a hardware-based Thermal Controller.

    PS. I do hardware design and work on Coreboot, so I actually understand how and what goes on with hardware and Firmware.

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  • energyman
    replied
    you didn't even read the links. Did you?

    Leave a comment:


  • audiohacked
    replied
    "about the smm stuff: SMM is only needed if the hardware is crap or the BIOS is crap or the OS is crap. With AMD hardware, a decent BIOS (or coreboot) and Linux, you don't need SMM. If there is some SMM active, complain to your vendor." ~ coreboot dev

    "And if SMM is used for overheat protection, the BIOS writer needs to get his brain replaced. By definition, a crashing CPU will cause SMM overheat protection to fail." ~ coreboot dev

    Good Hardware will have will have a dedicated chip, or the processor's internals will have the hardware for Thermal Protection. The proper way to do thermal protection, is in pure hardware.
    Last edited by audiohacked; 05-10-2009, 04:23 AM.

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