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Stackable Open Source BIOS could cut proprietary stuff dead

The BIOS designers are in league with Old Nick
Mon Dec 08 2003, 11:31
JUST IN CASE you missed it - as we did - there's a paper that was filed as part of the Usenix 2003, Freenix track, which talks about the design of an Open Source BIOS to displace the proprietary software that's in there.

Yes indeedy, the makers of BIOSes are in league with the devil to scrape their earnings from one of the most important but oft-neglected elements of an IBM compatible personal computer.

The LinuxBIOS has trouble with Windows XP, for example, because such OSes depend on some services provided by the legacy BIOSes.

So the paper describes how open source firmware that combines elements of the LinuxBIOS, the Bochs PC emulator and other software to create what's claimed to be capable of booting most modern OSes.

As the paper points out, the BIOS is the last bastion of closed source software, with most hardware interfaces in PC chipsets smothered by non disclosure agreements.

The software designers say, in the paper they've made use of Bochs and LinuxBIOS to solve a good few of the technical details.

There's a link to the source code in this interesting paper, which you can read here. µ


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