FreeBSD/xbox in 7-CURRENT: Proposed plan

Brooks Davis brooks at
Tue Oct 18 14:30:37 PDT 2005

On Tue, Oct 18, 2005 at 11:16:22PM +0200, Rink Springer wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> As the hype of FreeBSD/xbox has mostly cooled down, I'd like to bring
> this support to 7-CURRENT without having to rely on external patches.
> In order to do this, I propose the following plan (priority 1 is
> highest, 3 is lowest):
> 1) I intend to clean up the patches as to eliminate 'options XBOX'; with
>    minor effort I can make the port smart enough to auto-detect whether
>    its running on an XBOX by simply looking at PCI ID's as outlined at
> This means the FreeBSD/i386 and
>    FreeBSD/xbox kernels will be identical, which makes releases a lot
>    easier.
> 2) Port the Linux forcedeth.c driver to FreeBSD. This would mean a
>    GPL-ed driver in the tree; but since no one has specs or wants to
>    release them (trust me, I've tried), I feel this is our best way. And
>    nForce-motherboard owners would benefit from this very much as well.
>    Once we have a working driver, the forcedeth.c maintainer Manfred
>    Spraul claimed to be willing to talk about a possible BSD license;
>    possibly Nvidia will do the same to their modifications in the code.
> 3) The kernel would still need one device missing from GENERIC, and this
>    is the 'xboxfb' framebuffer driver. I wish to merge it as a VESA-like
>    module so it can benefit from the syscons(4) framework. However, this
>    isn't as easy as I hoped; for the time being, I'd like to stick to the
>    'xboxfb' driver which will only install itself if running on a XBOX.
>    Assistence on this is very welcomed.
> A currently patched Linux Cromwell BIOS (I am planning to continuing working
> with the team to clean up the code and make a 2.41 release) is capable
> of booting FreeBSD kernels from CD, network and UFS filesystems, so
> there is little trouble in getting your XBOX to boot FreeBSD...
> Would the FreeBSD project accept this plan to import FreeBSD/xbox within
> the FreeBSD/i386 port, bringing support into -CURRENT without the need
> for any patches? Of course, suggestions are very welcome; I'd like to
> see this in CURRENT :)

We probably wouldn't be willing to ship the GPL'd code in GENERIC so I
can't see the release CDs supporting this, but I don't see any obvious
problems with bringing in enough code that rolling an xbox CD was easy.

-- Brooks

Any statement of the form "X is the one, true Y" is FALSE.
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