laptop with no BIOS? or BIOS reflash pain

Anton Shterenlikht mexas at
Thu Oct 25 08:09:09 UTC 2012

	From cpghost at Thu Oct 25 03:40:28 2012

	Heh... ;-)

	(U)EFI is nothing new for us old farts: we've had OpenBoot[1] on
	Sun hardware for ages, and even though it didn't limit us w.r.t. the
	OS you wanted to boot (that's why you can install FreeBSD/sparc64
	on used Sun machines), it had its issues too. Mainly that it needed
	a counter-part in hardware peripherals. E.g.: without F-Code in ROM,
	a PCI-based frame buffer wouldn't be usable there, because it wouldn't
	reply to the OpenBoot queries.

	The point is that firmware CAN be a mini-OS and more powerful
	than PC-BIOS. There's nothing wrong with that, and the flexibility
	of OFW/OpenBoot was for us sysadmins invaluable, esp. with
	diskless machines. What's wrong, is UEFI's DRM-scheme used to
	prevent non-signed code to be loaded... without mandating in
	the specs that the BIOS vendor MUST allow the device owner
	to add his/her own keys to it. That's the evil part of it.


I'm probably missing something here.
ia64 uses EFI, but there's nothing
about checking for "non-signed" code.
I can boot VMS, FreeBSD, linux, etc.
And, by the way, firmware updates from EFI via e.g.
USB flash drives is trivial on ia64.
Perhaps what you are describing is not about the EFI
specification iteself, but what
different manufacturers add on top of it?


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