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Foxconn ‘sabotages’ BIOS to stop Linux running

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Linux
Hardware

Much like the fiasco over Daniel_K’s modded Creative drivers, the Internet community has once again given a voice to the angry people against the big companies. This time the company facing the wrath of Joe Public is Foxconn, which is alleged to have deliberately ‘sabotaged’ the BIOS on some of its motherboards to stop them running Linux.

The accusations stem from a post on the Ubuntu forums, where a poster called The AlmightyCuthulu details his Linux-woes with a Foxconn BIOS. After rooting around in the BIOS on his Foxconn G33M-S motherboard, he says that it contains different tables for different operating systems, and the one for Linux ‘points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation.’ This, he says, results in ‘weird kernel errors, strange system freezing, no suspend or hibernate, and other problems.’

He then goes into more detail, saying that he used a disassemble program to get into the BIOS, and ‘found that it detects Linux specifically and points it to bad DSDT [Differentiated System Description Table] tables, thereby corrupting it's [sic] hardware support.’

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Even More Incriminating Evidence in The Foxconn Debacle!

After looking through the disassembled BIOS for the last several hours, rebooting it, and tweaking it more, I’d say this is very intentional, I’ve found redundant checks to make sure it’s really running on Windows, regardless what the OS tells it it is, and then of course fatal errors that will kernel panic FreeBSD or Linux, scattered all over the place, even in the table path for Windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista, and had to correct them (Well, at least divert them off into a segment of RAM I hope to god I’m sure about)

No, this looks extremely calculated, it’s like they knew someone would probably go tearing it apart eventually and so tried to scatter landmines out so as to where you’d probably hit one eventually.

So if it is a mistake, or incompetence, then it’s the most meticulous, targeted, and dare I say, anal retentive incompetence I’ve seen.

Original Thread

More Here

Ubuntu Forums is no longer Free

Ubuntu Forums has for long been my favourite forum. In the past whenever I had a problem, and I googled about the problems more often than not I found the solution right at the Ubuntu Forums.

Unfortunately, sometimes some incidents crash out all your internal joy over something which has given you joy for a long time. And this is exactly my feelings over Ubuntu Forums right now. Most unfortunately, these feelings are being spurred due to the decisions of Ubuntu Forums admins themshelves.

However, the Admins at Ubuntu Forums closed the particular thread at Ubuntu Forums. Initially it was closed by the Admins on pretext that the staff were “reviewing” it and later the following statement was declared here by one of the forum admins:

More Here

re: Ubuntu Forum FUD

Hard to believe I'm defending Unoobtu forums, but the fact that they deleted a potentially libel thread hardly makes them "not free".

Do they charge to join? Do they charge to post?

No, but they do maintain the right to restrict ANY and ALL content they feel doesn't support their mission statement.

Don't like Foxconn or how they handle Linux installs - vote with your money - don't buy Foxconn.

The Truth About ACPI

http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03020.pdf

--

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westorinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not
the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

---

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjYyMA

Foxconn Does Hate Linux Support

[…]
The DSDT for Windows is correct, but Foxconn isn’t interested in issuing a (simple) update to fix the Linux support. However, this isn’t surprising to us. We’ve known that Foxconn does not wish to support Linux at all. Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

---

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=869249

You are incorrect in that the motherboard is not ACPI complaint. If it were not, then it would not have received Microsoft Certification for WHQL.

What does the Microsoft Certification say? “The BIOS ain’t done until Linux won’t run”?

re: ACPI

schestowitz wrote:
Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

And yet here it is in 2008 and morons are STILL buying Foxconn and BIG SURPRISE, they STILL don't work with Linux.

How many times do the Linux folks need to be screwed before they figure it out - DON'T BUY FOXCONN.

Nothing says ANY vendor MUST support Linux - vote with your dollars and buy from the ones that do (ASUS, GIGABYTE, TYAN, SUPERMICRO to name just a few).

re: mobos

tell ya the truth, I haven't seen that many Foxconn mobos to choose from. I live in america and order online sometimes, but buy locally sometimes too, but when this whole mess started, I couldn't recall ever seeing a foxconn mobo for sale. Then I find out their parent company is the one of the largest in the world.

If I had seen one, I don't know if I'da known not to buy it. I mean, I do /now/, but sometimes folks just don't know. They should print right on the packaging -> will not function under Linux or FreeBSD. You can't go by the "Requires Windows blah blah blah" because if we paid attention to that, we might not have many components to choose from.

re: mobos

srlinuxx wrote:
They should print right on the packaging -> will not function under Linux or FreeBSD.

In a nice theoretical happy world - that would happen. In THIS world - it's buyer beware (and has been since the first Hominid traded something for a shiny rock). At least now with the Internet, it's very easy to do your homework on pretty much ANYTHING before you buy.

Plus, I don't know of toooooo many products that list what they WON'T work with (Warning: This car will not fly, swim, cross fresh lava, deflect asteroids, etc).

I think it's a safe assumption that if it's not on the "Works with...." label, you're on your own.

re: mobos

silly me. the older I get the longer it takes to wake up in the morning. Big Grin

re: mobos

More likely you're just kind and optimistic, where as I'm crunchy and a die hard cynic. :evil:

SJVN, is that you?

Cyber cynic.

Foxconn Official Response

Foxconn is supposed to issue an official response on Monday. It will be interesting to see what it is.

Hmmm, perhaps I could write a fairly accurate version now of what they're going to say. I'm betting they're going to blame a rogue programmer (some temporary that nobody can find). OK, maybe that's not what they're going to say.

I hate to join the tin-hat brigade, but it's hard to believe that a specific Linux OS detection pointing to a bad table is an accident.

Anyway, I'm fortunate enough to have never purchased a Foxconn MB, and now, I certainly never will.

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