Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Foxconn ‘sabotages’ BIOS to stop Linux running

Filed under
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.’

Full Story




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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

15 ways to empower students with open source tools

Recently I read the fascinating book Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Own Learning, by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. The book led me to think more deeply about my teaching methods and how I like to learn. I think learning should be exciting, and I'm happiest when I'm actively engaged in what I'm doing. Why wouldn't students in our schools want anything different than that? And why aren't we doing more to give that experience to them? While many schools today have a 1:1 ratio of computers/tablets to students, most of them use platforms and software that allow little (if any) modification. Students can't tinker with the software or hardware. Yet tinkering and experimenting are at the heart of learning. The authors of Empower say that students in environments that foster "making" take ownership of their learning more readily and tend to be deeper thinkers who are more at home with frustration. Ultimately, they wrote, "makers are better equipped for life." Read more

Red Hat Upgrade and Insider Selling

OSS: Yandex, The Open Source Way, Machine Learning, and BSD

  • In Other API Economy News: Yandex Open Source Machine Learning Library and More
    We start your weekend off with a review of the stories we couldn’t cover with a look at what what going on in the world of APIs. We start off with news that Yandex, the Russian search engine company, has announced that they are open-sourcing CatBoost, a machine learning library. The library is based on gradient boosting, a machine learning technique described by TechCrunch as being “designed to help “teach” systems when you have a very sparse amount of data, and especially when the data may not all be sensorial (such as audio, text or imagery), but includes transactional or historical data, too.” Yandex is freely releasing CatBoost for anyone to use under an Apache License. This move is similar to what we saw from Google when they open sourced TensorFlow in late 2015. As the demand for artificial intelligence solutions backed by machine learning platforms continues to grow, moves like this serve to help a wide range of developers take advantage of the technology.
  • CatBoost: Yandex's machine learning algorithm is available free of charge
  • The Open Source Way
    "Open source", in the world of IT, is program code that is meant for collaboration and open contribution. Intended to be modified and shared, because by design and spirit, it is meant for the public at large. It’s been said that “"open source" intimates a broader set of values—what we call "the open source way." Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.” So it is a natural conclusion that in this age of open and transparent government, that the government IT manager or technician would be one of the first to want to embrace this new role of collaborative team member within a larger community. Additionally, as organizations, especially government, continue to emerge from the technology funding embargo of the Great (2008) Recession - an economic force that froze IT purchases and programs and forced many into strict “keep the lights on” operational mode, IT managers and CIO’s are carefully expending their still relatively measly budgets. [...] For IT organizations, especially government, with limited budgets and long procurement processes, time and increased experience with open source products will lead to a growing understanding and acceptance. And as this understanding progresses and becomes more accepted, open source will become a “go to” option to keep up with the fast moving technical environment, and perhaps eventually, as a standard first option, realizing the broader set of open source values by relying on the collective work and minds of a virtual community of IT “hackers”, “geeks” and “nerds”, working globally, 24x7/365 to explore, develop and showcase whatever tech that sparks their individual interest.
  • Top 5 open-source tools for machine learning

    Given the paradigmatic shifts that a true revolution in machine learning could bring, it’s important to maintain tech’s devotion to open-source. These kinds of scientific advancement don’t belong to any one company or corporation, but to the whole world. Making ML open and evenly distributed means everyone can join in this revolution.

  • Release of TinySegmenter 0.3
    Today I released version 0.3 of TinySegmenter, a Japanese Tokenizer in pure Python (released in New BSD license), with a single minor fix for proper install on systems not-using UTF-8 (apparently that still exists! :P). Thanks to Mišo Belica for the patch. Apparently some of his Japanese users are using it for Sumy, his software to extract summary from texts.
  • BSDTW 2017 CFP
     

    BSDTW 2017 will be held on the 11th and 12th of November 2017 (Sat/Sun), in Taipei. We are now requesting proposals for talks. We do not require academic or formal papers. If you wish to submit a formal paper, you are welcome to, but it is not required.

    The talks should be written with strong technical content. Presentations on the use of BSD in products and companies are strongly encouraged but marketing proposals are not appropriate for this venue.

GNOME and Other Software

  • Dash to Panel – A Cool Icon Taskbar for the GNOME Shell
    Dash to Panel is a customizable open source extension for the GNOME Shell that moves the dash into GNOME’s main panel; combining app launchers and the system tray into one panel like that of KDE Plasma and Windows 7+.
  • GNOME's Mutter Window Manager Now Supports Tablet Wheel Events on Wayland
    The Mutter composite and window manager of the widely-used GNOME desktop environment was updated recently both on the stable and devel channels with a bunch of new features and improvements. Mutter 3.24.4 is now the latest stable build of the application, and it's here to add a few important changes for tablets, including improved stability of tablet plugs and unplugs, working window moving and resizing via tablet tools, as well as the implementation of tablet rings/strips configuration. In addition, Mutter now no longer throttles motion events on tablet tools, it's capable of handling the left-handed mode on pen/eraser devices, and adds support for tablet wheel events when running under the Wayland display server. Talking about Wayland, the Wacom cursor offset should now work as expected in Mutter 3.24.4.
  • Terminus: A Great Modern And Highly Cutomizable Terminal For Linux
    Are you tired of your default terminal or looking for an alternative which can look cool as well as perform operation in your system? If yes, Terminus is for you which is modern terminal designed to be highly customizable, it will let you enjoy CLI. If you are using Linux since there were CRT monitors with Linux then check out Cool-Retro-Term, which is another great looking terminal application. Terminus is built using web technologies based on Electron, it is cross-platform modern age terminal available for (Linux, Windows and Mac), on Linux it is a full terminal which can spawn with a global hotkey, tabs persist after restart, Auto-dock to anyside of any screen, full Unicode and double-width character support. On Windows it supports Classic CMD, PowerShell and Bash on Windows. On Mac it just works. Multiple app themes and a myriad of community color schemes for the terminal. Color scheme editor included. Install plugins from the NPM repository, or create your own with Typescript and Angular framework.
  • Some Useful Indicators: Ayatana, Clipboard-Autoedit, Diskstat, Files, Bulletin and Udisks
    Panel Indicators always comes in handy when you have to do some productive work on your desktop computer, to access quick functions of different applications these indicators saves you a lot of time, some indicator give you information you want to receive, it all depends on your needs. Today presenting you some useful indicators which may help you and makes your desktop experience much better. Following all the indicators are developed by just one guy and available through his PPA.