Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The current state of UEFI and Linux

Filed under
Linux

Executive summary: Most things work fine.

Things we know are broken:

* Some Samsung laptops. The samsung-laptop driver is a slightly weird thing. By 2010 (when it first appeared) most vendors had moved over to using some level of firmware abstraction, either using ACPI or WMI. Samsung still seemed to be stuck around a decade earlier - they were providing a region of memory at a known address, and you'd read that address to find a bunch of offsets. Then you'd write magic values based on those offsets to magic system IO ports based on those offsets and something would happen. Those writes were triggering System Management Mode, a special x86 CPU mode where the processor executes code from memory that the OS can't see, without telling the OS that it's doing so. There's nothing especially new in this (SMM first appeared in the 386sl back in 1990), but it also means that you depend on the system vendor not changing the interface without telling you. Turns out that Samsung apparently changed their platform interface when they moved to UEFI, but didn't actually do anything to prevent old drivers from breaking things -

rest here




More in Tux Machines

How To Build A Raspberry Pi Smartwatch — The Geekiest Watch Ever Made

In our Getting Started With Raspberry Pi series, we’ve introduced you to the basics of Pi, told you how to get everything you need, and help you boot a basic operating system. But, Raspberry Pi is much more than that. You can use it as a TOR proxy router, build your own PiPhone, and even install Windows 10 IoT. This little device comes with lots of flexibility, that allows it to be used in multiple applications. Well, did you ever think about wearing your Raspberry Pi? If your answer is NO, I won’t be surprised. If you imagine a scenario where Raspberry Pi is used to build a smartwatch, it would look too bulky. Well, that’s the thing about making geeky things that set you apart from the regular crowd, right? Read more

Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Yakkety Yak Alpha 2 Released
  • Ubuntu 16.10 "Yakkety Yak" Alpha 2 Released
    Today marks the second alpha release for Ubuntu 16.10 "Yakkety Yak" flavors participating in these early development releases. Participating in today's Yakkety Yak Alpha 2 development milestone are Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and Ubuntu Kylin. No Xubuntu or Kubuntu releases to report on this morning.
  • PSA: Ubuntu 15.10 Hits End of Life Today
    It's time to wave a weary goodbye to the Wily Werewolf, as Ubuntu 15.10 support ends today.
  • Jono Bacon on Life After (and Before) GitHub
    Do you want to know what it takes to be a professional community manager? This interview will show you the kind of personality that does well at it, and how Jono Bacon, one of the world’s finest community managers, discovered Linux and later found his way into community management. Bacon is world-famous as the long-time community manager for Ubuntu. He was so good, I sometimes think his mother sang “you’ll be a community manager by and by” to him when he was a baby. In 2014 he went to XPRIZE, not a FOSS company, but important nevertheless. From there he dove back into FOSS as community manager for GitHub. Now Bacon is a freelance, self-employed community manager. One of his major clients is HackerOne, whose CEO is Bacon’s and my mutual friend Mårten Mickos. But HackerOne is far from his only client. In the interview he says he recently got back from visiting a client in China, and that he has more work then he can handle.

I've been Linuxing since before you were born

Once upon a time, there was no Linux. No, really! It did not exist. It was not like today, with Linux everywhere. There were multiple flavors of Unix, there was Apple, and there was Microsoft Windows. When it comes to Windows, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite adding 20+ gigabytes of gosh-knows-what, Windows is mostly the same. (Except you can't drop to a DOS prompt to get actual work done.) Hey, who remembers Gorilla.bas, the exploding banana game that came in DOS? Fun times! The Internet never forgets, and you can play a Flash version on Kongregate.com. Apple changed, evolving from a friendly system that encouraged hacking to a sleek, sealed box that you are not supposed to open, and that dictates what hardware interfaces you are allowed to use. 1998: no more floppy disk. 2012: no more optical drive. The 12-inch MacBook has only a single USB Type-C port that supplies power, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, external storage, video output, and accessories. If you want to plug in more than one thing at a time and don't want to tote a herd of dongles and adapters around with you, too bad. Next up: The headphone jack. Yes, the one remaining non-proprietary standard hardware port in Apple-land is doomed. Read more