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

Packet radio lives on through open source software

Packet radio is an amateur radio technology from the early 1980s that sends data between computers. Linux has natively supported the packet radio protocol, more formally known as AX.25, since 1993. Despite its age, amateur radio operators continue to use and develop packet radio today. A Linux packet station can be used for mail, chat, and TCP/IP. It also has some unique capabilities, such as tracking the positions of nearby stations or sending short messages via the International Space Station (ISS). Read more

Linux 4.14-rc2

I'm back to my usual Sunday release schedule, and rc2 is out there in all the normal places. This was a fairly usual rc2, with a very quiet beginning of the week, and then most changes came in on Friday afternoon and Saturday (with the last few ones showing up Sunday morning). Normally I tend to dislike how that pushes most of my work into the weekend, but this time I took advantage of it, spending the quiet part of last week diving instead. Anyway, the only unusual thing worth noting here is that the security subsystem pull request that came in during the merge window got rejected due to problems, and so rc2 ends up with most of that security pull having been merged in independent pieces instead. Read more Also: Linux 4.14-rc2 Kernel Released

Manjaro Linux Phasing out i686 (32bit) Support

In a not very surprising move by the Manjaro Linux developers, a blog post was made by Philip, the Lead Developer of the popular distribution based off Arch Linux, On Sept. 23 that reveals that 32-bit support will be phased out. In his announcement, Philip says, “Due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community, we have decided to phase out the support of this architecture. The decision means that v17.0.3 ISO will be the last that allows to install 32 bit Manjaro Linux. September and October will be our deprecation period, during which i686 will be still receiving upgraded packages. Starting from November 2017, packaging will no longer require that from maintainers, effectively making i686 unsupported.” Read more

Korora 26 'Bloat' Fedora-based Linux distro available for download -- now 64-bit only

Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution, but I don't always use it. Sometimes I opt for an operating system that is based on it depending on my needs at the moment. Called "Korora," it adds tweaks, repositories, codecs, and packages that aren't found in the normal Fedora operating system. As a result, Korora deviates from Red Hat's strict FOSS focus -- one of the most endearing things about Fedora. While you can add all of these things to Fedora manually, Korora can save you time by doing the work for you. Read more