Richard Yao posted on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 05:33:22 -0400 as excerpted:
> A firmware replacement for the BIOS does not need to worry about floppy
> drives, hard drives, optical drives, usb devices, isa devices, pci
> devices and pci express drives, etcetera, because those live on buses,
> which the kernel can detect.
But you have to be able to load the kernel first, before it can do all
that detection. And to load it, you need to be able to read the device
it's located on, which in a modern x86 system (as contrasted with mips/
arm) generally means detection of what's there, some mechanism to choose
which available devices to check for a kernel or boot loader or whatever,
and some way to dynamically configure it, since many devices are simply
(device info probable) bricks until configured, these days.
Sure, you can boot directly to a Linux kernel /as/ your firmware (as Ian
S suggested), but then you're back to hard-configuring it in ordered to
do so, thus losing all that extra flexibility that's part of what makes
x86 different. Which was the question that I was addressing.
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman