World's First Mainboard with Open-Source BIOS

According to a post over at Gmane.org, AMD engineer Yinghai Lu has reportedly released source-code of the BIOS for the Gigabyte Technology M57SLI-S4 motherboard. This can potentially allow advanced users to "program their motherboards" by themselves, customizing and optimizing the BIOS to their personal needs, possibly even opening up more functionality for overclocking. The M57SLI-S4 mainboard is based on Nvidia nForce 570 SLI core-logic, supports various AMD processors in the AM2 form-factor, has four slots for DDR2 memory, has two PCI Express x16 slots for SLI mode, three PCI Express x1 ports for add-in cards, six Serial ATA-300 connectors for hard disk drives with RAID support, ten USB 2.0 connectors, three IEEE1394a (FireWire) ports and so on.

LinuxBIOS is a free software project started in 1999 and endorsed by the Free Software Foundation; the project aims to replace the proprietary BIOS firmware found in most computers with a lightweight BIOS designed to perform only the minimum of tasks necessary. "The need for a Free BIOS is even more pressing since DRM and Treacherous Computing have found their way into some proprietary BIOSes and EFI. From a practical perspective, LinuxBIOS removes the need for ugly hacks and workarounds in the kernel that compensate for buggy BIOSes we can now fix the BIOS ourselves," a statement proclaims.

News source: Xbit Laboratories

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18 Comments

LinuxBios also cuts down on the boot time. They state on their website that you can power-on and be at a Linux console in 3 seconds :nuts:

ahhh thats so exciting! I really hope this catches on. Hopefully BIOS will be more compatible with all (or most) operating systems! (no more dirty kernel startup hacks!)

I've read this before in digg...
I remember that there were many mobos supporting before this one, and title is misleading, since it isn't enabled by default or something.

I've always bought Gigabyte motherboards, but always with Intel processors and chipsets. This motherboard, however, will likely induce me to buy my first-ever AMD board and processor – as well as my first Nvidia chipset.

What the hell, I need a new system to play with anyway!

They will. There's a table of IDs in OEM BIOSes which Vista OEM ties to. All you need is the right bytes and the right copy.

This is certainly a step in the right direction.
No more bs about "trade secrets", things like this increases their sales more than they could possible stand to lose on disclosing a few lines of stone age BIOS code

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