Questions on LinuxBIOS and OpenFirmware

Ivan Krstić krstic at
Fri Aug 24 05:35:07 EDT 2007

On Aug 24, 2007, at 5:28 AM, Kein Yuan wrote:
> Seems at the very first stage OLPC are using Insyde BIOS, then move  
> to LinuxBIOS, then move to OFW.  My questions is: does OFW is the  
> only thing that act as BIOS? Or OLPC is using LinuxBIOS as BIOS and  
> use OFW as BIOS payload to do extra things?

Insyde was a development BIOS and bootloader used for a very short  
time until we were able to bootstrap our own. At that point, we moved  
to LinuxBIOS for both low-level hw init and bootloader, which was  
less than ideal and somewhat unwieldy. In a surprise move, SUNW then  
opened up their parts of the OFW/OBP code under a BSD license, which  
allowed Mitch Bradley (at that point working for us) to open up his  
own parts -- that of his company, FirmWorks -- and let us have an  
acceptably-licensed OpenFirmware we can use as a fancy and compact  
bootloader. LinuxBIOS still does low-level hardware initialization,  
and there aren't plans to change that in the near future. (Mitch will  
correct me if I got any of the history wrong.)

Ivan Krstić <krstic at> |

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