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MoBo Manufacturer Foxconn Refuses To Support Linux 696

Posted by kdawson
from the must-be-some-good-explanation dept.
Noodlenose notes a thread up on the Ubuntu forums, where a user is questioning the practices of hardware manufacturer Foxconn. The user describes how his new Foxconn motherboard caused his Linux install to freeze and fire off weird kernel errors. He disassembles the BIOS and concludes that a faulty DSDT table is responsible for the errors. Even though the user makes Foxconn aware of the problem, they refuse to correct it, as 'it doesn't support Linux' and is only 'Microsoft certified.' The user speculates darkly on Foxconn's motives. Read the forum, read the code, and come to your own conclusions. "I disassembled my BIOS to have a look around, and while I won't post the results here, I'll tell you what I did find. They have several different tables, a group for Windows XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX. The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation.' The worst part is Foxconn's insistence that the product is ACPI compliant because their tables passed to Windows work, and that Microsoft gave the the magic WHQL certification."
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MoBo Manufacturer Foxconn Refuses To Support Linux

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  • Workaround (Score:5, Informative)

    by eltoyoboyo (750015) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:24AM (#24332673) Journal
    It appears that within an hour there was a workaround posted on the same forum.
  • Quick Fix (Score:5, Informative)

    by slashflood (697891) <flow@howflo[ ]om ['w.c' in gap]> on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:30AM (#24332761) Homepage Journal
    The title of this trick [howflow.com] is misleading. It should solve those problems by pretending to be Windows to the BIOS.
  • by Kamokazi (1080091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:32AM (#24332783)
    Exactly. Vote for Linux support with your money. The problem is, there aren't nearly enough Linux users to make a dent they will notice. If it makes you feel any better, I bought a (crappy) Foxconn board once and won't be buying one again.
  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:33AM (#24332795)

    The trouble here isn't that it doesn't support Linux, it's that the motherboard appears to be actively sabotaging Linux. That's a really weird thing to do and deserves investigation.

  • by GerardAtJob (1245980) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:37AM (#24332839)
    Check on google.... LOTS of troubles with Foxconn for Linux Users... it's not only 1 user... but only 1 of them took the time to decompile the BIOS.
  • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Buzz_Light (1017486) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:39AM (#24332865) Homepage
    The point is that they advertised that they are ACPI compatible when they are not. And no, "it works on Windows" is not enough to claim ACPI compatibility.
  • Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:42AM (#24332909)

    Foxconn isn't exactly a no-name MoBo manufacturer. In fact, you'll find a foxconn board in most gateways, dells, compaqs, HPs, and (yechh) eMachines.

  • Re:Quick Fix (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:42AM (#24332911)

    Read the full thread. It has errors in the windows acpi list that crash freebsd and linux as well.

  • Don't be an idiot (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:44AM (#24332921)

    Guess what ? the acpi impyementation in OpenBSD says `oh, sure, we're windows'.

    Where do you think this is going ?
    Most card makers don't give a shit about linux and other OSes, the only acpi implementation that's going to be tested is... windows!

    so, say you're windows, and cope with it, that's the only sane way to make things work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:46AM (#24332951)

    Here is most of the original article.
    The pesky junk filter meant I had to snip some of the code out - sorry.
    Posting AC for the usual reason(s).

    Foxconn deliberately sabotaging their BIOS to destroy Linux ACPI
    Edit: Please tell Foxconn what you think of their behavior:

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/online.aspx [foxconnchannel.com]

    You need to put in an email, and then it will bring up a form, choose Complain/Suggest.

    Edit: Welcome Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot.

    http://digg.com/linux_unix/Foxconn_d..._destroy_Linux [digg.com]
    http://www.reddit.com/comments/6tcv8...their_bios_to/ [reddit.com]
    (Will add Slashdot when I know the final URL)
    ------------
    I disassembled my BIOS to have a look around, and while I won't post the results here,I'll tell you what I did find.

    They have several different tables, a group for Windws XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX.

    The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation, causing weird kernel errors, strange system freezing, no suspend or hibernate, and other problems, using my modifications below, I've gotten it down to just crashing on the next reboot after having suspended, the horrible thing about disassembling any program is that you have no commenting, so it's hard to tell which does what, but I'll be damned if I'm going to buy a copy of Vista just to get the crashing caused by Foxconn's BIOS to stop, I am not going to be terrorized.

    -----
    How to fix:

    Get Intel's BIOS ACPI source compiler:

    sudo apt-get install iasl

    Dump your DSDT table:

    sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/DSDT > dsdt.dat

    Disassemble it:

    iasl -d dsdt.dat

    Open it in Gedit:

    gedit dsdt.dsl

    Fix Foxconn sabotage:

    Find, the section that starts out with

    Code:

    If (_OSI ("Windows 2000"))
    {
    Store (0x04, OSVR)
    }

    Go down til you get to the first

    Code:

    }
    Else
    {

    Past that you should see Linux alongside Windows NT, which is above another Else that leads to Windows Me.

    Should look like:

    Code:

    If (MCTH (_OS, "Linux"))

    {
    Store (0x3, OSVR)
    }

    Change it to:
    Code:

    If (_OSI ("Linux"))
    {
    Store (Zero, OSVR)
    }

    Copy the section, and remove it and the other characters (CAREFULLY PRESERVING SYNTAX!!!!)

    Then move the Linux section to right underneath Windows 2006 section.

    _Code removed to get past junk filter_

    So there you have it!

  • Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (Score:5, Informative)

    by FauxPasIII (75900) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:49AM (#24332985)

    > So let me get this straight. Some small motherboard manufacturer has flawed ACPI tables and
    > refuses to fix them, therefore they MUST out to sabotage Linux?

    Nope. Let's get you straightened out.

    The BIOS provides two sets of ACPI tables; one good, working and one which isn't even intended to work. It checks what OS string the kernel hands it when it boots. If Windows, it sends the good tables. If Linux, it sends the deliberately faulty ones.

    The more you know!

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:52AM (#24333009)

    foxconn is crap, anyway! way overpriced and way under-tested and under-designed.

    last purchase from newegg: 2 mobos, one new one from foxconn and one 'open box' special that was intel.

    the intel one (bare board, nothing - not even an i/o shield) worked. its great. the foxconn didn't even post. brand new board and not even a POST.

    calling newegg was easy and they didn't even put up a fight at all abou the foxconn. I bet they know that its a shabby product and only some people will actually keep theirs (if they can even install to it).

    if this was a tier1 or 2 brand, that would be one thing. foxconn is tier3 and so they don't even 'matter' to us builders anymore. at least not for when the customer doesn't demand to shave every last penny from cost (each time you do that, you are sorry for that kind of cost-cutting).

  • by pieleric (917714) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:54AM (#24333029) Homepage

    Because the OS's have bugs in their ACPI implementations. So the BIOS provides a special version of function with a workaround for the bug in case it detects the specific OS version.

    Let's note this is valid only for proprietary OS's (aka Windows). For F/OSS kernels, the BIOS writer can simply report a bug on non-ACPI compliance, and it's fixed soon after directly in the kernel.

  • by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:55AM (#24333039) Journal

    no need to disassemble the BIOS, your time is worth more than that.

    No self-respecting hacker considers reverse engineering BIOSes a waste of time. Try more along the lines of socialising, bathing, that sort of thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:57AM (#24333069)

    I know I'll get shouted down by the free market types but, many industries are required by law to meet minimum standards that correspond to the way a product is designed, manufactured, marketed, sold, and disposed-of, why should the consumer electronics and especially computer industries (including software) be any treated any differently? The IT industry is the only industry in the history of modern manufacturing based capitalist economies that has never been regulated in any form (with the possible exception of anti-monopoly laws, and we've all seen how effective they are). WTF makes our industry so special?

    As far as I'm concerned if you want to sell a product that is completely proprietary in design then sure go right ahead, I'll concur with the free market types here.

    BUT

    If you claim that your product is compliant or compatible with some standard or another and you are found wanting then you should be held accountable with _very_ stiff penalties until you either correct the problem (including fixing it for those you've already sold to) or the penalties incurred send you into bankruptcy at which point all your intellectual property should be forcibly placed in the public domain.

    <rant>
    And for all the free market types who'll complain at what I've just said. My attitude is if you want to go into business and you don't do your due diligence when you design, manufacture, market and sell your product and the regulatory authorities take your not-so-hard earned cash away as a result... I say tough-shit!
    </rant>

  • by pisymbol (310882) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:57AM (#24333077)

    This is nothing new and there is nothing *fishy* going on. As a side, my MSI notebook also has some non-compliant tables which causes FreeBSD's ACPICA (which was written by Intel) to not recognize the battery status light.

    The issue is that Microsoft OSes are not ACPI compliant period. They are semi-ACPI compliant and always have been. Most motherboard manufacturers use the Hardware SDK in order to get the WHQL certification. The SDK provides tools to automatically generate ACPI tables (and in fact if he looks at the DSDT he can see how the tables were generated, typically they are stamped by the SDK).

    Nothing to see here...move along.....

  • by God of Lemmings (455435) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333173)
    Poorly designed, or incomplete bios implementations are not the exception. They are in fact a fairly common occurrence. The DSDT table being missing, incomplete, or just wrong is so common in fact, that a number of solutions exist.

    See here: http://acpi.sourceforge.net/dsdt/index.php [sourceforge.net]
  • by Machtyn (759119) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333181) Homepage Journal
    This is important and I want to expound on it. I work in a Microsoft shop. Really, it's IIS this, MSSQL that, .NET for all dev, and we've all got the latest and greatest Office suite. Strangely, we've heard rumors that our software is going to be tested Vista, but QA hasn't received a Vista machine, yet. With all of that out of the way, I use Linux in various ways on many of our test computers. Mostly, it is just boot CDs, such as Partimage Is Not Ghost and Ultimate Boot CD. So, just because hardware is meant for Windows doesn't mean that it will never see another OS. Hardware interoperability on the software level is necessary.

    On another note, I've encountered Foxconn boards in the past... usually broken and being replaced.
  • by Yaddoshi (997885) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:11AM (#24333239)
    I'm a computer repair technician - if you're in this business you know that Foxconn is a low-cost sub-quality motherboard manufacturer, and their product is unreliable at best. Regardless of what operating system you prefer to use, don't buy Foxconn, unless you like throwing your hard earned money away on something that will probably fail in roughly two years. Now that I said that I'm sure there is going to be someone who thinks that Foxconn is great because they've never had a problem with their one Foxconn product. That's great if you've had success - but I've seen more systems fail with their products than other brands.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333379)

    Off-brand? They don't sell much under their own branding, but Foxconn [wikipedia.org] is one of the biggest computer components manufacturer in the world. Lots of HP and Dells I've seen have Foxconn boards.

  • by diskis (221264) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:19AM (#24333391)

    You are aware of the fact that the Dell and the HP is most likely manufactured by Foxconn?

  • by Ruie (30480) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:22AM (#24333445) Homepage

    Actually it is in reverse for webcams: initially USB webcams required proprietary vendor drivers but now more and more webcams support UVC - USB video class [berlios.de].

  • Re:Foxconn? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#24333547)

    > Maybe I just don't get out much, but I've never heard of that manufacturer.

    Probably because they don't sell much under their own label: (Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org])

    Foxconn is the trade name of the Taiwanese firm Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Foxconn is one of the largest manufacturers of electronics and computer components worldwide, and mainly manufactures on contract to other companies. Although sometimes referred to as an original equipment manufacturer, Foxconn would be more accurately described as an original design manufacturer. Among other things, Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone for Apple Computer; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer retailers Dell, Inc. and Hewlett Packard; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo;the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, and Amazon Kindle.

  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#24333563)

    If this person can look in DSDT they can write their own fix.

    He did write a workaround/fix. RTFP (post). That's how he managed to get the system working with the Windows DSDT.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:37AM (#24333755)

    You might start here [foxconnchannel.com].

  • Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (Score:2, Informative)

    by The Gaytriot (1254048) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:49AM (#24333947) Homepage Journal
    All the Dell's here sitting on my workbench have Foxconn stamped somewhere on the motherboard, from the old ass GX1's to the brand new Optiplex 755's.

    IIRC their XPS systems use the Foxconn hardware as well.

  • by JavaBear (9872) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:49AM (#24333969)

    It is not that they are only supporting Windows, but that they are up to the old Microsoft trick of detecting non MS software, and pass it deliberately bad data, only to claim that it may be the non-MS software that are at fault.

  • Re:Quick Fix (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:56AM (#24334093)

    Quoted from a link in the above:

    Bill Gates on Making ACPI Not Work with Linux (in 1999):

    One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldnâ(TM)t try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

    It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

    Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

    Maybe we couid define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

    Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:59AM (#24334135)

    The problem is, there aren't nearly enough Linux users to make a dent they will notice.

    I'll bite:
    I'm making up numbers, but let's say Linux is on 5% of desktops. That sure sounds like a tiny amount. I'm going to bet that foxconn doesn't sell to manufacturers like Dell, HP, etc. This means we're looking at the home-built market. So Mac OSX's not in the mix at all now, and it's gamers versus Linux heads with some crossover vying for the lead (lets call it 50/50). _That_ is a significant share of Linux users which will make a dent, especially since it's the linux users that will be more likely to choose a less expensive, unheard of brand because they're not focused on performance like the gamers (nudging it to 75% linux/25% gamer in my mind).

    I'm not keen on conspiracy theories unless something doesn't make any sense without the conspiracy, but it sure looks like foxconn is purposefully alienating its largest customer base. The only reason I can think of for this is that they are being paid more money to do this than they will make from their users. Unfortunately, I can't think of anyone with enough money and hatred/fear of Linux who would pay a company to do this.

    Or, foxconn designed their board badly (stupidly, not evilly), and a tech support monkey getting paid less than $6/hour read "we don't support Linux" from the response book so they could process another ticket.

  • by KillerBob (217953) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:59AM (#24334137)

    For what it's worth, I haven't used anybody other than ASUS for motherboards in almost every computer I've built in a decade... I have used one MSI motherboard... it was decent, but not great. Everything else has been ASUS, and I haven't had a single problem with theirs.

    YMMV... some people swear at them, but I've found that their tech. support and customer service is more than willing to help. And I've also found that the last couple of ASUS motherboards I've bought have specifically advertised Linux support.

  • Re:Workaround (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:02AM (#24334199)

    That's really not the point. Linux is unnecessarily being treated like a second class citizen.

  • by Basje (26968) <bas@bloemsaat.org> on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:05AM (#24334263) Homepage

    Why should the BIOS care which OS is installed? That is backwards. The OS should work with whatever is underneath it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:10AM (#24334343)

    Ever stop to think who actually makes all those?
    Among other things, Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone for Apple Computer; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer retailers Dell, Inc. and Hewlett Packard; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo;the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, and Amazon Kindle.

    Foxconn is one of the largest OEM in the game. Odds are you're using foxconn right now and you don't even realize it.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:12AM (#24334397) Journal
    They are ACPI Compliant for Windows.

    ACPI is OS independant. You can't be ACPI compliant for windows and not ACPI compliant for linux.
  • by Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:18AM (#24334485)
    Actually, Foxconn is a well known manufacturer for Dell and HP [wikipedia.org].

    I agree... Never attribute mallace when the stupidity is more likely. And, in this case, the author's insults causes the collective hair on the backs of Foxconn to stand up and they became defensive.

    Is is a problem? YES. Was the bad behavior by the poster justified? NO.

  • by Kamokazi (1080091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#24334511)
    Foxconn doesn't make server boards (Or at least hasn't made them under their own brand in a while, they do OEM a lot of stuff), so I was speaking under the presumption of individuals using Linux (generally desktop, but desktop mobos work fine as servers in non-critical applications). Businesses purchasing for Linux most certainly can make a dent (if not a huge, bleeding hole), but they wouldn't be interested in anything Foxconn has to offer anyway.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:21AM (#24334551) Homepage
    Well, with Windows, at some point, the registry has to get edited. And you can't expect Grandma Maybel to do that either. I've installed Mandriva many and got everything I needed working without touching the command line. The the tasks that most users do, it's no longer necessary.
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:22AM (#24334571) Homepage Journal

    When I worked for HP I discovered that most of the motherboards, laptops and such that HP sold were actually made by Foxconn. I wouldn't be completely shocked if HP server motherboards were Foxconn since I don't believe HP makes any of their own.

  • by Kamokazi (1080091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:25AM (#24334621)
    Actually Foxconn does quite a bit of OEMing to several large manufacturers. And 5% is probably generous, but may not be far off. But with their OEM business it's a small portion of their sales. And I doubt all their boards are Linux-unfriendly (quite honestly it's kind of hard to find anything Linux doesn't work on) it's probably just a few models they don't feel are woth investing the development/testing time in....or it's quite likely that the last idea in your post is the case. I see that quite a bit.
  • by ewanm89 (1052822) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:27AM (#24334657) Homepage
    I am impartial to ASUS boards now, they have even started putting quick to boot Linux boots in the BIOS.
  • by quantum bit (225091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:32AM (#24334757) Journal

    These errors only mean that he's stuck using APM in place of ACPI.

    Good luck using things like oh, multiple cores, without ACPI. A lot of boards I've seen recently don't ship working MPS info, and half the time they don't even have correct routing in $PIR.

  • by Kamokazi (1080091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:49AM (#24335115)
    I've used many Gigabyte boards, some personal, and many for workstations at work (which I should probably be doing right now instead of fighting off all the rabid Linux geeks in a pointless squabble to win an argument on the Internet), and they've all been great. Good features for the price. I'd say I've probably used close to 30 of them now and haven't had a single one go bad. I've put Linux on a few with no issues either.
  • Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (Score:5, Informative)

    by quantum bit (225091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:02AM (#24335371) Journal

    No, it allegedly has a bunch of checks for Linux strewn about in random places which then give bad data upon detecting Linux.

    The only person claiming that is the original poster in that thread, whose correspondence with Foxconn and the (!) FTC is instantly accusatory and full of assumption. It's almost as if he started with the premise that Foxconn was actively breaking Linux to be anticompetitive and looked for evidence to support it.

    I'd have to see a full DSDT dump to be sure, but from the excerpts posted it looks like "active checking" is just matching against _OS instead of using _OSI, which is a mistake a naive BIOS writer unfamiliar with the spec could easily make. It doesn't help the issue that Linux lies about its identity in _OSI.

    The "redundant checks" seem to be present for the Windows code path too, and look more to me like bad spaghetti code copied and pasted multiple places.

    I also take issue with

    Find and replace all seven occurences of Acquire (MUTE, 0x03E8) and replace with Acquire (MUTE, 0xFFFF), it appears they're trying to crash the kernel by locking a region of memory that shouldn't be locked, but without access to their source code comments, I can only speculate, this tells it to lock a memory address that is always reserved instead. ;)

    It's obviously not trying to crash the kernel, that's not how Acquire() works. The second parameter is a timeout, not a memory address. 3E8 hex = 1000 decimal. The BIOS writer was trying to acquire a mutex with a 1 second timeout.

    Changing it to 0xFFFF makes it wait forever, which could potentially cause worse problems as execution will get stuck if the mutex is already held. Multithreaded synchronization is a very tricky problem, and I'm not surprised to see they got it wrong. Without examining the code it's impossible to say what effect TheAlmightyCthulu's changes have, if they're correct or if they merely mask the problem.

    Saying they're trying to deliberately crash the kernel is a bit ridiculous.

    But then again I'm a BSD guy, so I don't start out with a chip on my shoulder and assume everyone's out to get me. Have seen a ton of shoddy BIOSes in my time though.

  • Re:Quick Fix (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:05AM (#24335451) Homepage

    DSDT is the bytecode, and it has a standard published by Intel...
    Intel also publish a compiler for it.

    Microsoft also publish a DSDT compiler, which is far more tolerant of errors than Intel's version as well as varying from the standards considerably, and many motherboard makers use this version.

    On linux, grep our dmesg for DSDT.. You should see a line like:

    ACPI: DSDT CFFB0440, 64DE (r1 P0004 P0004000 0 INTL 20051117)

    INTL means Intel, MSFT means microsoft, an Intel one is almost always guaranteed to work properly and can usually be found on higher quality motherboards.

  • by quantum bit (225091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:17AM (#24335643) Journal

    Grep for "mutes", if you want to. Tell me, why the fuck would a machine need its serial ports (IO port range from 0x3f8, about the oldest hardware on a PC, present from before the IBM XT) disabled on Linux and not on Windows?

    TFA is wrong about this. Re-read TFA. See my post here [slashdot.org]. Verify by reading the ACPI spec [acpi.info] if you wish.

    It's 3e8, not 3f8. It's the second parameter to Acquire() which is a timeout. 3e8 = 1000 = 1 second. There's nothing inherently wrong with that statement in an ASL. The fact that it crashes if you don't change it is likely an artifact of some more complex synchronization problem and subtle differences between ACPI implementations.

    Furthermore, the Windows side of the ACPI code checks repeatedly that it is indeed running on Windows. And not from any information provided by the ACPI interpreter, oh no: they poke the hardware as a sort of a secret handshake. This is clearly written with intent to prevent Linux from impersonating Windows to the ACPI code.

    Evidence?

    All I see on the matter is an assertion posted by the original author of the thread. The only code excerpts he provides shows a match against _OS. Hardly a secret handshake. Given that he doesn't seem to understand what Acquire() does (one of the more basic ASL operators), I don't have much confidence in his knowledge of ACPI or his ability to analyze the dump.

    He also adds an _OSI("Linux") section in his revised code, which will never be evaluated since Linux lies and doesn't identify itself in _OSI. Might as well just remove the whole section.

  • by B1 (86803) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:18AM (#24335663)

    Sure, Hayes technically owned the AT command set, but it was not a trade secret -- it was widely emulated by other modem manufacturers, and became a de-facto standard. I'm a little fuzzy here -- did Hayes actually try to keep other manufacturers from using it?

    Similarly, most dot matrix printers were Epson compatible, and laser printers were typically LaserJet II compatible or Apple Laserwriter compatible (e.g. postscript). That didn't give you access to all of the extra features of a particular printer, but it did mean your printer would be functional / useful with the software you already owned.

    I don't remember serial / printer cables being different, at least for standard peripherals like parallel printers or serial modems. I remember HP had their own serial plotter cables (which made supporting AutoCAD lots of fun). Sometimes, cables and hardware would play fast and loose with the hardware flow control signals, or by hard-wiring pins together (e.g. DTR/DSR, CTS/RTS, etc). But generally, hardware was well-behaved enough that you could get it working.

    I miss those days :(

  • Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (Score:4, Informative)

    by quantum bit (225091) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:33AM (#24335907) Journal

    Yes, but fortunately MS isn't the only partner in ACPI, and Bill Gates doesn't get the final word on it.

    Look at the state of things. Intel, who did a fairly large chunk of the work on ACPI, wrote the reference interpreter. Intel's interpreter is what is used in Linux, FreeBSD, and several other operating systems. Intel periodically releases updates and fixes to make sure that it correctly supports the published ACPI specification.

    MS has their own hacked together interpreter that's fairly broken. The only MS-specific ACPI extensions I know of are implemented in separate tables like WHEA, and not in the DSDT.

    The bottom line are, BIOS writers are lazy and often the tables they produce don't meet the ACPI specification. If it boots windows, it's good enough and it goes out the door. I'm all for campaigning for standards support, but making unfounded accusations and attacking their support reps isn't the way to do it.

  • by Brane2 (608748) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:35AM (#24335931)

    +1

    I have several of their motherboards and half of them are on warranty service.

    Not only that, they won't be serviced NOR REPLACED, since Foxconn has terminated the model (AM2+ NF570SLI).

    And their support sucks royally, right on par with Gigabyte.It's more or less along the line of "you bought the board and can't/won't sue us- so f**k off."

  • by sempernoctis (1229258) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:24PM (#24336731)
    I got a Foxconn board for my new Debian server I built recently. I got it because I used one of their boards for an XP box and it seemed pretty stable. I got a board with 6 SATA ports on it because I had some heavy RAID requirements. I ended up having to get an LSI RAID card because I couldn't get Debian, CentOS, or Suse to even recognize all the hard drives. Knoppix and a couple other distros wouldn't even recognize the CD-ROM drive (IDE, not SATA). Foxconn is now officially on my hardware blacklist. Who else is with me?
  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by leoxx (992) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:27PM (#24336777) Homepage Journal

    For reference, here is Bill Gates' email [slated.org] asking how they can make ACPI incompatible with Linux.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:36PM (#24336947) Homepage
    I have the best example. Turning off the "feature" that makes Windows XP reboot after installing updates. In XP Pro and up, you can do it by opening up gpedit.msc. However, in Windows XP Home, there is no group policy editor. So the only way to stop Windows XP Home from automatically rebooting with even asking, only by showing a countdown timer which the user may never see, is to edit the registry.
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:55PM (#24337273) Journal

    You can buy computers pre-installed with Linux from Dell and Walmart. Hard to get "bigger" or more mainstream than that. Not very tricky at all, since you don't have to do the actual installing yourself.

  • by Knara (9377) on Friday July 25, 2008 @01:04PM (#24337439)

    Foxconn makes a lot of boards, including Apple boards.

  • by wanderingknight (1103573) on Friday July 25, 2008 @01:42PM (#24338159)
    There's a SPECIFIC MEMORY ADDRESS being locked out when booting Linux. Care to attribute that to stupidity?
  • by Hes Nikke (237581) <slashdot@goERDOStnate.com minus math_god> on Friday July 25, 2008 @02:43PM (#24339257) Journal

    I used CygWin [cygwin.com] for a couple of weeks before my department was closed and i was downsized*. You get used to having BASH on windows pretty quickly.

    *Once again, the WAR PARTY has centrally managed us into another depression.

  • by repvik (96666) on Friday July 25, 2008 @03:14PM (#24339763)

    Have you read the thread on the ubuntu forums? It's not a bug, it is malice. Linux identifies itself as Windows to the BIOS, but their bios has extra checks that Windows ignores, but make Linux crash. They're actively trying to identify non-windows OS'es and point them to the broken table.

  • Simple, really (Score:5, Informative)

    by dedazo (737510) on Friday July 25, 2008 @03:42PM (#24340211) Journal

    His argument that ACPI was "sabotaged" has been debunked again and again, and even if true in the context that he claims it was, it would have no bearing whatsoever in what a motherboard vendor does or doesn't do with it, to the detriment of Linux or otherwise. This problem is a misleading entry in a value table, which when corrected leads to Linux power management working again when hacked. That alone pretty much invalidates his sabotage claim.

    Again, even if true, his link would have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the topic at hand.

    Offtopic would have probably been more appropiate, but troll is OK. Maybe that will stop him from using his incorrect and misleading journal entries to support his arguments. There are even comments on that JE that disprove his so-called theory.

    Or maybe it was the links to Roy Schestowitz's annoying attack blog, who is another FUDster and Digg's equivalent to twitter.

    Or maybe he's being modded down for organizing shitstorms like these [slashdot.org] with his sockpuppets [slashdot.org].

    Either way...

  • Re:Simple, really (Score:3, Informative)

    by dedazo (737510) on Friday July 25, 2008 @04:53PM (#24341295) Journal

    It should be noted that wiIIyhiII (1327445) is a different person than willyhill (965620). The former is part of a collection of throwaway troll accounts [slashdot.org] created to harass anyone who dares point out what twitter has been doing to Slashdot [slashdot.org] lately.

    The latter is on vacation [slashdot.org] and hasn't posted in three weeks.

    If anyone has any doubt as to who owns the troll account, this [slashdot.org] should be enough. One of those oh shit I can't believe I posted that with this account moments for twitter, I'm sure. But that's what happens when you have to juggle 25+ accounts.

  • by SignOfZeta (907092) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:15PM (#24342423) Homepage
    Short answer, to accommodate lazy old Microsoft and other bad coders. Long answer, according to Wikipedia:

    Where hardware does not conform to ACPI, but claims to do so, the software interoperating with that hardware is faced with a dilemma: either it can be written to be ACPI-compliant, thus risking problems with the not-entirely-compliant hardware, or it can deviate from the ACPI standard to accommodate the hardware quirks. That, however, is generally seen as undesirable from a software-engineering point of view, since the software would potentially have to be adapted for and tested with arbitrarily large numbers of hardware devices, which is precisely what standards such as ACPI are intended to avoid. Additionally, availability of compatible software does not provide the hardware manufacturer with an incentive to repair their compliance. This is a constant debate between "standards purists" and advocates of software that "simply works" with as much hardware as possible.

  • Update (Score:3, Informative)

    by daemonburrito (1026186) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:32PM (#24342685) Journal

    In the past few minutes, the UK technical manager for Foxconn has posted on ubuntuforums. [ubuntuforums.org]

    He sounds genuinely sorry, and says that the bios will be fixed next week, and they will look into their testing procedures.

    It looks like maybe OP just had the bad luck of getting a support person who didn't know enough to pass him up to another support level.

  • by Truekaiser (724672) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:17PM (#24343943)

    because foxconn boards are everywhere.
    if you buy a pre-built computer from dell or hp etc 9 times out of 10 it's a foxconn board.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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