RE: Options depending on STANDALONE

From: Thomas Renninger
Date: Tue Aug 08 2006 - 06:54:09 EST

On Mon, 2006-08-07 at 19:33 +0200, Thomas Renninger wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 16:49 -0400, Brown, Len wrote:
> > >On Thu, Aug 03, 2006 at 10:25:43PM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > >> ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT seems to be the most interesting case.
> > >> It's anyway not usable for distribution kernels, and AFAIR the ACPI
> > >> people prefer to get the kernel working with all original DSDTs
> > >> (which usually work with at least one other OS) than letting
> > >> the people workaround the problem by using a custom DSDT.
> > >
> > >Not true at all. For SuSE kernels, we have a patch that lets people
> > >load a new DSDT from initramfs due to broken machines requiring a
> > >replacement in order to work properly.
> >
> > CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT allows hackers to debug their system
> > by building a modified DSDT into the kernel to over-ride what
> > came with the system. It would make no sense for a distro
> > to use it, unless the distro were shipping only on 1 model machine.
> > This technique is necessary for debugging, but makes no
> > sense for production.
> >
> > The initramfs method shipped by SuSE is more flexible, allowing
> > the hacker to stick the DSDT image in the initrd and use it
> > without re-compiling the kernel.
> >
> > I have refused to accept the initrd patch into Linux many times,
> > and always will.
> >
> > I've advised SuSE many times that they should not be shipping it,
> > as it means that their supported OS is running on modified firmware --
> > which, by definition, they can not support.
> Tainting the kernel if done so should be sufficient.
> > Indeed, one could view
> > this method as couter-productive to the evolution of Linux --
> > since it is our stated goal to run on the same machines that Windows
> > runs on -- without requiring customers to modify those machines
> > to run Linux.
> There are three reasons for the initrd patch (last one also applies for
> the compile in functionality):
> 1)
> There might be "BIOS bugs" that will never get fixed:
> (Because it's an obvious BIOS bug, "compatibility" fixing it could make
> things worse).
> 2)
> There might be "ACPICA/kernel bugs" that take a while until they get
> fixed:
> This happens often. There comes out a new machine, using AML in a
> slightly other way, we need to fix it in kernel/ACPICA. Until the patch
> appears mainline may take a month or two. Until the distro of your
> choice that makes use of the fix comes out might take half a year or
> more...
> And backporting ACPICA fixes to older kernels is currently not possible
> as ACPICA patches appear in a big bunch of some thousand lines patches.
> But this hopefully changes soon.
> In my mind come:
> - alias broken in certain cases
> - recon amount of elements in packages
> - wrong offsets at Field and Operation Region declarations
> -> should be compatible for quite a while now
> - ...
> 3)
> Debugging.
> This is why at least compile in or via initrd must be provided in
> mainline kernel IMHO. Intel people themselves ask the bug reporter to
> override ACPI tables with a patched table to debug the system.
> Do you really think ripping out all overriding functionality from the
> kernel is a good idea?

A last sentence...
I forgot the most important point that could make all others obsolete:
Vendors don't care about Linux yet.
For laptops I know two vendors who eventually would fix their BIOS (for
special models, HP and Lenovo) and provide a BIOS update for customers.
If we could convince those to at least validate their BIOSes with Intel
ACPICA in some way, most stuff described in point 2 would not happen.
Hopefully Novell has more influence here than SUSE had to make at least
the big players take more care about Linux support. I think it's getting

I hope those who never used ACPICA and ignored any "Could you please
switch this byte for us in AML code" cries from Linux customers will get
punished with incompatibility with newer M$ ACPI interpreters at some
time and will be forced to provide last minute updates and I hope it


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