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I think you need to clarify what you mean by "fully functional".
Linux in BIOS can have a rudimentary GUI by using the framebuffer, but if you are trying to implement a complete desktop OS in BIOS (and booting under 5 seconds), that is just never going to happen.
You can load the kernel from the BIOS EEPROM, but at some point you are going to have to mount the drive and start loading all the libraries and applications from there if you want to have something that even resembles an every-day machine.
thanks that helps from a generic plausibility standpoint.
by fully-functional i dont mean using gnome/ kde but at least getting a command-line where i can submit some commands. some of those commands will be on a hard-drive so i would like to execute them without causing a large bottleneck. eventually a touch-screen menu would be nice.
i hope i can get framebuffer specifics from the linuxbios website.
if anyone has done something like this before, please share.
Buy a compact flash PCI adapter, plug into it a compact flash card and run whatever you want from it, (after booting under 5secs from LinuxBIOS into rudimentary command line).
Should serve your purpose just fine as far as my understanding of your problem goes.