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Old 07-04-2020, 09:20 PM   #241
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGr View Post
This is true for pre-built machines.

Build-it-yourself machines may need a BIOS update to accommodate CPUs or memory timings that are newer than the motherboard.
Built a lot of machines in my time... and never once had to flash a BIOS for either of those reasons. Why would you buy mismatched components in the first place? That seems odd to me. Mobo, CPU and RAM are 3 components tied at the hip. Upgrade one, upgrade all IMO... or at least buy 'contemporaneous' upgrades that are compatible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGr View Post
The BIOS still initializes the hardware.
If it recognizes the hardware, yes, but even then Linux ignores it.

The opposite is true too. I once had a SCSI card which was completely unrecognized by my BIOS, but I could use it under Linux without issue (it did not have my boot drive attached to it).
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGr View Post
BIOSes for build-it-yourself machines have a bewildering number of settings that control how the hardware runs.
Yes, and all of them will be ignored and can be overridden by Linux. Eg: you can use 'date' under Linux to set the hardware clock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGr View Post
My current machine is brick-proof: the motherboard has two independent, socketed BIOS chips and a switch to select which one to use. The manufacturer realized that the target customer (enthusiasts/overclockers) would otherwise brick it.
Yeah, got a few DualBios machines myself... but I still fail to see any reason to touch it.

Side note: Back in the 90s, I used to have an adapter with a wired switch which could sit in the BIOS chip socket. It was a primitive form of DualBios, but it saved my bacon more than once.
 
Old 07-04-2020, 10:02 PM   #242
EdGr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Built a lot of machines in my time... and never once had to flash a BIOS for either of those reasons. Why would you buy mismatched components in the first place? That seems odd to me. Mobo, CPU and RAM are 3 components tied at the hip. Upgrade one, upgrade all IMO... or at least buy 'contemporaneous' upgrades that are compatible.
Motherboards usually support two generations of CPUs. Some users will end up with mismatched components. A BIOS update offers a no-cost fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
If it recognizes the hardware, yes, but even then Linux ignores it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Yes, and all of them will be ignored and can be overridden by Linux. Eg: you can use 'date' under Linux to set the hardware clock.
You are only partially right.

The hardware has to be running before the kernel can boot. The BIOS sets the CPU and memory timings on power-up. The kernel is not aware of many hardware settings because they cannot be changed once the machine is running.

That being said, I don't muck with hardware or BIOSes once a machine is built.
Ed

Last edited by EdGr; 07-04-2020 at 10:07 PM.
 
Old 07-04-2020, 11:16 PM   #243
walecha
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I've always separated my need and my want in do things.

Slackware (PV) had been doing a fantastic job to satisfied my need for almost 20 years of using Slackware. Back then, when GNOME is out from Slackware, I want to use it instead of KDE4 or XFCE. So I built it myself in my Slackware. Yes it takes a lot of effort, but at least Slackware still provided tooling for my need.

At least year now, I'm using openrc as my init system because I want to use it instead of Slackware's init and still Slackware allowed it and provide sane environment (my need) for using openrc with no disaster happened until I typed this. I can always change back to default init just by rebooting and choose Slackware with init default in my grub menu. I also using non-default kernel for my laptop. What about support? I'm supporting my want by my self.

About VM-friendly. Several Slackware server is running nicely in qemu and ms hypervisor, served thousand user everyday. In fact I'm using three different PHP version in those Slackware servers to satisfied different app developers. And again, Slackware provide everything I need to build and run those three non-default PHP version.

If someday some of my want in Slackware became default, then it is a bonus for me.
 
Old 07-05-2020, 03:59 AM   #244
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Why do you need to update the BIOS anyway?
The constructors will usually tell you this in the corresponding ChangeLogs shipped with every available BIOS update.

My day job consists in installing Linux (servers and clients) on all sorts of hardware. First thing I do when confronted with a new piece of hardware is checking for BIOS updates. I'm using a FreeDOS USB disk for flashing the BIOS.

Cheers,

Niki
 
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:12 AM   #245
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Why do you need to update the BIOS anyway? The Linux kernel accesses hardware directly and completely ignores the BIOS. It has been a long time since I flashed a BIOS, probably longer than 20 years... Never needed to. The risk of bricking the machine outweighs any perceived benefit IMO.
FTR, I have several boxen and there is a distinct and important difference in the BIOS/UEFI, mostly by age, at the very least in the implementation of EFI, but also in detecting NVME drives. It might be worthy of note that LILO does consult the BIOS and even elilo obviously interacts with UEFI, so for some, likely many, there can be value in updating firmware.

It's been a long time but I used to use Modbin to alter BIOS firmware myself and a very long time ago I altered video card firmware via Assembly. Not only have I flashed BIOS images at least 150 times but there was a time that I hot-swapped bios chips in order to dump an image from a different manufacturer/model to get max performance and not once, not one single time did I ever brick a machine. The risk is minimal in the extreme. Some just buy a new box but others still have need to flash a bios.
 
Old 07-05-2020, 08:43 AM   #246
teoberi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikinovak View Post
The constructors will usually tell you this in the corresponding ChangeLogs shipped with every available BIOS update.

My day job consists in installing Linux (servers and clients) on all sorts of hardware. First thing I do when confronted with a new piece of hardware is checking for BIOS updates. I'm using a FreeDOS USB disk for flashing the BIOS.

Cheers,

Niki
Again, I agree with you, Mr. Kovacs.
I do the same for BIOS updates. I think I have updated over 100 BIOS for both workstations and servers. I also had some conflicts on this topic with the ASUS support team, I sent a workstation motherboard for RMA due to the non-updating Intel CSME and they sent me back another not-so-updated board. After this mess I do the same for Intel CSME using the information from the address below:
https://www.win-raid.com/t596f39-Int...tem-Tools.html
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-05-2020, 09:38 AM   #247
I.G.O.R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baumei View Post
One reason to have DOS installed on a 'disk' (of some variety) is to run the Dell BIOS update executable, when one's computers have only Slackware installed. :-)

In the past, I had DOS installed on a floppy and would use this to run the various BIOS update executables. These days, all of my computers with a floppy drive have been retired. It would be nice if the DOS would run from a USB flash-drive.

Over the years computers came to me with Windows on them, and the last step I made was to use Windows to install the then current BIOS update. Afterward, I would reformat the hard-drive and install Slackware. Now that Meltdown and Spectre and cousins are known, I want to be easily able to install the BIOS updates soon after they are issued --- DOS on a 'disk' would be useful.
You can install FreeDOS into USB stick and boot from it.

Alternatively, if you have separate /boot partition with some extra space, you could format it with FAT, and install FreeDOS there (together with boot manager, linux kernels, initrd etc.). So, you could choose to boot DOS or linux from /boot

Last edited by I.G.O.R; 07-05-2020 at 09:41 AM.
 
Old 07-08-2020, 10:01 PM   #248
TracyTiger
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seejpeg

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Keen to hear your results... useful or otherwise!
So I fiddled with seejpeg for a short while but no joy. Some minor progress editing the /etc/vga/libvga.conf and some kernel tweaking in a 13.37 release, but nothing useful to report for my Intel/i915 graphics systems. Older versions of Slackware (10.2, 12.2) won't run properly on this systems motherboard and my older hardware systems are in offsite storage. My short time budget has been reached for this task.

I'm no expert on any of this, quite the opposite. Others with experience/time may make it work properly.

I'm only posting this bit of non-information as rkelsen asked. This was just a tangent topic to the thread.
 
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