The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) provides boot- and
run-time services for x86 and other computers. For the x86 architecture
it replaces the legacy BIOS. This project will adapt the FreeBSD loader
and kernel boot process for compatibility with UEFI firmware, found on
contemporary servers, desktops, and laptops.
Ed and Nathan completed a number of integration tasks over the past
three months. Nathan added a first-stage loader, boot1.efi, to support
chain-loading the rest of the system from a UFS filesystem. This allows
the UEFI boot process to proceed in a similar fashion as with BIOS
boot. Nathan also added UEFI support to the FreeBSD installer and
release image creation script.
The EFI framebuffer requires the vt(4) system console -- a framebuffer
driver is not implemented for the legacy syscons(4) console. Ed added
automatic vt(4) selection to the UEFI boot path.
Snapshots are now built as dual-mode images, and should boot via both
BIOS and UEFI. Our plan is to merge the UEFI and vt(4) work to
stable/10 to appear in FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE.
This project is sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.
GUADEC 2014 is almost upon us, and we are talking to the three keynote speakers who are lined up for this year’s conference. Nathan Wills – LWN editor, typeface designer and author – is one of these keynote speakers. His talk, titled Should We Teach The Robot To Kill, addresses issues relating to Free Software and the automative industry. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about this fascinating subject, as well as his views on Free Software conferences.
Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.
OnePlus have developed quite a buzz over the last few months with the release of their first device the OnePlus One. Part of the allure is the incredibly low asking price of $300 – which is typically half the cost of its on-spec rivals. However another feature which has greatly attracted attention is the OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod (CM) custom ROM as stock out of the box.
About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a 'mobile' phone.
Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.
What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let's take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.
Most of the migrations from one office suite to another tend to happen without any coherent document management policy. Many organizations moving from, say, Microsoft Office to LibreOffice do not necessarily adopt ODF as their default format and will carry on supporting whatever version of the MS Office file format internally. This usually leads to frustrations and compatibility problems. This time, the UK Government decision takes a different approach. By deciding about the formats first, the UK creates the conditions necessary to have real choices for its government and its citizens, thus setting a level playing field for everyone. Many people have understood this decision as being a move against Microsoft. It is not or at least it should not be. Microsoft Office implements ODF files and its latest editions, as I’m being told are actually quite good at it. What this move does, however, is to ensure no other solution will be at a competitive disadvantage because of a technical or legal (aka patents) lock-in. Of course, it remains to be seen what concrete actions the UK Government will take in order to ensure a smooth transition between proprietary formats and open standards; and it remains to be seen how well it will ensure a proper change management across all of its departments so that its agents feel comfortable with ODF documents and whatever new office suites that may be adopted as a result of the decision. Much could be lost at that stage, but much could be gained as well. And of course, just like with the Netherlands, the decision itself might end up being toned down or take a somewhat different meaning.
With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.
While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren't tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn't working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.