Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Foxconn ‘sabotages’ BIOS to stop Linux running

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Much like the fiasco over Daniel_K’s modded Creative drivers, the Internet community has once again given a voice to the angry people against the big companies. This time the company facing the wrath of Joe Public is Foxconn, which is alleged to have deliberately ‘sabotaged’ the BIOS on some of its motherboards to stop them running Linux.

The accusations stem from a post on the Ubuntu forums, where a poster called The AlmightyCuthulu details his Linux-woes with a Foxconn BIOS. After rooting around in the BIOS on his Foxconn G33M-S motherboard, he says that it contains different tables for different operating systems, and the one for Linux ‘points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation.’ This, he says, results in ‘weird kernel errors, strange system freezing, no suspend or hibernate, and other problems.’

He then goes into more detail, saying that he used a disassemble program to get into the BIOS, and ‘found that it detects Linux specifically and points it to bad DSDT [Differentiated System Description Table] tables, thereby corrupting it's [sic] hardware support.’

Full Story




Even More Incriminating Evidence in The Foxconn Debacle!

After looking through the disassembled BIOS for the last several hours, rebooting it, and tweaking it more, I’d say this is very intentional, I’ve found redundant checks to make sure it’s really running on Windows, regardless what the OS tells it it is, and then of course fatal errors that will kernel panic FreeBSD or Linux, scattered all over the place, even in the table path for Windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista, and had to correct them (Well, at least divert them off into a segment of RAM I hope to god I’m sure about)

No, this looks extremely calculated, it’s like they knew someone would probably go tearing it apart eventually and so tried to scatter landmines out so as to where you’d probably hit one eventually.

So if it is a mistake, or incompetence, then it’s the most meticulous, targeted, and dare I say, anal retentive incompetence I’ve seen.

Original Thread

More Here

Ubuntu Forums is no longer Free

Ubuntu Forums has for long been my favourite forum. In the past whenever I had a problem, and I googled about the problems more often than not I found the solution right at the Ubuntu Forums.

Unfortunately, sometimes some incidents crash out all your internal joy over something which has given you joy for a long time. And this is exactly my feelings over Ubuntu Forums right now. Most unfortunately, these feelings are being spurred due to the decisions of Ubuntu Forums admins themshelves.

However, the Admins at Ubuntu Forums closed the particular thread at Ubuntu Forums. Initially it was closed by the Admins on pretext that the staff were “reviewing” it and later the following statement was declared here by one of the forum admins:

More Here

re: Ubuntu Forum FUD

Hard to believe I'm defending Unoobtu forums, but the fact that they deleted a potentially libel thread hardly makes them "not free".

Do they charge to join? Do they charge to post?

No, but they do maintain the right to restrict ANY and ALL content they feel doesn't support their mission statement.

Don't like Foxconn or how they handle Linux installs - vote with your money - don't buy Foxconn.

The Truth About ACPI

http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03020.pdf

--

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westorinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’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 results 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 could 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.

---

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjYyMA

Foxconn Does Hate Linux Support

[…]
The DSDT for Windows is correct, but Foxconn isn’t interested in issuing a (simple) update to fix the Linux support. However, this isn’t surprising to us. We’ve known that Foxconn does not wish to support Linux at all. Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

---

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=869249

You are incorrect in that the motherboard is not ACPI complaint. If it were not, then it would not have received Microsoft Certification for WHQL.

What does the Microsoft Certification say? “The BIOS ain’t done until Linux won’t run”?

re: ACPI

schestowitz wrote:
Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

And yet here it is in 2008 and morons are STILL buying Foxconn and BIG SURPRISE, they STILL don't work with Linux.

How many times do the Linux folks need to be screwed before they figure it out - DON'T BUY FOXCONN.

Nothing says ANY vendor MUST support Linux - vote with your dollars and buy from the ones that do (ASUS, GIGABYTE, TYAN, SUPERMICRO to name just a few).

re: mobos

tell ya the truth, I haven't seen that many Foxconn mobos to choose from. I live in america and order online sometimes, but buy locally sometimes too, but when this whole mess started, I couldn't recall ever seeing a foxconn mobo for sale. Then I find out their parent company is the one of the largest in the world.

If I had seen one, I don't know if I'da known not to buy it. I mean, I do /now/, but sometimes folks just don't know. They should print right on the packaging -> will not function under Linux or FreeBSD. You can't go by the "Requires Windows blah blah blah" because if we paid attention to that, we might not have many components to choose from.

re: mobos

srlinuxx wrote:
They should print right on the packaging -> will not function under Linux or FreeBSD.

In a nice theoretical happy world - that would happen. In THIS world - it's buyer beware (and has been since the first Hominid traded something for a shiny rock). At least now with the Internet, it's very easy to do your homework on pretty much ANYTHING before you buy.

Plus, I don't know of toooooo many products that list what they WON'T work with (Warning: This car will not fly, swim, cross fresh lava, deflect asteroids, etc).

I think it's a safe assumption that if it's not on the "Works with...." label, you're on your own.

re: mobos

silly me. the older I get the longer it takes to wake up in the morning. Big Grin

re: mobos

More likely you're just kind and optimistic, where as I'm crunchy and a die hard cynic. :evil:

SJVN, is that you?

Cyber cynic.

Foxconn Official Response

Foxconn is supposed to issue an official response on Monday. It will be interesting to see what it is.

Hmmm, perhaps I could write a fairly accurate version now of what they're going to say. I'm betting they're going to blame a rogue programmer (some temporary that nobody can find). OK, maybe that's not what they're going to say.

I hate to join the tin-hat brigade, but it's hard to believe that a specific Linux OS detection pointing to a bad table is an accident.

Anyway, I'm fortunate enough to have never purchased a Foxconn MB, and now, I certainly never will.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record
    MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.
  • Samsung Halts Android 8.0 Oreo Rollouts for Galaxy S8 Due to Unexpected Reboots
    Samsung stopped the distribution of the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system update for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones due to unexpected reboots reported by several users. SamMobile reported the other day that Samsung halted all Android 8.0 Oreo rollouts for its Galaxy S8/S8+ series of Android smartphones after approximately a week since the initial release. But only today Samsung published a statement to inform user why it stopped the rollouts, and the cause appears to be related to a limited number of cases of unexpected reboots after installing the update.
  • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian
    The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
  • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
    A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.
  • LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier
    Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory. The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for "interceptor objects" for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm

  • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline
    The "L" in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities. Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data. At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline - basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users' "stash" for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.
  • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm
    Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won't see a change in corporate direction. Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005. On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

Servers and GPUs: Theano, DevOps, Kubernetes, AWS

  • Open Source Blockchain Computer Theano
    TigoCTM CEO Cindy Zimmerman says “we are excited to begin manufacturing our secure, private and open source desktops at our factory in the Panama Pacifico special economic zone. This is the first step towards a full line of secure, blockchain-powered hardware including desktops, servers, laptops, tablets, teller machines, and smartphones.” [...] Every component of each TigoCTM device is exhaustively researched and selected for its security profile based especially on open source hardware, firmware, and software. In addition, devices will run the GuldOS operating system, and open source applications like the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash blockchains. This fully auditable stack is ideal for use in enterprise signing environments such as banks and investment funds.
  • Enterprises identify 10 essential tools for DevOps [Ed: "Source code repository" and other old things co-opted to promote the stupid buzzword "devops"]
    Products branded with DevOps are everywhere, and the list of options grows every day, but the best DevOps tools are already well-known among enterprise IT pros.
  • The 4 Major Tenets of Kubernetes Security
    We look at security from the perspective of containers, Kubernetes deployment itself and network security. Such a holistic approach is needed to ensure that containers are deployed securely and that the attack surface is minimized. The best practices that arise from each of the above tenets apply to any Kubernetes deployment, whether you’re self-hosting a cluster or employing a managed service. We should note that there are related security controls outside of Kubernetes, such as the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (S-SDLC) or security monitoring, that can help reduce the likelihood of attacks and increase the defense posture. We strongly urge you to consider security across the entire application lifecycle rather than take a narrow focus on the deployment of containers with Kubernetes. However, for the sake of brevity, in this series, we will only cover security controls within the immediate Kubernetes environment.
  • GPUs on Google’s Kubernetes Engine are now available in open beta
    The Google Kubernetes Engine (previously known as the Google Container Engine and GKE) now allows all developers to attach Nvidia GPUs to their containers. GPUs on GKE (an acronym Google used to be quite fond of, but seems to be deemphasizing now) have been available in closed alpha for more than half a year. Now, however, this service is in beta and open to all developers who want to run machine learning applications or other workloads that could benefit from a GPU. As Google notes, the service offers access to both the Tesla P100 and K80 GPUs that are currently available on the Google Cloud Platform.
  • AWS lets users run SAP apps directly on SUSE Linux
  • SUSE collaborates with Amazon Web Services toaccelerate SAP migrations

Chrome and Firefox

  • The False Teeth of Chrome's Ad Filter.
    Today Google launched a new version of its Chrome browser with what they call an "ad filter"—which means that it sometimes blocks ads but is not an "ad blocker." EFF welcomes the elimination of the worst ad formats. But Google's approach here is a band-aid response to the crisis of trust in advertising that leaves massive user privacy issues unaddressed. Last year, a new industry organization, the Coalition for Better Ads, published user research investigating ad formats responsible for "bad ad experiences." The Coalition examined 55 ad formats, of which 12 were deemed unacceptable. These included various full page takeovers (prestitial, postitial, rollover), autoplay videos with sound, pop-ups of all types, and ad density of more than 35% on mobile. Google is supposed to check sites for the forbidden formats and give offenders 30 days to reform or have all their ads blocked in Chrome. Censured sites can purge the offending ads and request reexamination. [...] Some commentators have interpreted ad blocking as the "biggest boycott in history" against the abusive and intrusive nature of online advertising. Now the Coalition aims to slow the adoption of blockers by enacting minimal reforms. Pagefair, an adtech company that monitors adblocker use, estimates 600 million active users of blockers. Some see no ads at all, but most users of the two largest blockers, AdBlock and Adblock Plus, see ads "whitelisted" under the Acceptable Ads program. These companies leverage their position as gatekeepers to the user's eyeballs, obliging Google to buy back access to the "blocked" part of their user base through payments under Acceptable Ads. This is expensive (a German newspaper claims a figure as high as 25 million euros) and is viewed with disapproval by many advertisers and publishers.
  • Going Home
  • David Humphrey: Edge Cases
  • Experiments in productivity: the shared bug queue
    Over the next six months, Mozilla is planning to switch code review tools from mozreview/splinter to phabricator. Phabricator has more modern built-in tools like Herald that would have made setting up this shared queue a little easier, and that’s why I paused…briefly
  • Improving the web with small, composable tools
    Firefox Screenshots is the first Test Pilot experiment to graduate into Firefox, and it’s been surprisingly successful. You won’t see many people talking about it: it does what you expect, and it doesn’t cover new ground. Mozilla should do more of this.