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MoBo Manufacturer Foxconn Refuses To Support Linux

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the must-be-some-good-explanation dept.

Operating Systems 696

Noodlenose notes a thread up on the Ubuntu forums, where a user is questioning the practices of hardware manufacturer Foxconn. The user describes how his new Foxconn motherboard caused his Linux install to freeze and fire off weird kernel errors. He disassembles the BIOS and concludes that a faulty DSDT table is responsible for the errors. Even though the user makes Foxconn aware of the problem, they refuse to correct it, as 'it doesn't support Linux' and is only 'Microsoft certified.' The user speculates darkly on Foxconn's motives. Read the forum, read the code, and come to your own conclusions. "I disassembled my BIOS to have a look around, and while I won't post the results here, I'll tell you what I did find. They have several different tables, a group for Windows XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX. The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation.' The worst part is Foxconn's insistence that the product is ACPI compliant because their tables passed to Windows work, and that Microsoft gave the the magic WHQL certification."

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An the solution is.... (5, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332653)

Return it and buy from a manufacturer... no need to disassemble the BIOS, your time is worth more than that.

Re:An the solution is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332705)

Amen.

(my captcha is Atheism! lol)

Re:An the solution is.... (5, Informative)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332783)

Exactly. Vote for Linux support with your money. The problem is, there aren't nearly enough Linux users to make a dent they will notice. If it makes you feel any better, I bought a (crappy) Foxconn board once and won't be buying one again.

Re:An the solution is.... (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333087)

People used to say the same thing about firefox. There aren't enough users to make a difference. Look at where we are now. Firefox is probably around 20% market share, and it's too prominent for web site designers to just sit and ignore it. The changes aren't going to happen over night. With all the inroads Linux is making in the UMPC market, and lowend computer market, it's only a matter of time before hardware manufacturers have to wake up and start supporting it.

Re:An the solution is.... (5, Informative)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333039)

no need to disassemble the BIOS, your time is worth more than that.

No self-respecting hacker considers reverse engineering BIOSes a waste of time. Try more along the lines of socialising, bathing, that sort of thing.

Homework (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332661)

Alternatively do your homework before you go out and by a motherboard.

The manufacturer has no responsibilty to help unless they specifically advertise that the board works with linux.

Re:Homework (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332699)

Yeah, except for the part where the motherboard claims to be ACPI compliant when it really isn't. That's sort of false advertising.

Re:Homework (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333033)

I'm sure we could get ISO to fast track a few "adjustments"

Re:Homework (5, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332827)

If you follow the link in the story, you would see that the poster claims the following:

1) Foxconn advertises its motherboard as ACPI compliant thus potentially misleading people into thinking that linux should be able to handle the board. The company does nothing to counter such possible misunderstandings. One could argue that Foxconn is not obliged to do anything of that sort but for customers it is not as simple as "doing homework" as you suggest. Foxconn doesn't say that things break on linux. They only say "works with windows" and "ACPI compliant". The only way to check is to buy and use (at least until this story).

2) The BIOS actively looks for the OS and passes a modified table to linux. It does not even ask the OS to identify itself and go along with that identification. It rather keeps on having random checks to ensure it is running on windows. I can't think of any good reason why they need to do that unless they want to actively break things for linux.

3) The poster smells something fishy in Foxconn's behavior. Right or wrong, I don't know. But if the poster is right in his suspicion (which s/he must believe), it would be a natural, rational and justified behavior to bitch and moan about it rather than just return the board for a refund. Society owes a lot to such "troublemakers".

Re:Homework (5, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332959)

Have to agree with you here. This is a case of false advertising if it isn't acpi compliant (there is no 90% compliant, or compliant if you use this-or-that software, all that is just non-compliant). I don't know about the slashdot readers that answer with "so what, just return it", but when I am looking for new hardware, I am very happy if people like him figure out who is trying to screw me with false claims, so I can skip these manufacturers from my list.

Re:Homework (5, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333011)

Foxconn also accuses him of making "idle treats".

I want an idle treat.

So? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332665)

Wahhhh

Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332927)

Dear Ryan,

Stop sending us these!!!

Workaround (5, Informative)

eltoyoboyo (750015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332673)

It appears that within an hour there was a workaround posted on the same forum.

motherfuckers (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332683)

Fuck Foxconn. Now you know, never by anything from then ever again. Personally I haven't bought anything from them, but I'm an end-user and perhaps Foxconn is bigger in the server area, I don't know. Fuck 'em!

Don't Buy Foxconn... (5, Insightful)

Ikonoclasm (1139897) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332685)

If you're planning on running a Linux OS on your machine, don't use Foxconn. If they don't want customers, that's their business.

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (5, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332809)

Why is this modded Troll? That's exactly what you should do. I know when I'm building a machine in the future, I sure as hell won't be buying a Foxconn mobo (not that I was planning to anyway).

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332889)

That basically sums up about half of home-built machines, and the other half were build by gamers or by linux/gamers for a friend who doesn't know how to build one. I'm sure now that some execs at Foxconn are saying, "Well... that can't be good for business."

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332935)

If you do not run Linux, don't buy them as well. Could be that you want to run it in 3 years time and then you are forced to buy new hardware.

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (5, Insightful)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333003)

If they are doing tricks like this, their products are probably crappy in general and will not be stable on Windows either. Also, how about later versions of Windows? Or just later service packs? Will it work properly then? Nobody knows.

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (4, Insightful)

Average (648) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332947)

Sure, caveat emptor. Mark it one star on Newegg. But there are huge problems with that.

Foxconn makes bits for hundreds of rebranders, so it's harder than you think to avoid it. And, whose mobo is in yeah random OEM PC?

Then there is the problem with evangelism. Joe comes to you and says "Vista sucks". You hand him a Hardy Heron disk? Or, do we ask him for a BIOS dump because Linux works with some Windows PCs, but has random reboots with others?

Re:Don't Buy Foxconn... (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333009)

foxconn is crap, anyway! way overpriced and way under-tested and under-designed.

last purchase from newegg: 2 mobos, one new one from foxconn and one 'open box' special that was intel.

the intel one (bare board, nothing - not even an i/o shield) worked. its great. the foxconn didn't even post. brand new board and not even a POST.

calling newegg was easy and they didn't even put up a fight at all abou the foxconn. I bet they know that its a shabby product and only some people will actually keep theirs (if they can even install to it).

if this was a tier1 or 2 brand, that would be one thing. foxconn is tier3 and so they don't even 'matter' to us builders anymore. at least not for when the customer doesn't demand to shave every last penny from cost (each time you do that, you are sorry for that kind of cost-cutting).

1999 called and wants it's... (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332687)

...Windows hardware back. Seriously, who is stupid enough today not to support linux?

Re:1999 called and wants it's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332829)

Anyone getting kickbacks from MS.

Re:1999 called and wants it's... (5, Funny)

bamf (212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332961)

Foxconn apparently.

Re:1999 called and wants it's... (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332963)

Anyone who doesn't care about the tiny number of people who custom-build Linux PCs ?

Re:1999 called and wants it's... (2, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332993)

I find that support personnel often have no concept of what "supporting linux" even means. If you just say the "L" word they'll do what they can to make you go away as soon as possible. Thanks the AlmightCthulhu for sticking with this one to the end.

ONE user reporting "weird kernel errors" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332689)

If someone came to me and said my product is faulty because of "weird kernel errors", my first reaction is check YOUR code. Maybe that is all they are doing. It costs $$$ for a commercial enterprise to check into stuff like that and this seems to be affecting only ONE user. If I was running a company, I'd say "I'm OK losing this guy as a customer and the $500 gross ($40 net) that he brings to me"

Re:ONE user reporting "weird kernel errors" (4, Informative)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332839)

Check on google.... LOTS of troubles with Foxconn for Linux Users... it's not only 1 user... but only 1 of them took the time to decompile the BIOS.

Re:ONE user reporting "weird kernel errors" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332895)

I was playing "devil's advocate"... you have to look at the problem from the motherboard manufacturer's point of view.

Re:ONE user reporting "weird kernel errors" (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332955)

I was playing "uninformed jackass"... you have to look at the problem from the motherboard manufacturer's point of view.

fixed that for ya

Re:ONE user reporting "weird kernel errors" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333153)

But if a user takes the time to find the cause of the problem and tell you exactly what it is, and it is a problem that could be fixed with a BIOS update. Is it a good idea to fix the problem and improve the quality of your product, or ignore it and get a reputation for providing poor quality products?

Sure it will still require some resources to fix, but this guy has already done the hard work of debugging and identifying the cause of the problem.

So what? (0, Flamebait)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332693)

There are plenty of other manufacturors who make boards that run fine with Linux. Buy those boards instead of trying to buy the cheapest boards in the list (which generally aren't considered very good anyway) at whatever online store you're shopping at. Foxconn has no obligation to support anything they don't think they'll make a profit doing. Get over it. You aren't entitled to have every motherboard on the market support your favorite flavor of OS. Vote with your money.

Do your research before buying (search online forums using Google, etc.) to see if a particular board you want to buy has been used by someone else successfully to run whatever it is you want to run. I've done this for every purchase I've made for the past 20 years, particularly with respect to Linux.

There's no excuse for your not doing your due diligence before you buy. File this under "Yo Fault".

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332795)

The trouble here isn't that it doesn't support Linux, it's that the motherboard appears to be actively sabotaging Linux. That's a really weird thing to do and deserves investigation.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332817)

The problem is that Foxconn says its ACPI compliant but its not. It also looks as if they botched Linux by pure purpouse. Why on earth would they have a Linux section in the bios when they dont support it? Something is very smelly here thats for sure. I will keep miles away from Foxconn at my departments no matter if my systems are intended for Windows or Linux.

Re:So what? (0, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333067)

The problem is that Foxconn says its ACPI compliant but its not.

Just like Linux! I guess they have some things in common.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332897)

No, actually.

File this under having done the world a service by publishing their findings.

Now we know that at least some Foxconn motherboards do not work with Linux, and Foxconn is not interested in doing anything about that. That's useful information.

From other posts, I gather that the motherboard actually has a table specifically targeted at Linux, which supplies broken settings. So it's more than Foxconn simply not supporting Linux; they've actually gone and broken things.

Finally, it seems there is already a workaround available. I guess Linux is willing to support Foxconn, even if Foxconn doesn't want it to. And, really, this is a case of "yay, open source!"

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332903)

Foxconn has no obligation to support

They went out of their way and expended extra effort to prevent Linux from working on their system. This moved beyond "not supporting", to "breaking" hardware that should have functioned without any effort at all on foxconns part, using what was probably considerable effort on their part to detect what kernel was booting, then developing a fake ACPI table to show only when it detected linux.

The interesting part is that a year or so back, there was an article here about how Microsoft floated a letter around manufacturers asking how to make ACPI harder for Linux to implement. Everyone asserted that we were just paranoid and the only reason ACPI was hard for Linux was because "Linux developers suck", but now it seems we know.

Re:So what? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332913)

This isn't Foxconn not supporting Linux, this is a motherboard advertised/displayed as 'ACPI' compliant when it isn't. The whole point about standards, as I understand them, is that a manufacturer doesn't have to support any specific product, simply comply to a standard and let all/any products comply to the same standard.

The user may not have done much research but he shouldn't have to with a motherboard, just check the MoBo complies to the standards and spec you need and that should be enough.
File this under "False advertising/Fraud" (I'm never quite sure where the distinction is. Especially outside the UK)

Well, the GOOD news is that ... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332701)

there is more than one motherboard manufacturer. Foxconn is more than welcome to take a FISS approach with regards to their customer base: the market will issue any required adjustments to their attitude.

Re:Well, the GOOD news is that ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333075)

-1, Utopic

Defective by design then? (1)

stavros-59 (1102263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332707)

Says it all really :\

shows you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332723)

that linux should have an option to select tables from the bios built into the kernel. :) anyone want to add a kernel patch ?
linux - fixing bios bugs and hardware problems since 200l.

Fine. Won't use them for Windows either. (5, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332731)

In my workplace we run Windows, OS X, and Linux. I have the expectation of being able to use Linux on any x86 kit we buy. Absent an explanation or attitude change from this vendor, I won't recommend their kit here for Windows use either. That seems somewhat important so I'll repeat it:

I will not buy Foxconn kit for Windows use if Linux compatibility is impaired.

Re:Fine. Won't use them for Windows either. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333159)

Wooo....as if we actually give a shit fucktard. Go back to mommies basement and play now.

just make your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332737)

Why don't you just build your own BIOS and be done with it.

No more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332745)

I build computers for friends and family. After seeing this, I will no longer buy any Foxconn parts of any kind.

(and I actually did buy a foxconn motherboard for a friend's computer. It was really poor regardless of whether or not it was going to use linux.)

First post!! (-1, Offtopic)

Buzz_Light (1017486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332747)

Shame on me, I know.

Quick Fix (4, Informative)

slashflood (697891) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332761)

The title of this trick [howflow.com] is misleading. It should solve those problems by pretending to be Windows to the BIOS.

Re:Quick Fix (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332911)

Read the full thread. It has errors in the windows acpi list that crash freebsd and linux as well.

unbelievable (1, Troll)

Stonefred (999097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332765)

best example for modern fascism

So? (-1, Redundant)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332775)

So what? It sucks that they won't. But, as other people have pointed out, don't buy their hardware/return their hardware and get something that is supported.

Nobody HAS to support anything. So, it's not like they have some ulterior and evil motive. They just don't want to support Linux.

Sucks for them that they're going to get some bad press about this as it is now on Slashdot's front page.

Re:So? (5, Informative)

Buzz_Light (1017486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332865)

The point is that they advertised that they are ACPI compatible when they are not. And no, "it works on Windows" is not enough to claim ACPI compatibility.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332971)

True, any firm support what they want with their product.
But the point is that Foxconn claims their motherboards are ACPI compliant, and this guy demonstrated that there's specifical code on the BIOS to fail Linux boot.
To not support a product is a thing, to do all for Linux failing boot is way another.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333023)

Actually, if they didn't support Linux, it'd be one thing. It's a completely different issue when they, as they do in this case, actively detects Linux and sends it a faulty DSDT table.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333079)

Sucks for them that they're going to get some bad press about this as it is now on Slashdot's front page.

I don't have a problem with people getting bad press when they advertise functionality they don't actually have. I don't have a problem with them not including chipset drivers for specific OS's, or utilities coded for OS's they don't want to support. But borking your BIOS to throw a monkey wrench into things if Linux is the OS is pretty messed up.

Hope nobody tries to do something silly like boot a Linux Live distro to recover a system where the Windows OS has gone out on one of these things.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333101)

I don't blame them for not wanting to support !Windows. I do blame them for writing broken ACPI tables and trusting Microsoft's legendarily forgiving implementation do their work for them. I do blame them for saying they're ACPI compliant when they're blatently not. I do blame them for not even expressing interest in fixing it when it's pointed out to them.

Sure, they're not necessarily evil, but they are displaying incompetence I find unacceptable in a hardware vendor, and I don't think it's in any way bad that they're getting bad press because of it.

Immature (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332781)

How old is this guy?

If I had a serious problem I would be more professional in my way of contacting support. Certainly his way of approaching the Customer Support is looking like some angry teenager.

Yay tinfoil hats! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332799)

So let me get this straight.

Some small motherboard manufacturer has flawed ACPI tables and refuses to fix them, therefore they MUST out to sabotage Linux? I feel I've missed a step in your logical deduction here. (Oh, wait, who wants to do that?) It certainly cannot be general profit-driven apathy, can it? Evidently the poster really didn't think it through - even if there was malicious intent, it isn't like this is Asus or Gigabyte we're talking about here, it is some obscure manufacturer. Skimping on a motherboard when building a system is a horrible idea anyway for these very reasons.

Why the poster persists in sticking with such a POS board with obviously wrong BIOS is beyond me. I guess we have to create a tempest in a teacup about Linux yet again.

Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332909)

Foxconn isn't exactly a no-name MoBo manufacturer. In fact, you'll find a foxconn board in most gateways, dells, compaqs, HPs, and (yechh) eMachines.

Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (4, Informative)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332985)

> So let me get this straight. Some small motherboard manufacturer has flawed ACPI tables and
> refuses to fix them, therefore they MUST out to sabotage Linux?

Nope. Let's get you straightened out.

The BIOS provides two sets of ACPI tables; one good, working and one which isn't even intended to work. It checks what OS string the kernel hands it when it boots. If Windows, it sends the good tables. If Linux, it sends the deliberately faulty ones.

The more you know!

Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (5, Insightful)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333147)

If Windows, it sends the good tables. If Linux, it sends the deliberately faulty ones.

It's still more likely incompetence than conspiracy. Most motherboard manufacturers don't write their own BIOS - they buy a stock one from AMI/Award and make a few changes for their particular board.

What they most likely did was update the DSDT tables handed out to Windows to reflect their hardware, but didn't bother changing the others. So for Linux (and perhaps Win9x) it just has the generic tables that came with the BIOS, which of course don't work for their particular board.

Of course, a BIOS even having per-OS tables is indicative of poor design, since being OS-independent is kinda the whole point of ACPI. That's more of an issue with whoever wrote the BIOS in the first place, though.

While they're probably not out to actively sabotage Linux, it's still poor customer service to refuse to fix it and claim that everything is working fine. Sadly, getting most board manufacturers to fix their broken DSDT tables (and there are a lot out there) is akin to pulling teeth.

Re:Yay tinfoil hats! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333161)

Yeah I don't know how ACPI is supposed to work so I didn't know whether OS specific tables were necessary or not. Sounds like they didn't want to support Linux so they put faulty tables in there to make sure that it wouldn't work.

He should still return the board and avoid using it. If it has this bug in it I'm sure the rest of it is of similarly high quality.

The Right of the Manufacturer? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332813)

Wouldn't this be Foxconn choice as a manufacture. What they see is that their hardware works on their target OS, windows, and would rather not spend resources on correcting the error because they explicitly say that they do not support Linux.

I am not saying this is right, but the manufacturer has rights to choose what platforms they support. If you do not like it, and then don't buy it.

Re:The Right of the Manufacturer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332853)

They shouldn't be discriminating against different OSes. Foxconn is deliberately providing Linux with a faulty ACPI implementation rather than simply just following the spec. If they followed the spec, then they wouldn't have to worry about supporting Linux since it would be up to Linux to follow ACPI rules.

Re:The Right of the Manufacturer? (2, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332893)

They are free to choose what platforms to support but, in this case they choose to have a broken bios with a table specifically for Linux that was broken. In this case it look as if they worked on getting it to not function properly. It really makes you wonder.

Another angry linux fanatic. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332819)

Simple solution just buy another mother board. this guy needs to get laid.

Re:Another angry linux fanatic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333141)

Frankly, I agree with you.

foxxconn = shoddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332835)

my foxxcon motherboard had acpi errors in linux and the only way to stop them was to disable acpi in the bios (which means that the computer cannot turn itself off) although recently I have found someone has coded a patch and so I can use debian with acpi on. The amd power management stuff is completely borked in windows and linux. Oh and one of the pci slots doesn't work when an AGP card is used, a big problem on a matx board.

Par for the course. (4, Interesting)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332851)

First, Foxconn's hardware isn't the only with DSDT errors. Every use a Dell? HP? Considering how sloppily lots of this BIOS code is written, it's a miracle anything works at all. These errors only mean that he's stuck using APM in place of ACPI. If the user wanted a decent motherboard, he'd have bought it from ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc. It's not some conspiracy, it's a cheap motherboard vendor using a defective BIOS that doesn't give crap about it's customers. Really, how's that not normal?

It's not easy for the BIOS manufacturers (5, Interesting)

pieleric (917714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332855)

Although this vendor seems definitely not trying to support Linux with it's BIOS, the hard truth is that it's not so easy even for those who try. For more information, there is currently a thread on the LKML disussing this [lkml.org] and how to improve the situation.

In particular, latest kernels claim to be every versions of Windows at the same time, and not Linux! That's not easy to handle for the BIOS writer...

Foxconned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332867)

Crap. Avoid it. The DSDT isn't the only thing they crippled.

A company that isn't able -- or isn't willig to -- correct this problem speaks for itself.

Evolution and market says:
Be happy, say goodbye to another crap maker :)

and so it starts the war aganist freedom (0, Flamebait)

segagman (1234136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332883)

i have seen this coming the war against freedom of thought and sharing ...were dose it end?

Hint to the user in question (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332907)

When you speak in huge, run on, sentences, describe your correspondent as "terrorists" and accuse them of "sabotage", and of being paid of Microsoft to peddle "intentionally broken [...] filth", don't be surprised when they back... slowly... away and want nothing to do with you or your paranoid ravings.

This goes beyond refusing to support (4, Insightful)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332917)

This is active sabotage.

They haven't lost a customer, they've gained an enemy. This is an attack. Do not let them get away with it.

Re:This goes beyond refusing to support (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333131)

"Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence."

Malice maybe, maybe not. We will probably never know for sure. In any case, both sides could have handled the incident better.

Don't be an idiot (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332921)

Guess what ? the acpi impyementation in OpenBSD says `oh, sure, we're windows'.

Where do you think this is going ?
Most card makers don't give a shit about linux and other OSes, the only acpi implementation that's going to be tested is... windows!

so, say you're windows, and cope with it, that's the only sane way to make things work.

But does it run Linux? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332937)

Oh, right. Nevermind.

Something I'm missing... (1)

800DeadCCs (996359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332943)

Why should a bios _CARE_ what OS you're running?
(seriously, why? I want to learn.)

Re:Something I'm missing... (5, Informative)

pieleric (917714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333029)

Because the OS's have bugs in their ACPI implementations. So the BIOS provides a special version of function with a workaround for the bug in case it detects the specific OS version.

Let's note this is valid only for proprietary OS's (aka Windows). For F/OSS kernels, the BIOS writer can simply report a bug on non-ACPI compliance, and it's fixed soon after directly in the kernel.

Re:Something I'm missing... (1)

Jumpin' Jon (731892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333047)

Yeah, I was wondering that too.. hope someone will spare some time to elighten us.

Re:Something I'm missing... (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333109)

I actually have to agree.

The BIOS should implment things at the Hardware level, it should then provide the said features through a standard API and then OS manufacutures should call things through said API and do what they do at a software level.

The article reposted - minus some code:- (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332951)

Here is most of the original article.
The pesky junk filter meant I had to snip some of the code out - sorry.
Posting AC for the usual reason(s).

Foxconn deliberately sabotaging their BIOS to destroy Linux ACPI
Edit: Please tell Foxconn what you think of their behavior:

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/online.aspx [foxconnchannel.com]

You need to put in an email, and then it will bring up a form, choose Complain/Suggest.

Edit: Welcome Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot.

http://digg.com/linux_unix/Foxconn_d..._destroy_Linux [digg.com]
http://www.reddit.com/comments/6tcv8...their_bios_to/ [reddit.com]
(Will add Slashdot when I know the final URL)
------------
I disassembled my BIOS to have a look around, and while I won't post the results here,I'll tell you what I did find.

They have several different tables, a group for Windws XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX.

The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation, causing weird kernel errors, strange system freezing, no suspend or hibernate, and other problems, using my modifications below, I've gotten it down to just crashing on the next reboot after having suspended, the horrible thing about disassembling any program is that you have no commenting, so it's hard to tell which does what, but I'll be damned if I'm going to buy a copy of Vista just to get the crashing caused by Foxconn's BIOS to stop, I am not going to be terrorized.

-----
How to fix:

Get Intel's BIOS ACPI source compiler:

sudo apt-get install iasl

Dump your DSDT table:

sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/DSDT > dsdt.dat

Disassemble it:

iasl -d dsdt.dat

Open it in Gedit:

gedit dsdt.dsl

Fix Foxconn sabotage:

Find, the section that starts out with

Code:

                        If (_OSI ("Windows 2000"))
                        {
                                Store (0x04, OSVR)
                        }

Go down til you get to the first

Code:

                }
                Else
                {

Past that you should see Linux alongside Windows NT, which is above another Else that leads to Windows Me.

Should look like:

Code:

                        If (MCTH (_OS, "Linux"))

                        {
                                Store (0x3, OSVR)
                        }

Change it to:
Code:

                        If (_OSI ("Linux"))
                        {
                                Store (Zero, OSVR)
                        }

Copy the section, and remove it and the other characters (CAREFULLY PRESERVING SYNTAX!!!!)

Then move the Linux section to right underneath Windows 2006 section.

_Code removed to get past junk filter_

So there you have it!

Edit: Complained to the Federal Trade Commission

http://www.ftc.gov/ [ftc.gov]

Foxconn
458 E. Lambert Road Fullerton
Fullerton, CA
92835

FOXCONN PHONE NUMBER: 714-871-9968

Company sold me a computer motherboard, model G33M-S, claiming that it was compliant with ACPI versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Linux and FreeBSD do not work with this motherboard due to it's ACPI configuration, using a disassembler program, I have found that it detects Linux specifically and points it to bad DSDT tables, thereby corrupting it's hardware support, changing this and setting the system to override the BIOS ACPI DSDT tables with a customized version that passes the Windows versions to Linux gives Linux ACPI support stated on the box, I am complaining because I feel this violates an anti-trust provision in the Microsoft settlement, I further believe that Microsoft is giving Foxconn incentives to cripple their motherboards if you try to boot to a non-Windows OS.

We have received your complaint.

Thank you for contacting the FTC. Your complaint has been entered into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide. Your reference number is:
19642372

Edit: Full correspondence with Foxconn

Me:

ACPI issues, cannot reboot after having used suspend

Jul 22 08:37:53 ryan-pc kernel: ACPI: FACS 7FFBE000, 0040
Jul 22 08:37:53 ryan-pc kernel: ACPI: FACS 7FFBE000, 0040
Jul 22 08:37:53 ryan-pc kernel: ACPI: FACS 7FFBE000, 0040
Jul 22 08:37:53 ryan-pc kernel: ACPI: FACS 7FFBE000, 0040
Jul 22 08:37:53 ryan-pc kernel: ACPI Warning (tbutils-0217): Incorrect checksum in table [OEMB] - 70, should be 69 [20070126]

I get these messages in my system log at boot, I also fail to reboot after having used suspend in a session, it hangs and plays a continued beep on the PC speaker.

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan:

Do you get the same beep codes if you were to remove all RAM out and then turn the system ON again?

Me:

No, because then I wouldn't be able to boot into Linux, suspend to RAM, to get the ACPI failure, have syslogd pollute my /var/log/messages file with it, or read about it in my system log.

In particular, the number of quirks that the kernel has to use, and this invalid checksum are what has me nervous.

If you need me to attach the full contents of /var/log/messages, I can do so.

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan:

This board was never certified for Linux. It is only certified for Vista. See URL below. So please test under Vista. Does this issue also occured under Vista or Winxp?

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/produc...ification.aspx [foxconnchannel.com]

Me:

Well, this is a replacement for a dead Intel board (a 945g that fully supported ACPI), Vista was never really up for consideration, and I'm not about to go buy a copy to find out.

The ACPI specs are there for a reason, and broken BIOS's like what is in this motherboard are the reason standard ACPI does not work, I've taken the liberty of filing the report in kernel.org, Red Hat, and Canonical's Ubuntu bug tracking systems, and posting the contents of my kernel error log on my blog, which is in the first several results if you Google search "Foxconn G33M" or "Foxconn G33M-s", "Foxconn Linux", etc, as well as prominently in other search formats, so hopefully this will save other people from a bad purchase, and hopefully kernel.org can work around your broken BIOS in 2.6.26, as I understand that kernel is more forgiving of poorly written BIOSes built for Windows.

I've already gotten several dozen hits on those pages, so you guys are only hurting yourselves in the long run, by using bad BIOS ROMs, as people like me are quite vocal when dealing with a bad product.

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan,

Making idle treats is not going to solve anything.

As already stated this model has not been certified under Linux nor supported.

As you are unhappy with the product- using a non-support operating system nor certified, please contact your reseller for a refund.

Me:

Yeah, well, I allege that you guys thoroughly suck.

Learn how to write a BIOS before you go selling hardware with falsified specs.

Me:

I've been debugging your AMI BIOS, and the ACPI support on it is far from within compliance with the standards, I've dumped out the debugging data into Canonical's Launchpad bug tracking system so that we may be able to support some sort of a workaround for the bad ACPI tables in your BIOS, I would hope that you will be part of the solution instead of the problem, alienating customers and telling them to go buy a copy of Windows Vista is not service, your product claims to be ACPI compliant and is not, therefore you are falsely advertising it with features it isn't capable of.

I would ask that you issue an update that doesn't make it dependent upon Windows Hardware Error Architecture, but that decision is up to you.

Please find all relevant data here:

Bug #251338 in Ubuntu: âoeBad ACPI support on Foxconn G33M/G33M-S motherboards with AMI BIOSâ
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/251338 [launchpad.net]

I appreciate your consideration in this matter.

-Ryan

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan,

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.

Refer to:
http://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Pro...33M-S&oid=3179 [microsoft.com]

As already stated, this model has not been certified under Linux nor supported.

It has been marketed as a Microsoft Certified Motherboard for their operating systems.

Me:

I've found separate DSDT tables that the BIOS hands to Linux specifically, changing it to point to the DSDT tables Vista gets fixes all Linux issues with this board.

So while I accept that you've gotten some kind of Microsoft Certification (doesn't surprise me), that does not make your board ACPI capable, just that Windows is better at coping with glitches custom tailored to it, for this purpose.

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan,

Stop sending us these!!!

Me:

Your BIOS is actually pretty shoddy, I've taken the liberty of posting everything that's wrong with the DSDT lookup tables and how to fix some of it so the community that has already purchased your filth can make do with it, also, it's now pretty much impossible to google Foxconn and Linux in the same sentence without getting hit by the truth, that your boards aren't good enough to handle it.

Have a very nice day.

Foxconn:

Dear Ryan,

Surely this is the way to ask for us to attempt to fix something that is not supported in the first place.

Me:

Would it be so difficult? I mean really? I suppose you've never heard of building a happy customer base vs. just angering everyone that deals with your products to the point they make sure others don't make the mistake of buying them.

You know, I have several computers, and they all support any OS I want to put there, as well they should, if you can't fix the damaged BIOS you put there intentionally, can you at least put a big thing on the site that says no LInux support so people won't make the mistake of buying your stuff?

Your DSDT table looks like it was written by a first year computer science student, it is scary, I will not just shut up and go away until I feel like I've been done right, this can end up on Digg, Slashdot, filed with the FTC that you are passing bad ACPI data on to Linux specifically.

I saw you targeting Linux with an intentionally broken ACPI table, you also have one for NT and ME, a separate one for newer NT variants like 2000, XP, Vista, and 2003/2008 Server, I'm sure that if you actually wrote to Intel ACPI specs instead of whatever quirks you can get away with for 8 versions of Windows and then go to the trouble of giving a botched table to Linux (How much *is* Microsoft paying you?) it would end up working a lot better, but I have this idea you don't want it to.
Last edited by TheAlmightyCthulhu; 4 Hours Ago at 03:39 AM. Reason: Foxconn's contact page

ASUS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332969)

News like this are the best advertisement for ASUS! :)
Btw. today was the first day, I've read anything about a company called "Foxconn". But I will remember this name!

Not "No Support", but active sabatage... (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332981)

The way I read this, is that its not that they "don't support Linux", but they seem to be actively sabataging it.. Hope Reddit/Digg/Slashdot chews them up and spits them out....

X-BOX, anyone? (1, Interesting)

querist (97166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333005)

This may sound like a wild conspiracy theory, but perhaps the motherboard manufacturer is testing a mechanism that will be used in future versions of the X-BOX? Can you imagine how embarassing it must be to Steve Ballmer when he reads about people running Linux on his precious X-Box? A Microsoft-branded machine running the "enemy" Linux.

From what I've read about the disassembly of the BIOS, it seems like a blatant attempt to make sure that the machine ONLY works for Windows. This is different from only testing it for Windows. This appears to be a clear attempt to prevent it from working on any other OS.

Again, it looks like they're trying to position themselves for the X-Box motherboard market if they can make this work.

Ask before you buy...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333007)

This creeped me out. I guess I'll have to ask if every single component I buy (although I'm a laptop person) is compatible with Linux, as you have really dumb manufacturers like these...

Everyone does it now, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333019)

On behalf of my company I've been working with a pretty well known optical drive manufacturer. I'm not going to name names hence posting AC.

They had completely ignored the ATA spec when designing their new laptop form factor drive, using 1.7volt logic rather than 5Volt for the control lines.
Seems the Laptop manufacturers are doing the same hence it working with those, but not everything is compatible.
Certainly we had issues with our product.
They've been back to the drawing board and built some new silicon to rectify the problem and now it's incorporated into the main model line.

The difference with Foxxconn is that we don't just buy one of them we buy several thousand units monthly.
You tend to get a little better support than them blaming you for the problem.
That they'd have a problem with the product when doing this had never crossed their mind!!

However, whilst in the past it's always been easy to ignore one single customer there are forums and places now where disgruntled parties will gather and collective mass might chance a few attitudes. Certainly one of my jobs is keeping an eye out for any such postings about our products.

No support for Linux, or create advantage for Micr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333055)

It is one thing to not support Linux... hey this is ok, it is their right! But is another thing to sabotage Linux! I have read the whole post on ubuntuforums, if what this guy sais is true, then it is sabotage. The Bios looks for Linux deliberatly and passes bad instructions. If they would not support linux there should not be a table for linux

A job for TdR ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333063)

Who wants to try to install OpenBSD in those mainboards, fail to install, and then ask Theo de Raadt to speak kindly to Foxconn ?

Shouldn't be allowed for sale (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333069)

I know I'll get shouted down by the free market types but, many industries are required by law to meet minimum standards that correspond to the way a product is designed, manufactured, marketed, sold, and disposed-of, why should the consumer electronics and especially computer industries (including software) be any treated any differently? The IT industry is the only industry in the history of modern manufacturing based capitalist economies that has never been regulated in any form (with the possible exception of anti-monopoly laws, and we've all seen how effective they are). WTF makes our industry so special?

As far as I'm concerned if you want to sell a product that is completely proprietary in design then sure go right ahead, I'll concur with the free market types here.

BUT

If you claim that your product is compliant or compatible with some standard or another and you are found wanting then you should be held accountable with _very_ stiff penalties until you either correct the problem (including fixing it for those you've already sold to) or the penalties incurred send you into bankruptcy at which point all your intellectual property should be forcibly placed in the public domain.

<rant>
And for all the free market types who'll complain at what I've just said. My attitude is if you want to go into business and you don't do your due diligence when you design, manufacture, market and sell your product and the regulatory authorities take your not-so-hard earned cash away as a result... I say tough-shit!
</rant>

This is common across many MB manufacturers (2, Informative)

pisymbol (310882) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333077)

This is nothing new and there is nothing *fishy* going on. As a side, my MSI notebook also has some non-compliant tables which causes FreeBSD's ACPICA (which was written by Intel) to not recognize the battery status light.

The issue is that Microsoft OSes are not ACPI compliant period. They are semi-ACPI compliant and always have been. Most motherboard manufacturers use the Hardware SDK in order to get the WHQL certification. The SDK provides tools to automatically generate ACPI tables (and in fact if he looks at the DSDT he can see how the tables were generated, typically they are stamped by the SDK).

Nothing to see here...move along.....

I complained. Loud. (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333091)

Ahh, shame I didn't copy my complaint to them. But I let 'em have it. I'm never buying Foxconn again. Their mobos have sucked pretty much since 6150K8MA anyway. Screw em.

Free BIOSes anyone? (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333113)

This is the perfect example that we NEED it, and NEED IT FAAAAST [coreboot.org] .

Foxconn? (1, Insightful)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333121)

Maybe I just don't get out much, but I've never heard of that manufacturer.

If they are indeed falsely advertising ACPI compliance then yeah, something should be done, but at the same time I think the "you get what you pay for" mantra is applicable.

Whatever happened to... (4, Insightful)

uberdave (526529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333125)

Whatever happened to the concept of generic hardware? It usedc to be that when you bought a printer, it would work with everything. They published the escape codes that you used to change fonts, or draw lines, or whatever. Same thing with modems. You used to be able to grab any modem off the shelf and expect it to work with any computer.

Somewhere along the line, hardware started becoming Windows Only. Modems became Winmodems. Printers became Winprinters. I'm guessing the same thing applies to webcams, and scanners, and other hardware. Now we've got a motherboard with a Windows only BIOS. It sickens me.

off-brand crap: -1, Duh (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333135)

So he bought an off-brand cheapo board, and it sucked? Amazing.

Class action lawsuit anyone? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24333139)

If I have learned anything from SCO, it is that you don't even need evidence to start a law suit.

I say we get a bunch of that have been "harmed" by their false statements of ACPI support, and sue them for time and effort. We could get millions. 1/3 goes to lawyers, and 2/3 goes to open source projects.

We "reasonably" expected their claims to be truthful. When we asked them for a fix, they changed their claims. That's gotta be worth a lawyer's time!!!

If this person can look in DSDT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24333165)

they can write their own fix.

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