[Oberon] UEFI

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Nov 27 23:53:02 CET 2020

On Thu, 26 Nov 2020 at 23:42, Michael Schierl <schierlm at gmx.de> wrote:
> Even possible for larger apps. There is e.g. efivim for those who like
> the Vim text editor and want to use it from the UEFI shell. Or there is
> Python for UEFI if you want to execute scripts from the UEFI shell (or
> use it as a powerful calculator).


> You have to keep in mind that while UEFI applications don't *need*
> hardware-specific drivers, they also cannot *have* hardware-specific
> drivers. You can only use what the EFI Boot Services provide.
> In particular:
> - No multiprocessing (you can only use one core of your multicore
>    machine)
> - No multithreading (you cannot run stuff in the background)

Snag, but only for A2 -- isn't Oberon single-CPY/single-threaded?

> - Graphics are limited to the EFI GOP framebuffer (quite slow compared
>    to "real" drivers, no hardware acceleration)

Also a snag, but Oberon doesn't have many, does it?

> - Mouse is either not supported at all, or very primitive (on my
>    notebook, the internal touchpad does not work, but an external USB
>    mouse works with 2 buttons and no scroll wheel

_Big_ snag.

> - Only wired internet, and only if your device has a netboot ROM (can
>    boot from network). Internet settings are limited to usual netboot
>    settings (so only DHCP which has to supply an IP to devices that want
>    to netboot).

IIRC my A2 install does not support wifi anyway.

> - The limit to 4GB of RAM is not that bad (yet). Certainly better than
>    640KB.


> Without the mouse limitation, it might be possible to run some Oberon on
> it. The question is whether it would be any fun.

You make excellent points.

I still think as a tech demo, it would be very impressive, but it's a
lot of work for a stunt.

> If you take one of the small rescue Linux distributions that completely
> fit into initramfs (maybe strip down the kernel to only include the
> drivers you need), and put SYSLINUX, the kernel and an initramfs
> directly into the ESP, you get a system that is much more usable. As
> Linux can mount filesystem images inside FAT32 partitions just fine, you
> can even have some persistent data that way.

Fair... I wonder if anyone has? I will go and look.

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