Why Linux claims to be Windows
Section 5.7.2 of the ACPI specification provides for a method called _OSI. Platform firmware can query for various interfaces, which allow it to tweak its behaviour depending on the interfaces that the OS supports. Linux claims to support the following interfaces:
Another update of my AHCI force quirking patch, somewhat cleaned up to let the existing kernel code do more of the work. The only functional change in this version is that some of the chipset IDs are disabled. The Intel specs state that plain (non-RAID supporting) desktop chipsets don't support AHCI. If you find that enabling one of the disabled IDs works for you, let me know along with the output of lspci -vxn -s 1f.2 . Patch is here. Success and failure reports welcome.
Note: I've had one report of SCSI errors associated with a previous version of the patch. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, but if you're paranoid about data corruption then you probably shouldn't play with this right now.
This week I'm in Mountain View for the X Developers' Conference, where I gave a presentation on things graphics drivers have to care about in order to make suspend/resume work reliably. Various people suggested that I write up an explanation of the current situation, along with some best practices for manufacturers.
One of the major differences between the ACPI specification and the older APM specification is that saving and restoring hardware state is generally left up to the operating system, with the firmware playing a much more passive role. Linux is now able to handle this state restoration for the majority of hardware, but we still have issues with graphics. Modern graphics hardware can be hugely complicated, which to a large extent we've been able to ignore because the platform will initialise it on boot. Many X drivers know how to switch a card from text mode to graphics mode (and vice-versa), but that's not adequate.
What can make this situation even more awkward is that the ACPI specification makes no guarantees about what state the hardware comes up in. It may still be in PCI D3. It may be powered up, but the registers may all be zeroed. It's even valid for the hardware to come up in text mode. A driver has to be able to deal with all of these situations.
So far, we've mostly tried to deal with this situation by running chunks of the video BIOS with applications like vbetool. This is hacky and often works badly - in some cases, it won't work at all (nvidia rewrite the entry point to their video BIOS after boot, in order to prevent situations where someone attempts to POST the card and it tries to jump to bits of the system BIOS that no longer exist). The only long-term option is for the kernel to handle the graphics suspend/resume. There's several levels at which this can be supported:
Turing Lives? Leaving aside the fact that your biography entirely fails to mention the manner of his death (security through prejudice? Wait, hang on...), this bit really seems excessive:
There’s no telling what Turing would do if he were around today, but one thing is certain, he would attend RSA Conference to gather and share new ideas and inspiration
Speaking for the dead in order to further commercial concerns? The dead baby Jesus weeps bitter tears, so buy my t-shirts.
Now that I've got a little more time on my hands, I've updated and done some bugfixing on my patch to quirk ICH devices over from PIIX-compatibility mode to AHCI mode. It turns out that ICH8 is a little different to ICH7, and needs an extra bit to be set. Without that being done, the AHCI BAR would still be programmed as i/o ports. Interpreting this as mmio space let to unsurprising crashes. With a bit of luck, this should also fix the "My CD drive is no longer there" issue - you'll still need to load ata_piix in order to access it, but make sure you do it after ahci has bound to the sata controller.
Patch against 2.6.24 is here - let me know if it works for you.
(Context: AHCI provides support for various features that the PIIX compatible mode doesn't, including link-level power saving. This is potentially beneficial for mobile users)
Because you all love me and deeply want to know what on Earth I'm doing with my life/want to hire me, I'll put you out of your misery and let you know that I've just accepted an offer from Red Hat to
save the universe work on kernel and userspace power management. With luck, it'll go some way to making up for the ridiculous amount of flying I'm still due to do this year.
Hurrah for the open source development model!
(One of these taken by someone who can take pictures, and one taken by me)
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!