Foxconn Does Not Like Linux

Friday, July 25, 2008

Word is on the street that motherboard manufacturer Foxconn was sabotaging its BIOS to break Linux ACPI support. While Foxconn claims ACPI-compliance, its motherboards only work with select versions of Windows. When used with non-Windows operating systems such as Linux, ACPI-related activities caused the system to crash or freeze. Ubuntu Forums member TheAlmightyCthulhu disassembled his BIOS for clues, and was horrified at what he found.

Apparently, the BIOS had two sets of DSDT tables. The BIOS actively checked for the presence of a Linux kernel and fed it incorrect data, while giving functional data to Windows operating systems. TheAlmightyCthulhu subsequently patched his BIOS so that the correct DSDT was given to Linux systems, and the ACPI problems magically disappeared.

The problem and solution were reported to Foxconn, but the response was that “the motherboard only supported Windows Vista” and that it was ACPI-compliant. ACPI is not an OS-dependent standard, however, making Foxconn appear to be making fraudulent claims. Complaints against this issue have been filed at several organizations. Details of the situation have also appeared on Wikipedia.

More likely than not, this appears to be an issue with miscommunication. A representative of Foxconn has since posted on Ubuntu Forums (within 24 hours) promising a BIOS update within a week.

One Comment

  1. Fabian says:

    At the start of this everybody thought microsoft had paid foxconn to give linux a bad dsdt table. This would most probably have been due to the papers that were leaked out of miscrosoft about how they should takle the open source “threat”. hopefully this is not the case but it appears that it may be so.