[nycbug-talk] a project? ChipSetD

G. Rosamond george
Thu Mar 10 14:46:24 EST 2005

A major issue with getting hardware for all the BSDs is hardware 
compatibility.  Sure, you could see the supported chipsets, but the 
manufacturers almost treat it as a secret what chipset is in what 

This came up this morning on OpenBSD-misc, when someone was inquiring 
about supported hardware.

Now, certainly our awesome dmesgd application 
(http://nycbug.org/index.php?NAV=dmesgd) goes part of the way on this, 
but I have an idea for another project.

What if we created something of an online grid which would list 
chipsets to actual retail hardware.  I know it sounds like an enormous 
project, but if we could at least start the process, for each of the 
BSDs, of course, and have a publicly contributed and NYC*BUG 
administered application, it could be a start.

We could start just by parsing out data from the dmesgd application to 
create a basis.  Then we put a call out to the community.  I don't know 
how we'd qualify contributions, to confirm that they do work, but we 
could figure something out.

Maybe it could look like this:


hardware		chipset		DragonFly?	Free?	Net?  Open?
laksdjfl			alskdjflka	yes			yes		yes    yes

And categorize by motherboards, NICs, etc.

Maybe even incorporate the specific dmesg output related to that 

Like many others, I've run into the problem of hardware compatibility.  
Years ago it was dealing with those stupid Compaq boxes with that dumb 
system partition.  Most recently I bought a couple of 1u boxes for a 
client that were supposed to run OpenBSD, as they had minimal SSH 
function, but I ended up running FreeBSD.  (not that I'm complaining).

This ChipSetD (a new name) could be useful since it would also allow 
vendors to reasonably state that the hardware they are selling is BSD 

Anyway, I'd love to hear some thoughts on this. . . I know it's 
ultimately an enormous amount of data and testing, but I do think if we 
start it off, we'd really just need someone to administer, as the need 
is there.


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