Tag Archives: bios

What Arca Noae’s upcoming UEFI support means for ArcaOS

The UEFI ForumAs we previously mentioned here, Arca Noae has been working to develop a solution to install and boot ArcaOS on UEFI-based systems. Many of these laptops, desktops, and servers lack a traditional BIOS, rendering them – until very recently – unsuitable for OS/2 (and thus, ArcaOS). Likewise, tablet devices and Chromebooks have been almost beyond our grasp, with very few exceptions.

If you have attended any OS/2-focused events in the past year, you may have witnessed demonstrations of UEFI-based installations of ArcaOS. We are extremely pleased to announce that this functionality is in our betas for ArcaOS 5.1, and should provide a very smooth and similar installation experience to our current system install (DVD, USB, or hard disk partition).

The work is not yet finished, and much remains to be completed, particularly in the area of DOS video support. Our objective, of course, is to have a fully functioning ArcaOS environment on this type of hardware, complete with full screen and windowed DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions. We are very close to accomplishing these goals.

ArcaOS 5.1 will be an upgrade from ArcaOS 5.0. For a more complete list of planned enhancements for 5.1, as well as what’s in beta now for 5.0.5, please visit our ArcaOS Roadmap page.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Arca Noae progress report: ArcaOS on UEFI-only hardware

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is gradually replacing the traditional system BIOS. The vast majority of PCs on the market are now based on UEFI technology, and a number of these include what is called a Compatibility Support Module (CSM). This CSM “layer” replaces the traditional BIOS and provides backward-compatibility support for booting operating systems such as DOS, OS/2, and, of course, ArcaOS. (This is typically listed as “Compatibility”, or “Legacy” boot in the system setup menu of UEFI-based PCs.)

PC manufacturers and Intel specifically have stated publicly that they intend to phase out inclusion of a CSM layer in the next few years (in the case of Intel, beginning in 2020), leaving UEFI as the only boot option, eliminating the “Compatibility” selection. To prepare for this, Arca Noae has been exploring ways to boot ArcaOS on systems lacking a manufacturer-supplied CSM. We are pleased to announce that over the last several months our development team has made significant progress in achieving that goal.

In the lab, we are now able to boot ArcaOS all the way to a desktop on a system configured to boot in UEFI mode. All necessary drivers load, with all CPU cores running, and ArcaOS properly switches to graphics mode. The importance of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. To our knowledge, this is the first time ArcaOS has ever booted without the presence of an active CSM.

Having said that, this project is still in its research stage and not yet ready for release to our beta testers. Native UEFI support requires changes to the low level disk and video subsystems, and this work is ongoing.

We remain cautiously optimistic that we will complete our Proof of Concept successfully and will have a UEFI solution for a future ArcaOS version.

Oh, and Arca Noae has been an Adopting member of the UEFI Forum since 2015.

The UEFI Forum

Arca Noae joins the UEFI Forum as an Adopting Member

For immediate release:

Leesburg, Virginia, USA

Arca Noae, LLC, a Delaware-based Limited Liability Company, is pleased to announce their membership in the UEFI Forum.

The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) specification defines a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications. Essentially, this layer provides a replacement for the traditional BIOS, and is the future of small computing architecture.

The UEFI Forum is a clearinghouse for all current, related documents pertaining to UEFI, the UEFI specification, and its adoption by manufacturers and software developers.

In addition, the UEFI Forum performs a similar function for ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface). Arca Noae develops and maintains the current ACPI implementation for the OS/2 and eComStation platform.

Arca Noae is committed to running OS/2 on current hardware. UEFI, like ACPI, is a continuation of the trend to move more functions from the BIOS to the operating system. Arca Noae is looking into how this new technology can be supported under OS/2 in the future.

End of press release.