The best solution for which the BIOS programming language is written

July 08, 2020 by Edward Schneider


An error code may appear indicating the programming language in which the BIOS is written. There are currently several solutions to this problem. That is why we are going to do it now.

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BIOS: basic input / output system
BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. This is an integrated software. This is the first software that the computer starts when the computer turns on. This software is usually stored in read-only memory (ROM) and is located on the main card.



Although you can theoretically write a BIOS in any language, the modern reality is that most BIOSes are written using assembler, C, or a combination of both.

How do you write a BIOS?

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The BIOS must be written in a language that can be compiled into machine code and understood by a physical hardware computer. This excludes languages ​​that can be directly or medium interpreted (Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, Java, C #, JavaScript, etc.), Suitable for writing BIOS. (Theoretically, you can implement one of these languages ​​for compilation directly into static machine code, or you can somehow integrate the interpreter into the BIOS. For example, there is a GCJ demolition project for Java.)

Most OEMs are introducing BIOS, extending proprietary and universal BIOS implementations from companies like American Megatrends and Phoenix Techologies. (You probably saw one of these companies on the first home screen of the computer.) The source code for these implementations is not publicly available, but some of them have leaked. I do not want to refer directly to the C source code and assembly, but there are places on the Internet where this source code is discussed for t x who wants to take a look.

Some equipment manufacturers, for example, focused on high-performance and gaming markets, saturate their BIOS implementations with attractive tuning functions, statistics, and user interfaces adapted to their implementations. Many of these features go beyond what is offered in universal products released by US Megatrends and others. Unfortunately, these companies often see the release of their source code as a security risk. Therefore, we know little about these high-end class implementations because we talk a little about them. Of course, we could find ways to access and decompile these BIOS implementations, but this can be difficult and possibly illegal.

what programming language is bios written in

Returning to the original question: since machine code must be created, the BIOS must be implemented in a programming language supported by the machine code compiler. Although there are many languages ​​of this type, and I'm sure that over the past decades several languages ​​have been used for experiments, each open BIOS implementation thatThe one I could find was specifically based on a combination of C and / or assembly. The open source BIOS implementations that I reviewed to draw this conclusion include OpenBIOS, tinyBIOS, Coreboot, Intel BIOS, and Libreboot. I also reviewed some very old BIOS implementations that are not relevant today, but also follow the C rule and / or assembly.

What are the different types of BIOS?

There are two different types of BIOS:
  • UEFI BIOS (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - every modern PC has a UEFI BIOS.
  • Outdated BIOS (basic input / output system) - older motherboards have an older BIOS firmware to turn on the PC.

  • I think it’s also important to take a look at other software designed to interact directly with the hardware. For example, we know that the Linux kernel, the OS X kernel, and the Windows kernel are mostly C, with excellent builds and languages ​​for certain tasks. We also know that hardware drivers for Linux and hardware drivers for Windows are mostly written in C.

    Return to the BIOS. I think it’s also important to consider the economics of the chosen programming language. The BIOS is usually written as a requirement to complete hardware sales. It is known that modern BIOS systems are mainly written in C and / or in assembler. Switching to another tool will entail significant costs for products, which are usually considered basic Products, which can have a significant impact on sales. Without going into 101 economy, I can assure you that, probably, OEM should not deviate from proven tools that have proven themselves for decades.

    Of course, there are and will be hobbies BIOS writing projects. So far, they seem to have also chosen C and / or assembly. Perhaps one day other technologies will be used. But today the choice is clearly defined.

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