ACPI testing with BITS Python

Recently, Josh Triplett of Intel gave a talk on using BIOS Interface Test Suite (BITS) at LinuxCon North America.
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linuxcon-north-america/program/slides

Demystifying ACPI and EFI via Python and BITS

Click to access bits-with-demo.pdf

BTW, Josh also gave this talk at LinuxConNA’15 as well:

Everything’s a File Descriptor

Click to access fd_0.pdf

I think I’ve mentioned BITS in this blog before. But just in case I’ve not, BITS is a powerful, strange set of BIOS diagnostic tools. BITS started as a BIOS-centric tool, but now includes some UEFI support as well. BITS uses the GRUB boot manager as it’s UI, using GRUB menus for different features, see the screenshots page for a better understanding:
http://biosbits.org/screenshots/

BITS also includes a Python interpreter, so you can do interactive Python, or write scripts to test firmware. BITS has interfaces for BIOS, UEFI, and ACPI data.
http://biosbits.org/scripting/

Jake Edge wrote an excellent follow-up to Josh’s LinuxCON talk, with an article in LWN.net, discussing BITS’s Python for UEFI and ACPI investigations.

In a talk that could easily be seen as a follow-on to his PyCon 2015 talk, Josh Triplett presented at LinuxCon North America on using Python to explore the low-level firmware of today’s systems. The BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS) provides an environment that hearkens back to the days of BASIC, PEEK, and POKE, as he demonstrated at PyCon in Montréal in April, but it is much more than that. In Seattle at LinuxCon, he showed that it can also be used to look at and use the EFI and ACPI code in a system—all from Python.

The article is part of LWN.net subscriber-only content, and has been ‘leaked’ (see next URL below), and as the link on the page mentions, an occasional leak isn’t too bad, and helps with subscriptions. If you don’t have a LWN subscription, please think about it, they are probably the best news source for low-level Linux technologies. They have a 1-month free trial.

After reading this article, Laszlo Ersek of Red Hat started up a thread with Josh on the QEMU and UEFI dev mailing lists, with some new ways of thinking about using BITS Python for ACPI testing. Lots of good ideas on this thread, if you care about QEMU, ACPI, AML, or ACPICA tools please read the thread: sorry, I’m too lazy to summarize all of the ACPI nuances in the thread, it’s only a few messages.

Using Python to investigate EFI and ACPI
Newsgroups: gmane.comp.emulators.qemu, gmane.comp.bios.edk2.devel
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.emulators.qemu/358997

I hope some of the ACPI/AML testing ideas in this thread happen!

More Information:

https://github.com/biosbits/bits

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