Harnessing the UEFI Shell

Moving the platform beyond DOS
Book Type: Intel Press Books
Category: Programming

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Shell is designed for programmers who are writing automation process software for computer-based equipment. Traditionally this software was based on various DOS family operating systems that were popular during the 1980s. While the processes may vary from hardware validation to software testing to manufacturing, the basics of automation are the same. The UEFI Shell provides a modern base to the traditional commands common to any operating system. It does so in many cases in the words that the programmers speak, even if they at times speak different languages.

The UEFI Shell requires no platform-level customization. It requires no drivers beyond those included in the shipping system. This means as the UEFI Shell is used it becomes less and less likely to be the culprit of bugs introduced as a part of the system. It becomes an island of consistency in an ocean of variability

In Harnessing the UEFI Shell the authors describe the features and capabilities of the shell for the UEFI explaining that the UEFI is not an operating system per se, but is instead intended to be a set of defined interfaces between the system firmware (BIOS), Option ROMs, and operating systems. The richness of the interfaces required for this main purpose secondarily provides the interfaces that can support a rich command line environment, the UEFI Shell.

Included are detailed descriptions of how to use the UEFI Shell with many real life examples such as specialized memory tests for chip and board validation and manufacturing validation tests. Written specifically for the practicing software engineer, this book enables the reader to quickly become proficient in using and exploiting the UEFI Shell.

The UEFI Shell is, in the end, useful because it is small and not intrusive, just as its cousins are useful because they are large and all-encompassing.

"Harnessing the UEFI Shell is a perfect sequel to the Beyond BIOS book. If you are still using or shipping DOS-based solutions, this book is definitely a must-read for all software development engineers. It provides an important bridge between the normative specifications and the informative details of the development and the insights provided by the authors."

Dong Wei, Vice President and Chief Executive, the Unified EFI Forum HP Distinguished Technologist

"Harnessing the UEFI Shell is required reading for the QA engineer and programmer who is using the UEFI shell to develop tools and applications in the design and manufacture of PCs. This book provides the necessary information to learn and study the operation and use of the UEFI shell."

Penny Huang, Software Manager, MSI NB

"Harnessing the UEFI Shell" is the only book that brings together all the important UEFI topics in one place, explains and guides you through the UEFI technology. Experienced UEFI developers can use this as a reference. This book will reduce your learning curve and is a must have for any interested in learning and working on UEFI technologies."

Uma Parepalli UEFI Lead, Staff Software Engineer LSI Corporation

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About the Author(s)

Michael Rothman

Michael Rothman is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Software and Solutions Group at Intel and has more than 17 years of operating system and embedded software development experience. He started his career with kernel and file system development in OS/2 and DOS and eventually migrating to embedded operating systems work and firmware development. Mike has worked on many firmware products, including those with conventional code bases as well as various EFI and now UEFI deployments.

Robert Hale

Robert Hale is a Principal Engineer in the Desktop Enterprise Group at Intel. In the 1980s he focused on real-time operating systems for minicomputers and was one of the small band of developers working on the early networking of PCs. He started doing BIOS development in 1986 working on keyboard controller firmware and went on to develop host features for desktop systems. Robert was one of the original Framework architects, leading a firmware team that deployed the first Framework-based product for EFI.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is the Chief Architect at Phoenix Technologies Ltd. for all UEFI-based products, with over 20 years experience in BIOS development. He currently serves on the UEFI board of directors.

Vincent Zimmer

Vincent Zimmer is a Principal Engineer in the Software and Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. With over 14 years experience in embedded software development and design, Vincent holds over 10 U.S. patents and was awarded an Intel Achievement Award for his development of the EFI Framework Architecture. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and a Master of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of Washington, Seattle.