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APEX and Debian

[ Moving from linux-arm to debian-arm ]

* Marc Singer <elf@buici.com> [2006-07-13 18:53]:
> I'd like to use your code, as well, to put an IXP ethernet driver in
> a bootloader we use on the nslu2's, APEX.

I've wanted to talk to you for a while now about using APEX in Debian
as a 2nd stage boot loader on the NSLU2.  Basically, I'm fighting with
the nslu2's stupid RedBoot default to load the kernel from a location
that is only 1 MB large.  We now have a specific NSLU2 kernel in
Debian (which goes against the one kernel per platform idea) and even
this one always hits the 1 MB limit :/

My idea was to put APEX in that 1 MB space and use that to load the
real Linux kernel from another location in flash, in a way that it's
not limited in 1 MB.  This would allow me to use the generic IXP4xx
kernel on the NSLU2.  (As a side-effect, it will allow us to support
FlagSlugs and maybe command line passing.)

A couple of questions:

 - I suppose you've experimented with 2nd boot loading and it just
 - What does it take to get APEX for ARM (IXP4xx) into Debian?  I'd
   need a binary in a .deb that I could Depend on and then flash.
 - If I decide to use APEX this way, are you interested in supporting
   this effort?  The NSLU2 has caused enough trouble for me and I'm
   not looking for more, so I'd need a supportive upstream. ;-)

What do you think?

Martin Michlmayr

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