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Re: Using Linux as a boot loader -- status and RFH

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:39:17AM -0500, Eric Cooper wrote:
> I've been experimenting with using a stripped-down Linux kernel
> instead of u-boot.  I'm working with a Seagate DockStar, but the same
> approach should work with the Sheevaplug or other variants.  The idea
> (which is not original -- you can find several other similar projects
> via Google) is to use the power of the Linux networking, filesystem,
> and USB stacks to load whatever kernel you want, and then the kexec
> system call to warm-boot into it.
> Unfortunately, I've hit a brick wall: after loading a kernel (via
> "kexec -l ...") and executing it ("kexec -e"), the new kernel hangs
> during initialization when it tries to access various hardware
> registers. These same hardware registers are accessed when the kernel
> is booted via u-boot, so there's some bug here I haven't been able to
> track down. See this thread for more details:
> http://lists.infradead.org/pipermail/linux-arm-kernel/2011-January/039949.html
> If anyone can help me solve this, I'd be very grateful, and could move
> on to the final step of flashing the minimal kernel and booting it
> directly from the hardware. My early tests are promising: the minimal
> kernel and initramfs are only 1.5MB, and it boots to a shell in about
> 5 seconds.

Nifty.  Just like the netwinder used to do 12 or so years ago.  I wonder
what happened to their code...

Len Sorensen

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