Bug#241228: Oldworld from floppy, installing the kernel fails
On Thursday, April 1, 2004, at 05:57 PM, Holger Levsen wrote:
another mail, same topic:
Is there support for setting open firmware values in
Not yet, but you are welcome to provide patches.
We'll see, I will try to setup a d-i build this weekend or next
week (should I
start with i386 or is it equally easy on powerpc?), but I've also
offline stuff todo...
This would be a *very* useful thing to have. Some (most?) OldWorld
Apple PowerMac models require open firmware tweaking to get them to
boot Linux without the use of MacOS. And all the existing
high-level(*) ways of tweaking open firmware parameters require
booting either full-blown Linux or full-blown MacOS.
For what it's worth, i386 doesn't use open firmware... So I'd
guess that PowerPC is a good place to start.
Apple has provided us with an amazing number of different open
firmware implementations (typically at least a couple per each
machine model) with an amazing number of different and mutually
incompatible peculiarities. So I'd guess that any project that
allowed setting open firmware parameters from a boot floppy would
have to (at least optionally) take user input online (i.e. from the
keyboard) and allow for off-line configuration as well (when -as
happens- the open firmware is so badly broken that even keyboard
input is impossible before patches are installed -- I'm talking
here about those early PowerMac models that default to having the
open-firmware console on the serial tty port.)
It would be incredibly useful to have something that took all
(known) model-specific peculiarities into account (and was flexible
enough to deal with unknown ones) to provided a uniform,
model-independent user interface, that could be used in the early
phases of booting from a floppy.
(*) Of course, you can boot and hold down command-option-O-F, then
interact with the open firmware directly. But I consider that
"low-level". Also, there are conditions under which that doesn't
Hope this helps!
PS: There are other architectures that use open firmware (Sun's
sparc comes to mind.) Once upon a time there was a project to
write an open-source "Linux bios" for the i386 architecture. I
have no idea what relationship (if any) it had to open firmware.