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Plex86 boots GRUB


plex86 CVS version boots GRUB. This means that you can try to boot gnumach
and eventually the Hurd in plex86. With increasing performance of plex86,
this might be a good alternative to dual boot under some circumstances.
Especially in favor of certain non-free products.

You can get plex86 from www.plex86.org. Check out the CVS version and follow
the build instructions. To actually boot grub, you can use a grub floppy
disk. A config file comes with plex86 (conf/grub). I had to use a real disk
/dev/hdX to get grub to access the filesystem, a disk image wouldn't work,
but maybe I just didn't know how to do it.

I tried to boot gnumach, but it dies in fpu_init() when trying to access
fpe_reg_segment. That's a gnumach kernel panic, but should be a bug in
plex86, or a missing feature. I disabled this by replacing #define FPE 1
in i386/bogus/fpe.h with #undef FPE. Then gnumach came further along, until
somewhere in serverboot I think. Then plex86 crashes really hard. A similar
crash I get with oskit-mach, but a bit earlier I think.

I think it is now a good time to work on plex86 to boot the Hurd, if you are
interested in this type of hacking[1]. This is not really within the scope of
Debian or the Hurd[1], but we would benefit from it. Interested people should
coordinate their work within the plex86 project and keep us up to date when
you make progress. For example, you could put up a disk image and a config
file so people can try the Hurd without installing it.


[1] As the Hurd runs on a normal PC, plex86 should support it. But there
might be some rare cases where a change in GNU Mach would make it easier for
plex86 to run it. In this case, let us know on bug-hurd@gnu.org and we will
decide on it.

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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