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Re: bootable CDs for mipsel [was: Reading fibmap]

On Sat, Apr 27, 2002 at 02:44:13PM +0200, Karsten Merker wrote:
> Problems:
> - I used the "simple" method without second stage loader, so we can only
>   boot one file per CD, meaning kernels for different systems have to
>   be spread over different CDs, although I do not think this should
>   be much of a problem - i386 handles different kernel versions similarly.

They will switch - The netinst cd already offers 3 or 4 different
kernels. Teaching delo how to read an iso9660 shouldnt be too hard.
While doing that i'll teach arcboot the same :) Sounds like a hacking

> - As the firmware does not know anything about binary formats and expects
>   a raw memory dump, I have to convert the tftpimage with the installer
>   to a raw file (this can be done with objcopy) and I need to find out
>   the address of the kernel_entry label. Unfortunately the tftpimage 
>   (which has to be in ECOFF on DECstations) is generated from an 
>   intermediate ELF file by using elf2ecoff from the mips-tools package,
>   which discards all symbol information. I could get the address
>   either from the symbol table in System.map or from the intermediate
>   ELF image, but current boot-floppies include neither of them, so this
>   could be used only with future boot-floppies revisions, where I could
>   include the needed information.
>   As a short-time workaround I could rebuild the bf-3.0.22 tftpimages
>   and we could include the raw image plus the needed symbol table in 
>   debian-cd, but that is an ugly kludge and I assume the debian-cd 
>   folks would not be willing to do that (which I can fully understand).

We should drop all non ELF stuff except for bootloaders. Guido
is already looking into building some kind of piggypack loader like
PALO or SILO which is a "raw" dump or ECOFF which then itself has
an ELF image inside which it knows how to move to the right location.

> - The program I use to generate the bootsector needs some polishing
>   (proper commandline parsing, automatic extraction of the symbol values).

DELO needs some polishing  and i'll do that - I guess we can
speed up kernel loading by a factor of 2 or 3. And we'll add

Florian Lohoff                  flo@rfc822.org             +49-5201-669912
Nine nineth on september the 9th              Welcome to the new billenium

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