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Re: Second round of powerpc subarch investigation : boot-loaders.

On Sun, Oct 19, 2003 at 12:31:15PM -0700, Chris Tillman wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 19, 2003 at 11:29:38AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > In order to continue work on making debian-installer subarch friendly, i
> > now launch a second round of investigation concerning the way different
> > subarches boot. The situation as i understand it is :
> > 
> > newpmac: uses yaboot (uncompressed kernel + separate initrd) or OF
> > (.coff kernel, don't know about initrd). Debian-installer will boot with
> > yaboot, and the CDrom can be made to be auto-bootable, altough i don't
> > know how.
> The bootability of the CD is taken care of by mkisofs. It gives the
> CD an HFS 'blessing' which makes it bootable, and it boots according
> to the ofboot.b script which yaboot supplies.

Ok, altough i will let this part of it to the newpmac DDs working on

> We have tried to avoid getting users into OF in the past, probably
> because it's hard to provide Forth-based support in an installation
> manual. I don't know how .coff booting works either.


> > oldpmac: uses bootx, miboot, quik or serial console OF. OF uses the
> > .coff kernel, don't know about initrd. miboot uses floopy for kernel
> > (compressed) and initrd. bootx can use a kernel and separate initrd, and
> > quik cannot be used for cdrom boot. It is said that it is possible to
> > use miboot to cdrom boot or ssomething such, but i have not confirmed
> > these rumors. debian-installer will be installable from either bootx
> > (uncompressed kernel + separate initrd) altough we will not provide
> > bootx on the CD, or miboot (two or more floppy images).
> We do provide BootX in the archive now, it should still be on the CD.
> But it's there as a Stuffit archive; it's not usable directly from the
> CD and must be installed on the user's hard disk.  Someone said
> mkisofs could put BootX on the CD as a double-clickable MacOS
> application, but I'm skeptical. If it could, then the kernels could
> also be placed in the same folder with BootX, and BootX might find
> them.

This would be great. Let's try to do this, and a similar thing could be
done for apus also.

> >   3) We build the kernel as part of the debian-installer build system,
> >   and can thus use a specific configuration, possibly even many of them,
> >   one of them being specialized for miboot and its 1.3Mo kernel size
> >   requirement, and build the kernel udebs from that.
> This is the solution that prep used in boot-floppies. It was
> problematic to be building kernels within the installer build. I don't
> have any better ideas though.

So prep also needs kernel + builtin initrd ? The boot-floppies kernel
where somewhat built by hand anyway, as i remember, so this caused less
problems here. I will modify Goswin's debian-installer build scripts to
build the kernel by hand then. Maybe we could use a adapted kernel
config there, no need to build the full kernel. Not sure though.

I would need someone knowledgeable with miboot to stuff the resulting
compressed vmlinux and miboot on a floppy though.


Sven Luther

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