Booting Linux from Flash

Brendan Simon brendan at
Thu Apr 15 14:33:57 EST 1999

I would certainly like to get a flash filesystem driver.  I'm not sure if it
is the same thing you are talking about.

I want to boot linux on an powerpc embedded system which has no hard disk.  I
do not want to use lilo.  I imagine that I would have write a simple
bootloader to get the kernel booting.  I want to store the kernel at a known
location in Flash and store a boot image at a known location in Flash.  I then
want to execute the kernel somehow (jump to appropriate address) and pass to
it any parameters required to let it place the boot image in a ram disk.  I
think the kernel lives in the file system so it's a bit of a chicken and egg
problem as far as I can see.  Is the kernel that is booting stored in the boot
image.  If so I guess the boot image has to be uncompressed.  The root
filesystem can be a compressed image though.

Anyone know where I should start with regards to bootloaders or how to get the
kernel booting if I have the kernel and bootimage in Flash somewhere.  Note
the Flash is just memory mapped on a SIMM.  There is no IDE driver or
filesystem on it.  Do I need a Flash device driver ??

Brendan Simon.

John VanLoon wrote:

> I have a driver for a card from advantech. I do not believe that much would
> have to be done to have it usable on a FLASH BOOT BLOCK device. You would
> just need to fill in the details and perhaps add support for multiple
> partitions if you need it (an offset to the beginning is already supported
> allowing booting from compressed image ...) and modify lilo. Let me know if
> you would like such a thing.
> John van Loon
> john.vanloon at

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