[RFC] A stand-alone boot loader for PReP

Leigh Brown leigh at solinno.co.uk
Sun Jun 1 23:57:07 EST 2003

Ethan Benson said:
> On Sat, May 31, 2003 at 09:36:41PM +0100, Leigh Brown wrote:
>> [If you bore easily:
>> http://www.solinno.co.uk/leigh/pablo/pablo-0.2.tar.gz ]
>> Ever since I got Linux going on my PReP box I've been unhappy about
>> the boot loader.  There is no lilo or yaboot equivalent for PReP and
>> it's a pain.  For the past several months I've been trying to devise a
>> way of making a bootloader similar to lilo or yaboot, and this is the
>> best I've been able to come up with.
> I have been working (slowly due to lack of time) on a complete rewrite
> of yaboot, the plan is for it to support any OF based hardware (not
> limited to powerpc), and to design it in a general way so it can
> accomidate the various ways different architectures boot.
> to start with im writing a prom-libc library so all the usual stdc stuff
> doesn't have to be reinvented crappilly like every other loader seems to
> do, as well as get the prom specific stuff out of bootloaders and into a
> common place (it also should allow for a bootloader which is designed
> well enough to be more easily portable to different prom types so long
> as prom-libc has support). it will also allow the
> bootloader to be written much more like ordinary unix C programs,
> making them more portable (don't port the loader, port prom-libc).
> my goal is to eliminate the need for a different bootloader for every
> variation of hardware, i particularly hate how there is a dozen
> different loaders all with different user interfaces just for powerpc,
> much less other architectures.

Unfortunately I think a PReP boot loader is largely orthogonal to an
OF based loader.  Even PReP boxes that have OF don't support enough
services for yaboot (in any form) to work.  Most PReP boxes don't
have OF or even allow any firmware calls from within the boot loader.
With PReP everything you need to bring up the O/S has to be held on
the boot partition and loaded into memory at boot time.



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