FILO 0.4 [PMX:#]

ron minnich rminnich at
Tue Apr 6 13:01:01 CEST 2004

On 5 Apr 2004, Eric W. Biederman wrote:

> I am looking at using FILO as a disked based bootloader.  So I might
> just write that code and send you a patch.

We want FILO in FLASH, not on disk. We are using FLASH-based FILO to
replace FLASH-based Etherboot on Pink and will be using FILO to replace
Etherboot on Lightning and Blue Steel to load images from IDE-FLASH. We
are very happy with its capability in that mode. It's just a ton easier
for a sysadmin to mount the IDE-FLASH as ext2 and change kernel file names
instead of dd-ing raw kernel images onto an IDE-FLASH. FILO lets us treat
IDE-FLASH as a file system, and Etherboot had us treating it as a raw
disk. We prefer FILO at this point, and I think we will not be the only
ones. Also we have found the build procedure for FILO to be less prone to
error and problems than for Etherboot.

That's not to say Etherboot does not have *many* applications: it is
terrific for lots of things, just not for our clusters right now.

> Right now I think a bootloader of this type with a config file is
> not terribly useful.

It is all context. I think we need to turn our thinking a bit. The BIOS
you use is going to become more application-specific. What you have in an
embedded "black box" will not need to be identical to what you have on
your desk or your cluster. I think this is all to the good.


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