[LinuxBIOS] Etherboot FILO

Richard Smith smithbone at gmail.com
Fri Sep 22 16:49:04 CEST 2006

> > I think Etherboot and FILO are dead almost, because we intend to put tiny
> > kernel and kexec on the flash.
> Tiny kernel, like 32kb?

Not with linux.  He's talking about the tiny- patches that have been
(mostly) integrated in to the mainline linux kernel.  Using these
patches linux gets much smaller.  Although its still pretty large.

> Or tiny kernel, like replace bios completely?

For OLPC we have linuxbios+kernel+initrd all in 896KiB. (We lose
128KiB of our 1MiB due to some other firmware)   It has USB and can
boot jffs2 or ext3 filesystems and small graphical boot selector with
fancy icons.  It also has a busybox ash shell for when the booting

With the new LZMA compression we plan to get TCP/IP stuck in there as well.

So with 1MiB you can now have all the functionality of etherboot+filo.

Can you get there for smaller parts? Don't know yet.  If you drop
jffs2 all the shell stuff then  512KiB has a really good chance.
256KiB will be a bit more of a challenge.  You may have to move to an
"in kernel" loader.

Richard A. Smith

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