[LinuxBIOS] v3: convert stage2 to multi-segment LAR

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Tue Nov 27 17:45:38 CET 2007

On 27.11.2007 17:18, ron minnich wrote:
> On Nov 27, 2007 8:04 AM, Jordan Crouse <jordan.crouse at amd.com> wrote:
>> I'm not saying that the new method isn't a good one, but Stefan has a point.
>> This will be difficult to explain to people.  I'll start with the most
>> obvious question:
>> How many bytes is it costing me to have N elf files in the LAR instead of
>> N blobs?
> Remember, there are no ELF files in the lar. I removed those with the
> earlier fix when I put ELF processing into LAR for the payloads.
> Remember that before I made this change we took ELF files and, with no
> processing, put them in the LAR. That was a mess! Sometimes you'd
> flash and boot and find out the ELF files were no good.
> Now there are only LAR files. And they're all the same thing: LAR
> header + name. All I did a a while ago was move ELF *payload* parsing
> out of linuxbios and into lar, so we would never again find out, after
> having flashed a new bios, that the ELF file we flashed was invalid
> ... we made a runtime check into a build time check. in the process,
> we removed a significant source of error, and made the startup way
> more efficient -- no need to create an intermediate copy of the data,
> no need for the horrible 'relocate my code' stuff from v2, remove one
> whole copy from the startup path. This change was good for data that
> got moved to memory.
> But, ELF parsing in LAR applied to payload only. It did not apply to
> our own code segments, such as the initram binary blob. We still had a
> lot of weird processing for turning things from ELF files and binary
> blobs and then putting them into LAR, complete with a LAR header that
> was full of misinformation (like the entry point, which was '0'). Now
> why is this? It's historical. It's how we did it in V2. That's the
> only reason I can see.
> There's no other reason for binary blobs that I can think of.
> Result? We had two different ways of processing executable files, one
> in which we parsed ELF, and one in which we did not. In retrospect,
> that doesn't make a lot of sense.
> So all the change is really saying is, "you have an elf parser in LAR,
> and it made life better for payloads, why not use it for your other .o
> stuff and get rid of binary blob processing? Just make everything done
> the same way?"
> For the binary blob, the extra cost is 0 for the header and we grew
> the name by these bytes: ".o/segment0", so about 11 bytes. There was a
> LAR header already for the binary blob. It's just that the lar header
> was totally wrong, because you can't find the entry point from a
> binary blob.
> I am worried that this seems to be confusing people. From my point of
> view we did the following:
> 1. removed the objcopy -o binary parts (and remember, we've had
> trouble with even objcopy over the years)
> 2. made the processing for all lar files identical -- always parse elf
> and produce lar entries
> 3. don't have to fight to try to make gcc order functions in a file correctly
> 4. don't have to add switches to lar to pass entry point information to it.
> 5. don't have to figure out how to add a 'jmp to main' instruction at
> the front of the binary blob
> So it seems to me we've reduced the number of variables in the
> equation. To me it's less complex. I hope it seems that way once you
> look at it more, but we'll see ...
> thanks, remember, this is v3, it's not out yet, nothing is cast in stone.

Very well said. Can you stuff that complete e-mail into the design doc?


More information about the coreboot mailing list