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Re: removing boot ROMS

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 01:41:23AM -0700, John Nemeth wrote:
>      Right now on i386 and amd64, we create the following boot ROMS
> images:
> netboot_3c509.rom
> netboot_3c590.rom
> netboot_3c90xb.rom
> netboot_i82557.rom
> netboot_ne2000_isa.rom
> netboot_pcnet_isapnp.rom
> netboot_pcnet_pci.rom
> netboot_wd80x3.rom

I'm always a little uneasy/sad when support for things like this
are dropped in the name of progress.  Partly it's because it goes
against the spirit of NetBSD but also here I still regard 3Com
905's as current - they're still my card of choice for 100Mbit
simply because there isn't _anything_ they they won't play with.
Not booting from them though.

On the other hand, boot code evolution is not particularly fast.
Until fairly recently I was still using the 1.6 boot code on a few
machines because of the (now fixed) bug on the VIA EPIA boards.
Towards the end it was getting a little problematic (you needed to
compile an installation kernel since the 1.6 didn't support modules)
but nothing insurmountable.  I would imagine it will prove to be
the same situation here.

Therefore I don't see why the current boot code can't be separated
out, tarred up (preferably with compiled images) and stashed away
for those people that need it.  Yes, it'll slowly get out of date
but how many years will it be before it is hopelessly so?  Just
don't leave it in CVS only, or force people to download an entire
distribution just to get the boot ROMs out.

Andrew Smallshaw

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