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Re: TS7200_INSTALL kernel problem solved - kernel too big!

Well, if you're okay with waiting approx 5-10 seconds for the default Linux load to start from flash, support%embeddedARM.com@localhost could walk you through using Linux to boot a NetBSD kernel with some tools I wrote a couple years ago. The only complication there would be is that I doubt we put the Linux FFS filesystem kernel module on that small default flash load. This is actually how we boot Windows CE on this platform -- the WinCE kernel is stored on the JFFS2/YAFFS2 filesystem and Linux just boots into it from the /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit script with a line like "bootload -b 0x100000 /boot/wince.img" TS can be "bribed" to implement functionality, but I have a feeling we might not be best people to approach for this. We might end up thinking what you want is just a faster booting NetBSD and want to take a different approach altogether than writing a NetBSD CF kernel loader to give you most effect per man-hour invested. :-)

My advice is that if this is something you do care about enough to put some $$$ out, put a price on how much its worth to you and see if there are any takers. I think NetBSD still keeps a list of available contractors online somewhere too. If you can't find anybody, give me a call at the office in a week or two and I'll see if I can find somebody to connect you to.

//Jesse Off

Patrick Collins wrote:
I think it would be great if we could have a very simple boot loader
that could load a NetBSD kernel from CF. Do you think you could magic
one of these please Jesse :)

Patrick Collins
+61 419 712 581

2008/12/12 Jesse Off <joff%embeddedarm.com@localhost>:
Ken Hornstein wrote:
u-boot has those features now, but not redboot.

Yeah, I think that unless Embedded ARM wants to switch to u-boot, that
help us.  Ah, well.


We're not a big fan of either u-Boot or RedBoot out here.  Seems like
overkill to write one OS to for the sole purpose of starting up another.  I
personally prefer to minimize how many drivers I write or debug for the same
hardware.  :-)

In our new products, we have written a 442 byte bootloader that loads
kernels from x86 MBR style partitions of either NAND flash or SD card and
can boot a small Linux kernel + ramdisk in about the same amount of time it
takes the RedBoot or u-boot bloatware to start up.  Once up, we have written
a Linux program + kernel module that can start up other OS's, RTOS's, and
OS-less applications.  In effect, we use Linux as our bootloader so that you
could load kernels via NFS over USB wifi dongle and configure pre-bootup
behavior in shell script, etc...

Here's some info on it:

I ported the bootload utility to NetBSD too-- it doesn't even need a kernel
module. I do what I need to do there via /dev/mem and /dev/kmem.

This application + kernel module should also work on the default TS-7200
Linux installation.  You can place the NetBSD kernel on the Linux JFFS2
filesystem and then run our "bootload" command to soft-boot into another OS.
 On the platforms we've standardized on this scheme we can go from power-on
to Linux to another OS in about 3 seconds or so.  The TS-7200 Linux boots up
a little slower, but its still not too bad.

//Jesse Off

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