Subject: Re: Which preboot-loader?
To: None <>
From: Wolfgang Solfrank <>
List: tech-ports
Date: 04/21/1996 15:41:59
> Hello,

> So, to rephrase my question a bit, which of the loaders in NetBSD has
> the closest model to what I've described above?

Well, I'm using something similar to the sparc loader for loading NetBSD
onto my PowerPC machine, i.e. using libsa for filesystem traversal.
It's able to locate/load the kernel via bootp/nfs and from an ffs partition.

There is one assumption in your specification that I'm not so sure does
make sense, namely the point 1.1, that the prompting could be portable.

Certainly, the prompting itself could be portable (and is done with
printf/gets). But the parsing of the user input probably needs to be
machine dependent, as making the specification of devices/partitions
machine independent doesn't seem to make too much sense (to me, at least).

For your information, the syntax of the boot line I use simply has the
OpenFirmware device name and the filename separated by a slash. The
boot program finds the delimiter by iteratively trying parts from the start
of the name and traversing the OpenFirmware device tree until reaching the
point where the name is no longer a device name. The rest is treated as the
filename. Both parts of the input are optional and take on reasonable defaults
(the device the boot code was loaded from, and /netbsd resp.) And yes,
of course you can specify flags to the kernel in the usual way.


PS: There is a flaw in the nfs code in libsa, namely that it cannot grok
symbolic links. I intend to fix this in the near future.
ws@TooLs.DE     (Wolfgang Solfrank, TooLs GmbH) 	+49-228-985800