Difference between revisions of "Payloads"

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NetBSD/x86 boot code is known to work with [[LegacyBIOS]].
 
NetBSD/x86 boot code is known to work with [[LegacyBIOS]].
  
[[User:Jakllsch|jakllsch]] has worked on a partially-complete port of the x86 boot code
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[[User:Jakllsch|jakllsch]] has worked on a partially-complete port of the x86 boot code to the role of native payload. However, with the advent of [[LegacyBIOS]], this is likely to become less of a priority. Consult [[Coreboot and NetBSD]] for further information.
to the role of native payload. However, with the advent of LegacyBIOS, this is likely
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to become less of a priority.
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Consult [[Coreboot and NetBSD?]] for further information.
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==== Windows ====
 
==== Windows ====

Revision as of 22:41, 2 July 2008

coreboot in itself is "only" minimal code for initializing a mainboard with peripherals. After the initialization, it jumps to a payload.

Payloads

Bootloaders

GRUB2

GRUB2 is the standard bootloader for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

You can use GRUB2 as a coreboot payload, too, in order to boot and operating system from a hard drive, for instance.

FILO

FILO is a simple bootloader with filesystem support.

It will be deprecated in favor of GRUB2 soon.

Etherboot

Etherboot is a network bootloader. It provides a direct replacement for proprietary PXE ROMs, with many extra features such as DNS, HTTP, iSCSI, etc.

Older versions of Etherboot included parts of FILO, and thus supported SATA and USB booting.

The new GPXE is not yet supported, various code changes are required before it can work with coreboot.

Open Firmware

Mitch Bradley's Open Firmware, an IEEE1275-1994 Open Firmware implementation, can also be used as coreboot payload.

OpenBIOS

OpenBIOS — IEEE1275-1994 Open Firmware.

Operating systems

Linux

Coreboot can use a Linux kernel as payload directly. That is, the kernel is included in the ROM chip where coreboot resides.

Alternatively, you can also boot a Linux kernel from your hard drive using either the FILO or GRUB2 payloads, of course.

FreeBSD

FreeBSD can be booted via coreboot with the help of ADLO.

OpenBSD

OpenBSD can also be booted via coreboot with the help of ADLO.

This use-case is not well-tested yet, though.

NetBSD

NetBSD/x86 boot code is known to work with LegacyBIOS.

jakllsch has worked on a partially-complete port of the x86 boot code to the role of native payload. However, with the advent of LegacyBIOS, this is likely to become less of a priority. Consult Coreboot and NetBSD for further information.

Windows

Windows can be booted with the help of ADLO.

This use-case is not well-tested yet, though.

OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris has multiboot compliant kernels, and so it is possible to boot it with GRUB2 (pending some bug fixes). Some Sun engineers even worked on it, see http://bugs.opensolaris.org/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6475349 for information.

Currently, GRUB2 refuses to load the kernel due to a small bug in the multiboot header of the kernel, but the kernel still refuses to work if that is worked around. Maybe they reintroduced some BIOS calls again?

See also this blog entry.

Other

Memtest86 / Memtest86+

Qemu memtest.png

Memtest86 is a program which checks your RAM modules.

It can be run from within GRUB, but also as a coreboot payload (i.e. included in your ROM chip).


ADLO

ADLO — Glue layer to 16-bit Bochs BIOS. Allows booting Windows and OpenBSD.

LegacyBIOS

LegacyBIOS is an open-source implementation of a legacy BIOS which can also be used as coreboot payload.

Libpayload

Libpayload is a helper-library for payload-writers.

Coreinfo

Coreinfo pci.png

coreinfo is a coreboot payload which can display various system information.

Games

GRUB invaders

Coreboot invaders.png

GRUB invaders multi-boot compliant space invaders game.

It can either be started from within GRUB (as a "kernel"), or it can be used as a coreboot payload.


TINT

Coreboot libpayload tint.png

tint is a falling blocks game.

Possible future payloads

The following payloads might or might not work (with more or less changes required) with coreboot — their usage hasn't been tested or documented so far.

  • CodeGen's SmartFirmware — IEEE1275-1994 Open Firmware
  • GNUFI (UEFI)
  • Plan 9 — A distributed operating system.
  • RedBoot / eCos — Real-time OS for embedded systems; initial port to ELF completed but no longer available.
  • GPXE — Needs some code changes
  • HelenOS
  • ReactOS
  • FreeDOS
  • DragonflyBSD
  • MirBSD
  • MidnightBSD
  • OpenSolaris / BeleniX
  • FreeRTOS
  • QNX
  • Windows CE
  • Haiku
  • NanoVM (small JVM)
  • uip / lwip (small TCP/IP stacks)
  • MenuetOS
  • Minix

History

The payload was originally intended to be a Linux kernel stored in flash. Flash ROM growth rate was anticipated optimistically however, today there are not many mainboards that actually have enough flash ROM room for a kernel. 512KB can be seen here-and-there and a few boards come with 1MB. Recent kernels really want that MB, and then you'll only have room for 300-400 KB of initial ramdisk, which could be too small too, depending on the application. During testing, a payload may also be downloaded via X-Modem from the serial debug console, saving flashing time.

So, other payloads are used; the two major ones are FILO (soon to be deprecated in favor of GRUB2) and Etherboot (soon to be deprecated in favor of GPXE). FILO loads a kernel from a filesystem on an IDE device and Etherboot loads a kernel from the network or from a filesystem on an IDE device.

If you're using FILO there is no Linux kernel until FILO loads it, and the kernel loaded by FILO (or Etherboot) can absolutely be the one you want to run in your system. Just set it up with the correct root and init commandline so that it can start init.