[Fwd: Re: [PPCBoot-users] PPCboot vs ARMboot or Blob and a Merge with LinuxBIOS]

Bari Ari bari at onelabs.com
Wed Oct 9 09:46:01 CEST 2002

in message <3DA3D18E.4000109 at onelabs.com> you wrote:
> LinuxBIOS was designed to use Linux to boot the OS of choice.

So was PPCBoot, but without excluding the resto of the world.

> It uses some assembly to do some basic init and config and then jumps to 
> Linux to fully configure the rest of the system, after that LinuxBIOS 
> jumps to whatever OS kernel is wanted.

So your boot sequence is LinuxBIOS => Linux => LinuxBIOS => Target OS?

Seems a bit overkill to  me.  Especially  in  systems  where  (flash)
memory  is  tight  it  might be a PITA to have to reserve space for a
Linux kernel just to initialize the hardware.

> LinuxBIOS has booted; Linux, Plan9 and Win-CE. There is currently an 
> effort to boot BSD and also another to boot Win32 (probably XP). 
> Architectures include x86 and Alpha. IA64 is also in the works.

The current version of PPCBoot boots Linux, VxWorks, QNX, and NetBSD.

It comes with out-of-the-box configurations for 98 x  PowerPC  boards
(MPC8xx,  MPC824x,  MPC8260, MPX7xx, MPC74xx, IBM 4xx), 3 x StrongARM
boards, 2 x ARM7 and 3 x ARM9 systems.  This  includes  a  couple  of
commercial  products  like  boards  by esd, Gespac, Microsys, TQ, but
also desktop systems like the AmigaOne or  real-life  products  (from
ISDN  routers, Bluetooth LAN Access Points to bigger things like huge
mobile cranes).

Ports for ColdFire  and  XScale  are  in  the  works.  x86  is  being

> For simple systems PPCboot looks like a great way to go. LinuxBIOS would 
> add support and config for more complex systems that include PCI, PCI 
> Express, Infiniband and Hypertransport.

It seems you do not know much about PPCBoot.

PPCBoot supports a LOT of devices, of course including PCI. But  also
plain  flash,  DOC,  flash disk, Compact Flash, harddisk, CDROM, SCSI
devices, even some USB.

PPCBoot provides  a  very  powerful  method  to  store  configuration
parameters  and  command  sequences.  In most systems you do not need
tools like  ifconfig,  route,  etc.  because  PPCBoot  can  pass  all
required  information  to the Linux kernel's IP autoconfig mechanism.
The environment is protected, and can be stored redundand so it is  a
very reliable mechanism.

PPCBoot also provides powerful scripting capabilties; busybox' "hush"
shell has been integrated, so you can write standard shell scripts or
run  conditional  command  sequences  using  "if...then...else...fi",
"for...do...done", "while...do...done", "until...do...done", or using
shortcuts like "cmd1 && cmd2" or "cmd1 || cmd2".

A lot of complicated things like reliable software upgrade procedures
with  guaranteed  fall-back  to  the  old,  working  version  can  be
implemented in PPCBoot with just a few lines of script.

PPCBoot  also  provides  many  additional  features  that  are   less
frequently  required,  but very handy when you need them, for example
dial-in support (so you can attach a modem to the serial console  for
remote  administration),  password  protection,  extensive POST code,
etc. etc.

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