booting other oses

Eric W. Biederman ebiederman at
Wed Aug 25 14:34:00 CEST 2004

ron minnich <rminnich at> writes:

> On Wed, 25 Aug 2004, Dave Aubin wrote:
> >   What is your goal to want to use Linux bios?  If your goal is to get 
> > It to load a Linux kernel, then try etherboot.  
> goodness, this question takes us back to our roots. 
> The fact is, the linux kernel is just about the best thing you can use to
> boot another kernel!
> Dave, think about this: are you planning to write etherboot drivers for
> myrinet, quadrics, infiniband, SCI, or other new networks? How about all
> those ugly, complicated SCSI disk systems? If yes, you're nuts and you are
> going to duplicate a lot of work that Linux does better. If no, then
> etherboot can't even be used on our 1024-node Pink cluster (which has no
> Ethernet, only myrinet). 

The problem is of course fitting a Linux kernel into flash.  That is usually
more work than just writing an etherboot driver.

> I think you are not looking at a big enough picture. Etherboot is fine for 
> a lot of cases, but if you can put Linux in flash, it's a LOT better, and 
> as the processors get faster, Linux is faster too. 

Long term Linux is certainly the way to go.  Short term etherboot and filo
work today and on systems with small flash chips.  We are getting
closer to the point where we can switch over but it is still going
to be a little longer.


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