[LinuxBIOS] Loading "other" OS's?

Richard Smith smithbone at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 16:53:12 CEST 2006

On 4/27/06, Goodrich,Steven <steven.goodrich at amd.com> wrote:
> I work on AMD's Geode processors -- in the BIOS group -- and I'd like to
> know if LinuxBIOS can meet our needs for loading other Operating Systems
> (Windows CE) in addition to Linux.  Can anyone tell me how I'd load a WinCE
> image using LinuxBIOS as the loader?

Thats good to see that you are looking our way.

Its really going to depend on what kind of Legacy BIOS services WinCE
depends on.  I know CE is somewhat cross platform.  Does it depend on
legacy BIOS services?

If so then:

Have a look at ADLO on the wiki under payloads.  Using ADLO+bochs bios
you should be able to provide an enviroment that is close to what the
CE loader would expect.

Using ADLO+Bochs win2k has been sucessfully loaded and I've used it to
init several different video cards and run LILO. (Never tried GRUB)

All of this however was done under V1.  Nobody has tried to use ADLO
under V2.  Porting it over however should be trivial since its just a
payload.  No one has needed it yet I guess.

The copy of Bochs BIOS included with ADLO is really old and could
probally use an update.  I'm sure many more bios services have been
added.  If you update the Bochs BIOS you will have to change the IDE
routines.  They work ok for the "emulated" ide but not when you run
them on real hardware.    I don't remember offhand what the exact
changes were but they were not too complicated.

If not:

You will need to create/convert your winCE image into an ELF image. 
An elf image payload will just load and run.

I guess a hybird solution might be to load FILO as the payload and
extend FILO to be able to grok WinCE images.  Is the structure of the
WinCE image known?

Richard A. Smith

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