[LinuxBIOS] Fitting larger flash chips to accomodate a kernel
spam_from_linuxbios at chezphil.org
Sat Sep 30 15:23:37 CEST 2006
Dear LinuxBIOS experts,
I note the comment on the web site saying that most motherboards have
only a 512 kbyte flash chip, which isn't enough for a compressed
kernel, and so LinuxBIOS is normally used with a bootloader like FILO
to load a kernel from an IDE device or whatever.
But larger flash chips are available. For example, my VIA board has a
512k SST chip for which pin-compatible 1M and 2M parts are available
(but apparently no larger than that). So my first question is, will
higher-capacity flash chips "just work", or does the motherboard design
limit them to the flash size that they are supplied with? If it is
possible to fit a larger chip the next question is whether these are
easy to obtain in small (e.g. one-off) quantities.
Assuming that this is possible, let's say that I build a kernel
containing only minimal drivers for the framebuffer and ethernet - no
IDE etc, and maybe use the "Linux-Tiny" patch. I wonder how much space
would then be left for an initrd. Ideally I would like to fit a single
executable of maybe a few hundred kbytes uncompressed which is run
instead of init (this is a for fixed-purpose box).
This is a very appealing way to use cheap PC hardware in fixed-purpose
applications, if it can be done. Maybe other readers are already doing
this sort of thing?
Many thanks for any advice, or pointers to existing docs.
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