[coreboot] SELF/ELF/LAR

Segher Boessenkool segher at kernel.crashing.org
Sun Apr 13 05:05:29 CEST 2008

>> My current thinking is that since you will have an intermediate ELF
>> file anyway, that you will transform into a SELF file (which has some
>> nice properties), that it would be easier and way more future-proof
>> to transform that intermediate ELF file into a final ELF file (FELF?)
>> with those same nice properties (junk removed, PHDRs and notes at the
>> start -- did I forget any?)
> I had the same thought.
> There is one rather big disadvantage however, that comes from *almost*
> supporting a given format. There is some value in having a new,
> explicit, file format even if it is just a subset of another,
> existing, file format.

OTOH, the disadvantages of a new format are many.  You'll have to
write new tools for dealing with them.  Those tools will have bugs.
The format *itself* will have bugs/shortcomings for quite a while,

> The benefit is in usability and principle of least surprise.
> If coreboot supports loading certain ELF files, it will be surprising
> to (some) users if it does not support loading all ELF files.

This can be dealt with in the coreboot build system easily enough:
just make sure to run the post-processor on all payload files.
That's what build scripts are for: to make building easy, to make
it easy to build the right way, and to make it hard to build the
wrong way.

The ELF loader in coreboot can easily detect this, too (it can check
for a coreboot name segment, for example).


More information about the coreboot mailing list