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bootloader… good so far

2009-01-12 by tg@

After a full three days (well, today I worked — rather interesting stuff actually; OpenBSD-based spamfilter, we’ll make most of the setup public, I get to set up the backup on MirBSD, Xen HVM DomU, and got lauded — but the evening and night it did cost) of continuous bug squashing, they are here. The new bootloaders work okay on everything I throw them at.

They’re even smaller ☺ except the new commands, such as “machine label”, “cat”, paginating in “cat” and “ls”, support for FAT12, FAT16, FAT28, etc. cost a little:

  • -r--r--r-- 1 tg tg - 41456 Jan 12 21:28 boot.old.disc-only
  • -r--r--r-- 1 tg tg - 46736 Jan 12 21:25
  • -r--r--r-- 1 tg tg - 48892 Jan 12 21:28 boot.old.pxe-only
  • -r--r--r-- 1 tg tg - 57864 Jan 12 21:29

As already mentioned, you can load it from DOS (limited: DOS=LOW must be in CONFIG.SYS, DOS=HIGH conflicts with the kernel, and chaining breaks) as well as SYSLINUX & Co. and any Multiboot loader (GNU grub-legacy, GRUB 2). You can chain to GNU GRUB (both versions), boot sectors and flat image files like ourselves. It does 4.2FFS, CD9660 (no “ls”) and FAT. It also is usable as PXE loader, doing TFTP (and supposedly NFS) as well as any local filesystem listed earlier — although the boot device seems to be passed to the kernel incorrectly if it’s a local drive.

Now we just need more testing and a manpage polish… and some more (minor though) fixes like the boot drive.

I plan on bringing out a new snapshot any time soon, now that this works and security stuff is in, although Lynx might get updated again first. And I still write HTML source code in Blocksatz… old dasr habit.

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