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MILO

To: linux-mips@fnet.fr
Subject: MILO
From: Warner Losh <imp@village.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 11:52:59 -0700
I've been playing around with MILO the last day or so to get my mind
off the Interrupt problem that I've been having...

I've noticed there is a lot of fluff in milo now.  Lots of commands
for dumping registers, etc.  These are wonderfully useful (in fact, I
want to add to them, see below).  However, they have grown to about
14k out of 50k.  If they were eliminated, that would make MILO load
about 30% faster than it does now.  On my machine with its disk drive,
this could be a win, so it is likely a win for others.  I'm thinking
of hacking milo in the following way:

By default, milo will be as small as we can make it.  There will be
options that you can turn on, however, that will bloat milo so that
it can be more useful.  The defaults don't matter to me, so we can
turn this around.  However, I'd also like to add "ls" and "cp" to
milo, plus the ability to do decompression and grok ext2fs file
systems.  The reason for this is so that we can repair disks from MILO
and not need to build a new kernel.  At least that's the theory, it
may turn out to be too much of a PITA to do all of this, but I do want
to do the decompression and cp and ls at least for FS that support
this (eg FAT and ISO-9660 and maybe TFTP for cp).  The decompression
is for kernels and for fonts for the console, etc.

Why do I want to do this?

Well, I discovered this weekend that this really old disk that I've
had laying around is actually not useless.  The UltraStor 34F
controller in my PC wouldn't recognize it at all.  Since I'm looking
for a disk for the Deskstation (the one that I had borrowed from it
bought the farm recently), I thought "Heck, there is no way this will
work, but I'll give it a shot none the less."  And it worked.  Now I
want to put MILO on the hard disk.  I could just hook it up to another
machine and do a copy.  However, I thoguht to myself, "hmm, people are
going to need to do this for their machines" so I thought "Hmmm, this
would make a nice side trip while I ponder the state of the interrupts
on my machine."  Maybe not the best reason do to something...
However, after the fact I realized we'll have to be able to do things
like this under ARC BIOS for the install anyway, so I thought now
might not be a bad time to look into the difficulty of providing cp
and maybe ls for MILO.

Actually, MILO is a good core, but we'd need something like SASH that
was on Solbourne machines (and maybe Suns).  If we did this right,
then we could layer the bootstrapping part of the OS on top of SASH.
Something that would potentially partition the disks, format the
partitions, copy milo, vmlinux, et al onto the machine and rebooting
into the real install process like NT does.

Comments?

Warner

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