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Re: DECstation bootloader

To: linux-mips@fnet.fr
Subject: Re: DECstation bootloader
From: K.H.C.vanHouten@research.kpn.com (Karel van Houten)
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 19:02:52 +0200 (MET DST)
Cc: K.H.C.vanHouten@research.kpn.com (Houten K.H.C. van )
In-reply-to: <XFMail.990329180050.Harald.Koerfgen@home.ivm.de>
Harald Koerfgen wrote:
> 
> I hate this as well but there are technical reasons to do so, I'm afraid
> :-(. 
> 
> AFAIK ext2, unlike ufs and ffs, doesn't reserve space for a bootloader
> except block 0 of a partition. I hope I am wrong here, but I haven't found
> anything in that direction.
> 
> That means that a two stage boot process, like Ultrix and NetBSD do it, is
> a no go if you want to have an ext2 filesystem as the first partition on
> a disk.
> 
> Maybe I am making the wrong assumptions here and I'd appreciate if someone
> with more knowledge of ext2 can correct me.

I don't know more about ext2fs, but I think an approach like silo for
sparclinux should be possible.

My ideas are as follows:
- Use MSDOS partition table, that only uses 66 bytes at the end of the
  first sector. 
- Port the second stage loader of silo to DECStation linux.
- Use (a modified version of) Harald's bootprep to install a map table
  to load the second stage loader.
- I've already modified bootprep.c in such a way that it leaves my
  partition table in place, and can install 52 maps (instead of 61).

As an alternative, I'm trying to compile the netbsd loaders under linux.

Regards,
Karel.

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