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Re: Does Linux Mips support compressed Kernel?

To: "Ardelean, Andrei" <>
Subject: Re: Does Linux Mips support compressed Kernel?
From: Geert Uytterhoeven <>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 21:20:28 +0200
Cc: wu zhangjin <>,
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On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 21:07, Ardelean, Andrei <> wrote:
> I am using MALTA board with 74K.
> From your email I understand that the bootloader must uncompress the
> Kernel before launching it, so the compressed Kernel cannot run and
> decompress itself? Could you confirm? I am asking that because in some
> book I have read that Linux can boot a compressed image and the Kernel
> was able to uncompress itself, but maybe it was my misunderstanding.

Linux itself indeed cannot decompress itself.
It's decompressed either by the bootloader, or by the (pre-Linux)
early startup code which
is wrapped around the kernel.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wu zhangjin []
> Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 1:09 PM
> To: Ardelean, Andrei
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Does Linux Mips support compressed Kernel?
> Hi,
> On 8/27/10, Ardelean, Andrei <> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Does Linux Mips support compressed Kernel?
> The answer maybe yes for we have added the basic compressed kernel
> support from 2.6.33:
> arch/mips/boot/compressed/
> but which board are you using? I just checked the arch/mips/Kconfig of
> 2.6.35 and only found the following boards enabled it:
>        bool "Alchemy processor based machines"
>        select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT
> config AR7
>        bool "Texas Instruments AR7"
>        [snip]
>        select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT_UART16550
>        bool "Loongson family of machines"
>        select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT_UART16550
> config MIPS_MALTA
>        bool "MIPS Malta board"
>        [snip]
>        select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT
>> How can I obtain it?
> If your board are not related to any of the ones above, then, you may
> need to select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT for your board and try it.
> If it doesn't work, you may need to debug it with serial port or the
> other methods. If your board have a 16550 compatible serial port, you
> may be possible to select SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT_UART16550 instead of
> SYS_SUPPORTS_ZBOOT to enable the serial port debugging support, and at
> last, to enable the serial port debugging output, you need to enable
> You can get more help from arch/mips/boot/compressed/
> BTW, to enable the zboot support, the bootloader of your board may
> need the capability to parse the elf file.
> Regards,
> Wu Zhangjin



Geert Uytterhoeven -- There's lots of Linux beyond ia32 --

In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.
                                -- Linus Torvalds

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