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Re: MIPS Magnum 4000

To: linux-mips
Subject: Re: MIPS Magnum 4000
From: Ralf Baechle <ralf@Julia.DE>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 00:54:43 +0100 (MET)
In-reply-to: <> from "Ryan Rafferty" at Mar 12, 97 06:25:46 pm

> > I bet the RISC/os console is *very* similar to the ARC firmware.  Probably
> > the only thing that is different is the byteorder.  In that case it will
> > be a snap to port Linux - recompile everything, deactivate the kernel
> > support for the G364 card (needs a bit of hacking) and you should be
> > there.
> That would be cool.  But I have something in mind that's a little
> different... Would it be possible to emulate the standard IBM PC BIOS
> routines that ISA video cards need?

Yes; I've discussed that recently with someone and he even has already
written the emulation.  Aparrently the emulation is not fast bad good
enough to run a UNIX on ...

>                                      I know that DEC Alpha's do this in
> their firmware.
> Another thing I was thinking -- have you taken a look at the MILO that
> Linux/ALPHA uses?

Looong ago ...  Milo contains a BIOS emulation, btw.

>                    It is a very nice console that allows standard Linux
> device drivers to be used before actually loading the Linux kernel.  This
> in turn makes it possible to boot Linux from any device that a Linux
> device driver exists for.  Could we implement something like this for
> Linux/MIPS?

We could, but that would still leave the question open from where we load
the Milo - on the Magnum that will still be either SCSI or floppy ...
and we're back to the original problem.

There is of course some fancy hardware like a P4032 evaluation board which
can use flash memory to boot from ... but that's no Magnum.


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