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Re: Porting Linux

Subject: Re: Porting Linux
From: Gleb Raiko <>
Date: 15 Mar 99 15:10:42 MET
MIPS <> wrote:
> HI
> I am considering a port of the MIPs linux to a proprietory MIPs 
> architecture. We already have cross-compilers and boot loaders for this, 
> but these works with 'mips-elf' format. The documents relating to 
> Decstations and so on state you should use 'mips-linux' or 'mipsel-linux'
> Presumably the format of the 'executable' containing the kernel is only 
> relevant to the bootloader or other startup mechanism ? I guess therefore 
> if we have a mechanism for loading and running mips-elf executables, that 
> would also get a kernel loaded and started, although clearly it will need 
> further work in the ./arch/.... directories.
> Can anyone comment on that or offer any advice or indicate any 
> pitfalls or perhaps point me towards any linux porting resources.

I strongly recommend use exactly the format the docs say about, until you
don't want to have constant headache about different formats, spurious
compiler errors, etc. For example, Linux kernel strongly assumes ELF and all
tryings to build the kernel for ECOFF or a.out will fail. You'll get just
compiler errors on some defines and so on.

If your loader recognizes mips-elf only, you may use the following technique.
1. Build the kernel as specified. 2. Implement own startup routine which will
set up the kernel sections, program counter, frame pointer, etc. 3. Build
image that contains you startup procedure and the biinary kernel as data. 

You might want to look how DECstation ot Baget/MIMP perform this technique.


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