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Re: DECstation bootloader

Subject: Re: DECstation bootloader
From: Harald Koerfgen <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 18:00:50 +0200 (MEST)
In-reply-to: <>
Organization: none
Reply-to: "Harald Koerfgen" <>

On 28-Mar-99 Warner Losh wrote:
> In message <> Harald
> Koerfgen writes:
>: Well, I don't like this too. On the other hand, I don't see any benefit
>: from writing bootblocks or a two stage boot process when the PROM is
>: able
>: to handle this nicely for us.
> You might want to look into the new bootblocks that were just
> committed to the NetBSD tree.  They are quite powerful.  You will
> likely not be able to get the PROMs to do everything you want on the
> DECstations.  The NetBSD folks have been dealing with the boot problem
> for literally years and likely have an excellent grasp on all the
> subtle issues involve.
> No slight intened against the people working on this, but I really
> hate to see the wheel reinvented yet again :-(.

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.


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