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Re: Linux from Scratch

To: Jim Gifford <>
Subject: Re: Linux from Scratch
From: Stuart Longland <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 23:36:25 +1000
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Jim Gifford wrote:
I have updated my RaQ2 build for Linux from Scratch to most of the
latest packages for the RaQ2. A question was raised by some other
memebers of the Linux from Scratch group, that frankly I didn't have the
answers for. I appreciate your feedback on these questions.

1 - Will the build method I have currently work with any MIPS processor
based machine, with the exception of the bootloader?

The bulk of it would be largely the same -- however there would be a
difference in that endianness, ABIs and ISAs have to be considered.

Cobalt Servers are Little Endian running RM523[01] CPUs (MIPS IV ISA).
All (MIPS-based) SGI machines are Big Endian, mainly with either MIPS
III or MIPS IV class CPUs.

Therefore you use mips-unknown-linux-gnu as the HOST on SGI boxes, and
mipsel-unknown-linux-gnu on Cobalts.  (Some even use

 > 2 - Is there a bootloader for MIPS that will work on every machine, or
is different for every MIPS based machine's firmware? If so any examples
out there how to implement?

Okay, a lot of MIPS machines implement the ARCs firmware, but still
there's a big variety of machines there -- so making one bootloader
support them all would be an outright nightmare.  Having said that,
there are several bootloaders that do get used across multiple machines.
 Some that come to mind:

- CoLo (the Cobalt Loader) for Cobalt servers
- ARCBoot for SGI machines
- U-Boot

and there are likely many more.  They've all got their own differences
-- just to give you an idea, have a look at my copy of the Gentoo/MIPS
handbook[2] -- specifically the bootloader section[3].  This version
covers setting up both Cobalt servers and SGI machines with Gentoo
Linux.  As you can see, there's a big difference between the machines.

Anyway, I hope that's answered some of your questions. :-)
| Stuart Longland -oOo- |
| Atomic Linux Project     -oOo- |
| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
| I haven't lost my mind - it's backed up on a tape somewhere |
1. Note that the IP12 and it's R4k cousin, the IP20 are currently
unsupported in Linux at this time -- although people are working on that :-)
2. Got the clipboard applet ready?  This is a long one:
3. Configuring the Bootloader:
... and yes, eventually this will be put on the main Gentoo site...
pending bug #81072: <>

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