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Re: initrd problem

To: Ed Martini <>,, Steve Stone <>
Subject: Re: initrd problem
From: Kumba <>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 19:41:36 -0500
In-reply-to: <>
Original-recipient: rfc822;
References: <>
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (Windows/20041206)
Ed Martini wrote:

I'm trying to get 2.6.11 to run on a MIPS Malta board with Yamon. The kernel that comes with the board is 2.4.18 with an embedded ramdisk that runs some scripts to install RPMS via NFS or CD-ROM. The kernel is converted to s-records via objcopy(1), and loaded into memory via tftp. I want to do something similar with 2.6.latest.


On or about Nov 21 of last year, the CONFIG_EMBEDDED_RAMDISK disappeared.

In it's place it is suggested to use the tools in arch/mips/boot, so I tried it. I can cross-compile the kernel, and I get an ELF vmlinux. I can convert it to ecoff with elf2ecoff, and attach an initrd image with addinitrd. The problem begins here. I end up with an ecoff format kernel which is not recognized by objcopy(1), and therefore no s-records.

It seems there is a program called gensrec that would do the job, but google doesn't want to tell me where to get it. Some IRIX binary perhaps?


Should I put CONFIG_EMBEDDED_RAMDISK and its ilk back into my kernel, or write an ELF version of addinitrd? Other ideas?

Thanks in advance.

The future is purportedly in the feature known as initramfs. See the file Documentation/early-userpace/README for more details on how that is supposed to work.

That said, I tried initramfs a few times, but either due to lack of understanding, or broken support code in 2.6.10, I couldn't get it to properly load an initrd bundled in, so I forward-ported a patch I wrote that originally fixed CONFIG_EMBEDDED_RAMDISK to work with any ABI to 2.6.10, and it worked rather well. I'm sticking with this method until I find more/better docs on how to use initramfs properly.

If you're interested, the patch I use can be found here: 


"Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere." --Elrond

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