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Re: how to emdedded ramdisk.gz in vmlinux for linux-2.6.14?

To: Linux-Mips <>
Subject: Re: how to emdedded ramdisk.gz in vmlinux for linux-2.6.14?
From: Marc Karasek <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 14:02:31 -0500
In-reply-to: <>
Original-recipient: rfc822;
References: <> <> <1137515220.11738.2.camel@localhost.localdomain> <> <1137704865.22994.7.camel@localhost.localdomain> <>
I am not entirely sold on this initramfs.  

I have a question:

>From what I have read so far, it seems that this is meant as a stepping
stone to booting/mounting the real system.  Has anyone used this where
the initramfs is the filesystem and the endpoint in the boot process?  

On Thu, 2006-01-19 at 23:11 -0500, Kumba wrote:
> Marc Karasek wrote:
> > Is the process still the same.  In that you create a ramdisk image that
> > can be mounted, just using initramfs instead?   
> It's actually simpler than that, insofar as creating the archive.  There are 
> two 
> ways that I've tried, probably another exists as well.  None involve the mess 
> of 
> creating a mountable image.
> 1) In the scripts/ dir in the kernel tree, there's a script, 
>  chmod +x it, and pass to it (as its only argument) an 
> absolute path pointing to a ready-to-go root file system that will be loaded 
> by 
> the machine that boots the subsequently produced kernel.  The output of 
> gen_initramfs_list should be directed to a text file -- it's a text listing 
> of 
> every file in the directory passed, including mode params, symlink 
> destination, 
> whether it's a device or not (and if is, how to re-create it), etc..  This 
> text 
> file can then be passed to the initramfs option in menuconfig, and the kernel 
> pulls in the files and rolls them into its initramfs cpio archive it builds.
> 2) cpio up a ready-to-go root file system and pass that to the same initramfs 
> option in menuconfig.
> Provided the root filesystem is setup properly, just don't pass root= on the 
> command line, and the kernel takes over loading and running the main startup 
> script (it's either /init or /linuxrc that it looks for, one of the two).
> > We will be moving to 2.6.x for our next chip and currently have scripts
> > to create a ramdisk with busybox embedded.  If these cannot be used
> > anymore, I may want to take over the patches for ramdisk from you and
> > maintain them.  Otherwise our sdk would have to change and the tools,
> > etc. and that is not a desireable option......
> This isn't that big of a change actually.  As described above, it's decidedly 
> simpler, as you don't have to rely on any file system (it's basically the 
> same 
> as the old MS-DOS ramdisks some utilities diskettes would load up and dump 
> tools 
> into)
> > IMO: Fixing something that was not broken is not a very good idea. :-)
> I thought the same initially, but in truth, initramfs is far simpler, once 
> you 
> figure it out.  I even fixed the embedded ramdisk to handle linking in 
> objects 
> files with conflicting ABIs (encountered when we built netboot images for SGI 
> O2 
> because at the time, we built O2's kernels with -mabi=o64 which uses some 
> mean 
> tricks to stuff 64bit code into a 32bit file; ld hated that).  Of course, I 
> did 
> this fix about an hour after Ralf removed the ramdisk code from 2.6.10 CVS. 
> Talk about a sense of timing.
> Especially once we found out initramfs loaded flawlessly on Origin, it was 
> essentially deemed to become the replacement.
> --Kumba
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Marc Karasek
System Lead Technical Engineer
iVivity Inc.
T 678-990-1550 x238
F 678-990-1551

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