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Milo was the first generation bootloader used for Linux/MIPS on systems with little endian ARC firmware. Started in summer 1994 Milo was the first bootloader for Linux/MIPS. Linux 2.1.131 for the RM 200 was the last kernel that relied on Milo as the bootloader. Later kernels can directly be booted without the use of a second stage loader.

Milo itself was an ECOFF binary because that's what an ARC firmware expects. The kernel it was booting however was a MIPS a.out format. The file utility will miss-identify such kernel binaries as PDP-11 executable. Any kind of a.out support was removed from Linux/MIPS long before it became usable.

Other than serving a similar purpose Milo has no relation whatsoever to the Alpha program of the same name. The choice of the same name was pure coincidence. In the Alpha case the name was the abbreviation for Mini Loader while on MIPS it was chosen to be similar to the at that time predominant bootloader LILO. Changing the L into the letter following in the alphabet was meant as a pun similar to the names HAL and IBM in Arthur C.Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's cult movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Milo status

Milo is considered prehistoric. No systems that rely on it remain nor is it codebase considered useful for any development.

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