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SubjectRe: Booting a modular kernel through a multiple streams file
Followup to:  <>
By author: James A Sutherland <>
In newsgroup:
> On Tuesday 18 December 2001 8:55 am, Alexander Viro wrote:
> > On Tue, 18 Dec 2001, James A Sutherland wrote:
> > > Not necessarily. You could, say, put the modules in a small filesystem
> > > image - say, Minix, or maybe ext2. Then just have the loader put that
> > > disk image into RAM, and have the kernel able to read disk images from
> > > RAM initially.
> > >
> > > Of course, this revolutionary new features needs a name. Something like
> > > initrd, perhaps?
> >
> > Had you actually looked at initrd-related code? I had and "bloody mess"
> > is the kindest description I've been able to come up with. Even after
> > cleanups and boy, were they painful...
> With a choice between that, or teaching lilo, grub etc how to link modules -
> and how to read NTFS and XFS, and losing the ability to boot from fat, minix
> etc floppies, tftp or nfs servers - almost any level of existing nastiness
> would be preferable to that sort of insane codebloat!

Note that Al is working on a replacement; he's not just bitching. The
replacement is called "initramfs" which means populating a ramfs from
an archive or collection of archives passwd by the bootloader. With
that in there, lots of things can be done in userspace.

I had my own idea for how to do this, but I don't really seem to be
able to get the time to work it...

<> at work, <> in private!
"Unix gives you enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot." <>
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