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SubjectRe: multibooting the linux kernel
Nufarul Alb wrote:
> the use of initrd is a real pain in the butt.

It's mainly a packaging issue. So far, it seems that nobody has
written a useful set of generic tools to build an initrd. But
the ingredients are there.

> with multibooting GRUB
> loads the modules into memory and the kernel can take them from there.

A solution that depends on GRUB and that only works for
modules ? That's not so nice. What if a driver also needs some
setup script, a user-space demon, or has to download a non-GPL
firmware binary ?

If you envision a use where someone would load a set of drivers
from removable media to bring up the system, it would be more
flexible to allow for multiple initrds/initramfs, which then
contain whatever code or data is needed.

And please don't stop there, but also specify what these
additional file systems should contain (e.g. a script
"initializeme" in the top-level directory, or such).

> The MAIN THING that a multiboot kernel will solve is the problem of
> module portability. I think that the reason why hardware producers are
> not making drivers for linux is that they have to make them open source
> in order to be compiled by every user.

So we're just hallucinating all those binary-only drivers ? :-)

> With multibooting it become
> possible to make a standard type of the main image of the kernel and all
> the modules will be built for it.

A developer's dream - the immutable standard kernel with
internal data structures frozen for all eternity ;-))

> AND besides all that you can do many operations before mounting the
> actual root like, for example, make a module that encapsulates a nice
> boot animation,

Once kexec makes into the mainstream kernel, I'm sure we won't
have to wait long for such things to show up.

> a progress bar, show the services start in a nice
> graphical way on top of the framebuffer.

That's entirely a user-space issue.

- Werner

/ Werner Almesberger, Buenos Aires, Argentina /
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