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    Subject[RFC] ELF Relocatable x86 and x86_64 bzImages

    The problem:

    We can't always run the kernel at 1MB or 2MB, and so people who need
    different addresses must build multiple kernels. The bzImage format
    can't even represent loading a kernel at other than it's default address.
    With kexec on panic now starting to be used by distros having a kernel
    not running at the default load address is starting to become common.

    The goal of this patch series is to build kernels that are relocatable
    at run time, and to extend the bzImage format to make it capable of
    expressing a relocatable kernel.

    In extending the bzImage format I am replacing the existing unused bootsector
    with an ELF header. To express what is going on the ELF header will
    have type ET_DYN. Just like the kernel loading an ET_DYN executable
    bootloaders are not expected to process relocations. But the executable
    may be shifted in the address space so long as it's alignment requirements
    are met.

    The x86_64 kernel is simply built to live at a fixed virtual address
    and the boot page tables are relocated. The i386 kernel is built
    to process relocations generated with --embedded-relocs (after
    has been fixed up to sort out static and dynamic relocations.

    Currently there are 33 patches in my tree to do this.

    The weirdest symptom I have had so far is that page faults did not
    trigger the early exception handler on x86_64 (instead I got a reboot).

    There is one outstanding issue where I am probably requiring too much alignment
    on the arch/i386 kernel.

    Can anyone find anything else?

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      Last update: 2006-08-01 13:05    [W:0.021 / U:21.236 seconds]
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