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SubjectRe: [v2 PATCH] RISC-V: Add a PE/COFF compliant Image header.
On Wed, 1 May 2019, Atish Patra wrote:

> Currently, last stage boot loaders such as U-Boot can accept only
> uImage which is an unnecessary additional step in automating boot flows.
>
> Add a PE/COFF compliant image header that boot loaders can parse and
> directly load kernel flat Image. The existing booting methods will continue
> to work as it is.
>
> Another goal of this header is to support EFI stub for RISC-V in future.
> EFI specification needs PE/COFF image header in the beginning of the kernel
> image in order to load it as an EFI application. In order to support
> EFI stub, code0 should be replaced with "MZ" magic string and res5(at
> offset 0x3c) should point to the rest of the PE/COFF header (which will
> be added during EFI support).
>
> Tested on both QEMU and HiFive Unleashed using OpenSBI + U-Boot + Linux.
>
> Signed-off-by: Atish Patra <atish.patra@wdc.com>

Seems like we're stuck with this basic format for EFI, etc. Even though
we may be stuck with it, I think we should take the opportunity to add the
possibility to extending this header format by adding fields after the
basic PE/COFF header ends.

In particular, at the very least, I'd suggest adding a u32 after the
PE/COFF header ends, to represent a "RISC-V header format version number".
Then if we add more fields that follow the PE/COFF header -- for example,
to represent the RISC-V instruction set extensions that are required to
run this binary -- we can just bump that RISC-V-specific version number
field to indicate to bootloaders that there's more there.

One other observation - if what's here was copied from some other
architecture, like ARM, please acknowledge the source in the patch
description.

thanks

- Paul

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