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RE: [Xen-devel] RFC/Patch: Support for other bootloaders

To: "Michal Ostrowski" <mostrows@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Tim Deegan" <Tim.Deegan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] RFC/Patch: Support for other bootloaders
From: "Ian Pratt" <m+Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 21:57:39 -0000
Cc: <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <ian.pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
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Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] RFC/Patch: Support for other bootloaders
> > Did you try using mbootpack for this?  (I haven't tested 
> its output with
> > PXELinux, so I don't know if it would work.)
> No.  This is the first I've heard of it.
> Given the two implementations, let's compare and discuss...
> My objective was to try to use the Linux bits as-is and to have Xen
> recognize that it is not loaded via GRUB (are there any other
> non-GRUB-related multi-boot implementations?).  

kexec supports multiboot (admittedly thanks to a patch from us). 

> As you can see, the
> changes required for Xen to recognize the parameters as passed out of
> Linux's setup.S are not very complicated.  Figuring out where 
> everything
> is is the tough part.
> I'm not attached at all to necessarily reach into a Linux 
> build tree to
> extract a built setup and bootsect.  I just think this is the easiest
> way to do it.   x86 BIOS code is just icky and so I'd like to 
> be able to
> avoid having to maintain or even change it.   I think it's easier to
> have Xen get data out of boot_params.

As I recall, mbootpack uses Linux's x86 BIOS code too, so this shouldn't
be an issue. 
> So, what I think it boils down to is whether Xen should accept
> parameters passed into it in Linux-style boot_params array, or only
> accept parameters in GRUB format.

I can't see any obvious advantage over the mbootpack approach, and that
has the advantage of being simpler and doesn't require making Xen
understand another boot parameter format.

Is there a downside I haven't spotted?


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