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Re: [PATCH] memdisk plus lnxboot extension

From: Robert Millan
Subject: Re: [PATCH] memdisk plus lnxboot extension
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 16:16:33 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 10:57:46PM +0800, Bean wrote:
> >
> > However, my point is more about the loadee than the loader.  We provide a
> > multiboot image, which can also be a linux image with lnxboot.img, however,
> > this image needs to be very small, because it's intended usage is with
> > grub-setup, and that is why we only put the minimal stuff in it, and 
> > compress
> > it.
> >
> > You want to add a feature that only works when you have the ability to load
> > images of an arbitrary size.  However, if we had this ability we wouldn't 
> > have
> > to compress core.img, or make it small in the first place.  We would then
> > just create core.img of an arbitrary size, and include a memdisk of an
> > arbitrary size in it.  But then we wouldn't need a feature to work around 
> > the
> > size restriction in memdisk!
> >
> > I think we need to discuss more about the situation you want to solve.  Who
> > is going to load GRUB in lnxboot form + memdisk image?  Where is it going to
> > load that from?  If GRUB can access the same media, why not use loopback
> > to add a virtual disk based on the filesystem image, instead of loading it
> > in memory?
> i'm thinking about the situation where the boot media is not
> accessible, like pxe/cdrom. in this case, we can create core.img that
> contain minimum modules, and initrd that contain other modules plus
> font files and other data file. then, we can use loader like
> pxelinux/isolinux to load them at the same time.

We almost have support for cdrom already: ata.mod can access it, although it
lacks PCI support, but Marco is working on that.

As for PXE, it's a planned feature.  I'm not sure if it makes sense to add
this hack as a workaround for our lack of proper PXE support.

How useful is having this feature in the described situation?  If I'm guessing
right, what you want is to do the same pxelinux can do for you, but with the
added beauty of graphical menu or utf-8 charset support?  (I recall grub4dos
had Chinese charset support; do we have those characters in grub2's unifont?)

Marco, Okuji, what do you have to say?

Robert Millan

<GPLv2> I know my rights; I want my phone call!
<DRM> What use is a phone call… if you are unable to speak?
(as seen on /.)

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