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Re: PPC porting status

From: Marco Gerards
Subject: Re: PPC porting status
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 18:17:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Maurizio Boriani <address@hidden> writes:

>>>>>> "Marco" == Marco Gerards <address@hidden> writes:
>     Marco> Not yet, but I will work on this in short term.  Does
>     Marco> grubof work for you?
> not tested yet... I didn't find docs about how use it (I supposed 
> should be copied into the boot part with some kind of configuration 
> file in a yaboot similar way ). How should I test it?

It is an ELF binary.  I load it using tftp (Open Firmware on the apple
has network boot support), or else you can load the binary from the
Open Firmware console.

It is just like yaboot.  Yaboot has an extra files with forth code.
Perhaps you can modify it to load GRUB 2.

>     Marco> We need to write a new multiboot spec, the current one is
>     Marco> not portable.
> I saw... it specify the use of specific x86 registers and so on... 
> I think should be better to use ram to store information produced by 
> grub2 for the OS

I agree.

>     Marco> - There is no support to load modules.
> In i386 port this is contained by loader/i386/pc/chainloader.c ?

No.  With module support I meant modules like ext2.mod, normal.mod,
etc.  GRUB 2 has a core image, all extra modules are loaded using
`insmod' or when they are required.

Just have a look at grub_dl_load and grub_dl_load_file.

>     Marco> - No loaders at all.  I have written a linux loader, but it
>     Marco> does not support a lot of features and it crashes with some
>     Marco> kernels.  It is not in CVS yet.
> could you commit ppc loader? I'd like to work on this :) Actually I prefer to
> work on chainloader and multiboot but whit a working loader this development 
> should be simpler.

I will do this.  I really hope you can wait a few days.  I do not want
to commit it in the terrible state it is in now. ;)

Chainload support is not that important, I think.  AFAIK the boot
information is stored as a file in a HFS[+] partition.  But if I am
wrong and if a chainloader is required, please write one.

>     >> 4) What's need to be done?
>     Marco> Currently I am working on HFS support and the stability of
>     Marco> the port.  What I won't do in short term is working on the
>     Marco> module loading support.  It would be really neat if you
>     Marco> could work on that.
> I'd like to do so very much :)

That is really nice.

>     Marco> The other thing you can work on, although I planned working
>     Marco> on this (well, still no problem), is the linux loader.  I
>     Marco> could for example commit what I have after a few
>     Marco> improvements.  If you could investigate the crashes and
>     Marco> improve the loader that will mean GRUB 2 can be used as
>     Marco> bootloader.
> I'll be glad doing this 


Can you tell us after I committed the linux loader what you will do?

>     Marco> So feel free to pick a task or suggestion something
>     Marco> yourself.  What will help me the most is the module loading
>     Marco> support because I will not do that in short term.  But
>     Marco> whatever you do, please tell us before you start and keep
>     Marco> us informed about the progress.
> ok :) I'd like to have a look to linux loader and when it'll work 
> (if I'll be able to do so :) ) try to use for booting a little dummy kernel 
> and 
> dummy modules for chailoader development. My real goal is to have a better
> and comfortable environment on ppc (bootloader and so on) for hurd-l4 
> development and port. I apologise if in future my works on grub2 will be 
> discontinuous but my spare-time is so (some periods I'm very busy with works 
> which let me live and some others I've nothing to do :)) )

In that case we have the same goals.  I started working on the PPC
port to make it possible to load GNU/Hurd on the PPC.  The new
multiboot spec (or changing the current, I don't want to think about
that now ;)) is high on my todo list.

>     Marco> Can you please describe the hardware you have?  It might
>     Marco> help me if I knew what hardware is supported already, what
>     Marco> needs to be done and what can be tested.
> I usually works on a NewWorld PowerBoot2,2 MacRISC Power Macintosh
> (cpu ppc750CX at 466MHz,256K L2 cache and 192MB system memory). In
> short it is an Ibook graphite :)

Ah, nice.  GRUB 2 *should* work perfectly on your laptop.

>     >> 5) Where do you suggest me to start from?
>     Marco> Please read about our coding standards.  We use the GCS,
>     Marco> please read the relevant sections from
>     Marco> `'.
> ok I already know this and respect like an holy book :)) Also
> I'm a guile/scheme fanatic :)



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