Bootloaders - part 2 (Was: Quick e-mail poll: Still using your Freerunner?)

Al Johnson openmoko at
Wed Jan 13 12:30:06 CET 2010

On Tuesday 05 January 2010, Torfinn Ingolfsen wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 1:51 AM, Al Johnson
> <openmoko at>wrote:
> > I guess Android only needs a forked Qi because it needed different boot
> > parameters, and Qi can't read them from file when booting from NAND.
> It makes me wonder why the missing functionality (ability to read
>  parameters from a file o something else in nand) wasn't implemented in the
>  main Qi instead of forking it.
> > I find uboot very easy for multibooting.
> Interesting. Care to tell more about your setup?
> Which distributions are yu multibooting? Android, SHR, QtMoko, Hackable?
> One in NAND and three or four on a sd card?
> If you decide to switch sd card, do you hve to update uboot settings?

i have an old Android in NAND that I keep meaning to get rid of, but not 
getting round to. The 8GB uSD is:
mmcblk0p1: 0.5G vfat for Android
mmcblk0p2: 0.5G ext3 for Android
mmcblk0p3: 0.5G ext3 for a rootfs
mmcblk0p5: 0.5G ext3 for a rootfs
mmcblk0p6: 2G ext3 for a rootfs
mmcblk0p7: 4G ext3 for shared storage (navit and tangogps maps, music, 
swapfile etc.)

I configured boot parameters for NAND, p3, p5 and p6 using the uboot cli soon 
after I got the FR, and tweaked it to work with kernels >2M when that became 
an issue. I have rarely touched it since. When I want to  try a new image I 
untar the rootfs to p3, 5 or 6, tweak the fstab and network settings to suit 
my setup, and select the partition form the uboot menu. So far I've used 
various Om, FSO and SHR images without problems. I doubt Debian, Hackable or 
QtMoko would be significantly more difficult, and if I got rid of Android I 
could use the first couple of partitions for more rootfs.

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