Open Firmware

Dale Schumacher dale.schumacher at
Sat May 24 03:33:31 CEST 2008

Has anyone considered using Open Firmware [1] as a more capable bootloading
system?  It appears to have support for a wide range of devices.  Due to the
efforts of the OLPC developers, the whole software stack is now available
under an open source license [2]

Pardon me if this is a silly question, but I have search the archive and
found no mention of Open Firmware.


On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 5:02 AM, <andy at> wrote:

> Somebody in the thread at some point said:
> | Hi Rasmussen:
> | i think the kboot can do that.
> |
> |
> | Peter Rasmussen wrote:
> |> Hi  thomasg,
> |>
> |> I can see that what I have been able to use is exactly what you
> |> intended in your wiki description.
> |>
> |> So yes, I can boot a system residing on the SDHC card, however the
> |> kernel is taken from the NAND image, ie. "your" method :-)
> The way to solve that is to have a small, eg, 8MB FAT partition first,
> containing the kernel, with a second ext2 partition in the rest of the
> card containing the rootfs.  U-boot can succeed to parse the FAT
> partition and pull out a kernel image file into memory, boot into that,
> rootfs is set for the second partition on kernel commandline.
> |> And that is why I in a different mail mentioned that I would like to
> |> have the SDHC-support in u-boot, to boot completely independent
> |> systems on a flash-card.
> |> With presently the size of max. 8GB for a micro-SDHC, one card is able
> |> to hold several systems, so I think such an option is a very good idea.
> SDHC is a disconnected issue, you can do the above on an old non-SDHC
> card.  I added SDHC support to the U-boot Glamo SD driver, but I guess
> you are talking about GTA01.  Because of the "flat" nature of U-Boot
> stuff, ie, there is no "mmc layer", the driver is responsible to issue
> his own MMC/SD commands at the driver layer, so that is where SDHC is
> implemented.  If someone with GTA01 -- and a debug board ;-) -- wants to
> compare the Glamo SD driver in U-Boot and the existing driver, they will
> see it won't be a huge job to copy the SDHC support.  The differences to
> take care about are that it counts blocks now not bytes, and there is a
> different canned sequence of SD commands, but the ones that worked here
> are in the Glamo driver already.
> |> This is what I have in my previous listing as well, but I would like
> |> to emphasize the following, too:
> |>
> |> "And if u-boot had USB support implemented so that I could upload an
> |> image from my desktop Linux straight to the flash-card without having
> |> to boot the Neo all the way to a Linux system, that would be really
> |> helpful, too."
> |>
> |> If I could boot up in u-boot and specify what target-partition on the
> |> flash-card I want to put a kernel and a rootfs, and then subsequently
> |> boot that image, that would be great!
> I think being able to quickly have write access to the SD Card is good,
> but I don't think U-Boot has to be or should be part of that picture.
> If you change init=/bin/sh and boot again, here you are at a Linux
> prompt a few seconds after Linux begins boot... boot to a script instead
> like "/etc/startup" that sets up ifconfig and so on and you are
> network-capable over the USB in a few seconds after Linux begins boot.
> U-Boot isn't the future.
> - -Andy
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