Thursday, July 19, 2007

Modular initramfs for OE

While all new initramfs-related features are yet need to be described, they are already put to work. Alex Osborne of Hack'n'Dev created a modular initramfs system to serve all the device booting needs. We discussed design principles and came to following tentative picture:
  • initramfs in question handles just the task of mounting rootfs and booting from it.
  • Doing so, it tries to follow both existing kernel behavior and interface, like command line parameters. For example, NFS boot uses standard root=/dev/nfs and nfsroot= parameters. Where extended feature is added, it tries to mimic existing parameters. For example, loop device boot uses root=/dev/loop and looproot=.
  • Support for different boot methods is implemented by modules with more or less well defined interface. It's possible to construct initramfs images with the given feature by combining modules.
  • Generally, new and extra features are expected to be added using modules, to keep design clean.
It is committed by now. Both loop and NFS boot modules are tested to work. I hope that Alex will describe loop module command line syntax in more detail in his blog.

WANTED: modules to boot via WiFi, with WEP and WAP support, and to boot via GPRS ;-D

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