kboot - A Boot Loader Based on Kexec

A Presentation by Werner Almesberger

Compared to the "consoles" found on traditional Unix workstations
and mini-computers, the Linux boot process is feature-poor, and
the addition of new functionality to boot loaders often results in
massive code duplication. With the availability of kexec, this
situation can be improved.

kboot is a proof-of-concept implementation of a Linux boot loader
based on kexec. kboot uses a boot loader like LILO or GRUB to
load a regular Linux kernel as its first stage. Then, the full
capabilities of the kernel can be used to locate and to load the
kernel to be booted, perform limited diagnostics and repair,
enable network access, etc.

kboot, which could be characterized as a specialized
mini-distribution, integrates the various components needed for a
fully featured boot loader, and demonstrates their use. While the
main focus is on core technical functionality, kboot can serve as
a starting point for customized boot environments offering
additional features. kboot can also be used as a platform for
exploring architectural enhancements, such as pre-loading of
device scan results to accelerate the boot process.

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