Petitboot && /boot Unification

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=== Petitboot - A kexec based bootloader ===


Petitboot is a platform independent bootloader based on the Linux kexec warm reboot mechanism. Petitboot supports loading kernel and initrd image files from any mountable Linux device, plus can load image files from the network using TFTP, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, and SFTP. Petitboot can boot any operating system supported by kexec.

In essence, petitboot is a user friendly front end to the Linux exec program. If installed as a standard user program petitboot can be used as a convenient menu based way to initiate a kexec system reboot. A petitboot package is already available for several Linux distributions.

Petitboot can also be used as a traditional 2nd stage bootloader by including the petitboot program and necessary dependencies like busybox and kexec-tools in the embedded initramfs of a Linux kernel image and converting that kernel image to a form that is loadable by the 1st stage bootloader. The method of creating the initramfs, converting the Linux kernel image to a 2nd stage bootloader image, and arranging for the petitboot program and its dependencies to be started on boot are all specific to the platform, the Linux distribution, and the 1st stage bootloader.

Discussions in this session can explore methods to prepare a petitboot 2nd stage package for various distributions, requests for petitboot enhancements, etc.

Topic Lead: Geoff Levand <email address hidden>
Geoff is a Linux Architect at the Huawei R&D Center in San Jose, California. In his spare time he maintains the Petitboot bootloader, the TWIN windowing system, and Linux support for the Sony Playstation 3 game console.

=== Peace, Love, and Unification in /boot ===
A simple filesystem layout for command line parameters, kernel and initramfs images.

/boot might be managed by multiple distributions. These distributions fight over the boot loader configuration and don't know much about each other. In this session a proposal for a simple filesystem layout is presented, which can be used as the base for boot loaders without a special configuration file. This also obsoletes the need of regenerating a configuration file (grub-mkconfig) after dropping in files via package managers.

Topic Lead: Harald Hoyer
Harald joined the Linux community in 1996. His first kernel patch was the module ip_masq_quake in 1997, followed by boot support for md raid devices. He joined Red Hat in July of 1999, working on projects ranging from udev, network daemons and CD recording packages to creating configuration tools, extending smolt and writing python interfaces. Lately he created a cross distribution initramfs generator called dracut.

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