DragonFly boot2 - moved out of commits thread

Oliver Fromme check+kfz4w400rsejfwl8 at fromme.com
Wed Mar 4 02:27:54 PST 2009

Bill Hacker wrote:
 > Oliver Fromme wrote:
 > > http://wiki.freebsd.org/OliverFromme/BootLoader
 > > 
 > > I think DragonFly should be able to port it over without
 > > difficulty.  Last time I looked, DF's boot loader was
 > > still pretty much the same as FreeBSD's.
 > Good start.
 > And 'compliments'  on not going off and coding it in flavor-of-the month 
 > language....

I don't understand that remark.  The boot loader is written
in C, so I don't have much choice other than to code the
graphics support in C, too.  I'm certainly not going to
port the whole boot loader to a different language.  There
aren't many languages anyway that are suitable for such a
rather low-level piece of software.

 > (though it is a travesty what FICL'ization has done to the sheer 
 > elegance of 'real' Forth... but that wasn't your doing...)

I don't like Forth.  But some people decided that it should
be embedded in the boot loader, and I can't change that, so
I need to deal with it.

 > As soon as I get a logo into place that doesn't remind me of a chancroid 
 > disease, (not your choice, either ... I hope..)

The background containing the logo is just a PCX file that
can be replaced easily (currently limited to a maximum of
640 x 480 pixels at 4 bit depth).  In fact I've created a
few alternative backgrounds; see the screenshots here:


If you create a theme for DragonFly BSD, I'd be happy to
add it to my collection.

BTW, you can also replace the font if you like.

 > What is, IMNSHO, missing, is the ability to say 'Oh s**t, wrong device' 
 > and select a menu choice that allows 'REWIND', w/o going through the 
 > whole underlying machine BIOS POST and device scan .... and missing it 
 > again as you answer the phone ...

Well, you can still escape to the loader prompt, change
the root FS path, load a different kernel, and so on.
In theory you can wrap that into a menu and add it to
the GUI, you just need to code a little Forth.

 > A start might be to actually display the device one is sitting on, AND 
 > all others detected during the prior stage - hopefully with more 
 > spy-work as to what they might hold than the initial boot loader has 
 > space for...  IOW - a rescan is in order... then a sub-menu 'Select 
 > another boot device' or some such that is more friendly than dropping 
 > out to the 'mount' prompt.

Sounds useful, indeed.  As said above, it would need a
little Forth code to create appropriate output and menus.
All the necessary information and functions are available
to the Forth interpreter.

Currently my primary goal is to finish the basic graphics
support (VESA modes are next on my to-do list).  My hope
is that someone else will pick up from there and improve
on the Forth code to create better menus, which should
preferably work both in text mode and graphics mode.
Keep in mind that there are circumstances where graphics
mode cannot be used, e.g. on serial console or with certain
OOB management systems, or on machines that have graphics
hardware that is currently unsupported.

Best regards

Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co. KG, Marktplatz 29, 85567 Grafing b. M.
Handelsregister: Registergericht Muenchen, HRA 74606,  Geschäftsfuehrung:
secnetix Verwaltungsgesellsch. mbH, Handelsregister: Registergericht Mün-
chen, HRB 125758,  Geschäftsführer: Maik Bachmann, Olaf Erb, Ralf Gebhart

FreeBSD-Dienstleistungen, -Produkte und mehr:  http://www.secnetix.de/bsd

More information about the Kernel mailing list