Re: [PATCH] Making vmlinux Multiboot compliant and grub capable of loading modules at boot time. (1 Part)

From: Christian Koenig (
Date: Sun Dec 09 2001 - 17:17:18 EST


On Monday 10 December 2001 02:51, Richard Todd wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 08, 2001 at 02:59:18PM +0100, Christian Koenig wrote:
> > The patch is for 2.4.14 Kernel Source, but it should patch well on other
> > Versions (at least the module loader).
> It patched 2.5.1-pre8 cleanly, except for a makefile. I'm running
> 2.5.1-pre8 with this patch right now.
> > I know that vmlinux isn't compressed and contains unused elf-sections.
> Just 'gzip -9 vmlinux' Grub will uncompress it for you.
> This actually makes for a smaller file than bzImage (on
> my machine, anyway).
> Are the unused sections taking up space at runtime?

No, its only the .note & .comment section.

objcopy -R .note -R .comment -S vmlinux mImage
gzip -9 mImage

makes a very nice & small Kernel Image.

(This will always be smaller than bzImage,
because the compression / bsetup and bootsector code isn't inside the Kernel).

> > Tell me what you thing about it.
> It's a cool hack! I like grub's module loading mechanism
> better than the initrd solution.


> Unfortunately, grub doesn't run on all supported platforms.
> And the multiboot specification isn't an accepted standard.
> (grub docs just read like it is.....)

The Module loader isn't really grub specified,
at least do you know any bootloader who works on every platform
Linux supports ?

And what's wrong with the multiboot specification ?
OK it is highly i386 Specified, but it defines the minimal things a
boot-loader should do for the kernel (multiple Kernel Modules, a commandline,
a memorymap ....).

The main problem with my patch for the moment is that the code I have copied
from insmod is really ugly.
For example obj_load.c allocates memory without freeing it after an error
(i have fixed this, but i think it's only 1 of 100 memory leaks this code

This works in an elf-program quiet well, but you can't do that inside the

Somebody with real god knowledge off elf-object files should take a look at

MfG, Christian König.

I can not promise you that this patch work, but i can promise you i will
do my best to make it working. (Sorry for my poor English).
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Dec 15 2001 - 21:00:15 EST