Re: [RFC] ELF Relocatable x86 and x86_64 bzImages

From: Horms
Date: Tue Aug 08 2006 - 03:56:59 EST

On Tue, Aug 08, 2006 at 01:23:15AM -0600, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Horms <horms@xxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > On Mon, Aug 07, 2006 at 09:32:23PM -0700, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> >> Horms wrote:
> >> >
> >> >I also agree that it is non-intitive. But I wonder if a cleaner
> >> >fix would be to remove CONFIG_PHYSICAL_START all together. Isn't
> >> >it just a work around for the kernel not being relocatable, or
> >> >are there uses for it that relocation can't replace?
> >> >
> >>
> >> Yes, booting with the 2^n existing bootloaders.
> >
> > Ok, I must be confused then. I though CONFIG_PHYSICAL_START was
> > introduced in order to allow an alternative address to be provided for
> > kdump, and that previously it was hard-coded to some
> > architecture-specific value.
> >
> > What I was really getting as is if it needs to be configurable at
> > compile time or not. Obviously there needs to be some sane default
> > regardless.
> CONFIG_PHYSICAL_START has had 2 uses.
> 1) To allow a kernel to run a completely different address for use
> with kexec on panic.
> 2) To allow the kernel to be better aligned for better performance.

Thanks for making that clear

> For maintenance reasons I propose we introduce CONFIG_PHYSICAL_ALIGN.
> Which will round our load address up to the nearest aligned address
> and run the kernel there. That is roughly what I am doing on x86_64
> at this point.
> behavior and allows the alignment optimization without getting into
> weird semantics.
> Before CONFIG_PHYSICAL_START we _always_ ran the arch/i386 kernel
> where it was loaded and I assumed we always would. Since people have
> realized better aligned kernels can run better this assumption became
> false. Going to CONFIG_PHYSICAL_ALIGN allows us to return to the
> simple assumption of always running the kernel where it is loaded
> modulo a little extra alignment.

That sounds reasonable to me. Though it is a little less flexible,
do you think that could be a problem? Perhaps we could have both,
though that would probably be quite confusing.


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at