Lost Art of Computer Programming: Das U-Boot: The Universal Boot Loader

[ Thanks to Curt Brune for
this link. ]

“Exciting new embedded Linux devices are appearing at an
astonishing rate. From tiny 3 inch ‘Gumstix’ boards to PDAs and
smart-phones embedded Linux is everywhere. Installing and booting
Linux on these wildly varying boards is quite a chore. Without a
good boot loader these machines are just complicated hunks of
silicon with nothing to do. That’s where Das U-Boot, a Free
Software universal boot loader, steps in.

“A boot loader, sometimes referred to as a boot monitor, is a
small piece of software that executes soon after powering up a
computer. On your desktop Linux PC you may be familiar with lilo or
grub, which resides on the master boot record (MBR) of your hard
drive. After the PC BIOS performs various system initializations it
executes the boot loader located in the MBR. The boot loader then
passes system information to the kernel and then executes the
kernel. For instance the boot loader tells the kernel which hard
drive partition to mount as root…”


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