Free Software Magazine: Initialization Sequence in
"The login prompt is a nice place to be. Poised, fingers on
keyboards, ready to send mail, surf the web, or do a little
programming. However, from power-on to login prompt there is a long
road for our GNU-powered friend to travel.
"The first step on this journey is the BIOS power on, system
test. Or POST for short. BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System,
and is the custom chip on the motherboard that holds a small
program to kickstart the whole boot-up..."
"Today, you can purchase a Linux distribution, install it and
use it, all without really understanding much about the operating
system itself. For those perhaps new to Linux who want to know a
bit more about their OS, this article looks inside the startup
sequence of Linux on a PC.
"The techie word for starting up a computer is 'bootstrapping,'
and the short version is 'booting or 'boot.' The initial part of
this booting process is performed by code stored in ROM. This code
is general in nature and is not specific to Linux. Its task is to
load the Linux-specific boot loader and turn control of the system
over to it..."
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