Книга: Embedded Linux Primer: A Practical, Real-World Approach

5.2.2. Kernel Startup: main.c

5.2.2. Kernel Startup: main.c

The final task performed by the kernel's own head.o module is to pass control to the primary kernel startup file written in C. We spend a good portion of the rest of this chapter on this important file.

For each architecture, there is a different syntax and methodology, but every architecture's head.o module has a similar construct for passing control to the kernel proper. For the ARM architecture it looks as simple as this:

b start_kernel

For PowerPC, it looks similar to this:

lis r4,start_kernel@h
ori r4,r4,start_kernel@l
lis r3,MSR_KERNEL@h
ori r3,r3,MSR_KERNEL@l
mtspr SRR0,r4
mtspr SRR1,r3

Without going into details of the specific assembly language syntax, both of these examples result in the same thing. Control is passed from the kernel's first object module (head.o) to the C language routine start_kernel() located in .../init/main.c. Here the kernel begins to develop a life of its own.

The file main.c should be studied carefully by anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Linux kernel, what components make it up, and how they are initialized and/or instantiated. main.c does all the startup work for the Linux kernel, from initializing the first kernel thread all the way to mounting a root file system and executing the very first user space Linux application program.

The function start_kernel() is by far the largest function in main.c. Most of the Linux kernel initialization takes place in this routine. Our purpose here is to highlight those particular elements that will prove useful in the context of embedded systems development. It is worth repeating: Studying main.c is a great way to spend your time if you want to develop a better understanding of the Linux kernel as a system.

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