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

5.5.2. Final Boot Steps

5.5.2. Final Boot Steps

Having spawned the init() thread and all the various initialization calls have completed, the kernel performs its final steps in the boot sequence. These include freeing the memory used by the initialization functions and data, opening a system console device, and starting the first userspace process. Listing 5-11 reproduces the last steps in the kernel's init() from main.c.

Listing 5-11. Final Kernel Boot Steps from main.c

if (execute_command) {
 run_init_process(execute_command);
 printk(KERN_WARNING "Failed to execute %s. Attempting defaults...n", execute_command);
}
run_init_process("/sbin/init");
run_init_process("/etc/init");
run_init_process("/bin/init");
run_init_process("/bin/sh");
panic("No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel.");

Notice that if the code proceeds to the end of the init() function, a kernel panic results. If you've spent any time experimenting with embedded systems or custom root file systems, you've undoubtedly encountered this very common error message as the last line of output on your console. It is one of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on a variety of public forums related to Linux and embedded systems.

One way or another, one of these run_init_process() commands must proceed without error. The run_init_process() function does not return on successful invocation. It overwrites the calling process with the new one, effectively replacing the current process with the new one. It uses the familiar execve() system call for this functionality. The most common system configurations spawn /sbin/init as the userland[45] initialization process. We study this functionality in depth in the next chapter.

One option available to the embedded system developer is to use a custom userland initialization program. That is the purpose of the conditional statement in the previous code snippet. If execute_command is non-null, it points to a string containing a custom user-supplied command to be executed in user space. The developer specifies this command on the kernel command line, and it is set via the __setup macro we examined earlier in this chapter. An example kernel command line incorporating several concepts discussed in this chapter might look like this:

initcall_debug init=/sbin/myinit console=ttyS1,115200 root=/dev/hda1

This kernel command line instructs the kernel to display all the initialization routines as encountered, configures the initial console device as /dev/ttyS1 at 115 kbps, and executes a custom user space initialization process called myinit, located in the /sbin directory on the root file system. It directs the kernel to mount its root file system from the device /dev/hda1, which is the first IDE hard drive. Note that, in general, the order of parameters given on the kernel command line is irrelevant. The next chapter covers the details of user space system initialization.

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