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

7.3.4. Storage Subsystems

7.3.4. Storage Subsystems

Many bootloaders support the capability of booting images from a variety of nonvolatile storage devices in addition to the usual Flash memory. The difficulty in supporting these types of devices is the relative complexity in both hardware and software. To access data on a hard drive, for example, the bootloader must have device driver code for the IDE controller interface, as well as knowledge of the underlying partition scheme and file system. This is not trivial and is one of the tasks more suited to full-blown operating systems.

Even with the underlying complexity, methods exist for loading images from this class of device. The simplest method is to support the hardware only. In this scheme, no knowledge of the file system is assumed. The bootloader simply raw-loads from absolute sectors on the device. This scheme can be used by dedicating an unformatted partition from sector 0 on an IDE-compatible device (such as CompactFlash) and loading the data found there without any structure imposed on the data. This is an ideal configuration for loading a kernel image or other binary image. Additional partitions on the device can be formatted for a given file system and can contain complete file systems. After the kernel boots, device drivers can be used to access the additional partitions.

U-Boot can load an image from a specified raw partition or from a partition with a file system structure. Of course, the board must have a supported hardware device (an IDE subsystem) and U-Boot must be so configured. Adding CFG_CMD_IDE to the board-specific configuration file enables support for an IDE interface, and adding CFG_CMD_BOOTD enables support for booting from a raw partition. If you are porting U-Boot to a custom board, you will have to modify U-Boot to understand your particular hardware.

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