[clug] Booting without a bootloader & alternatives to /init

Ben Coughlan ben.coughlan at anu.edu.au
Wed May 20 11:42:01 GMT 2009

Hi All,

I'm working on using linux in very small/embedded environments and I'm  
currently in the process of stripping linux down to fit a specific  
system, and I have a couple of questions:

Is it possible to boot the kernel without using a bootloader?  I've  
seen HOWTOs discussing how to do this with floppy disk, but I'm  
wondering how it can be done from a hard drive, or a compact flash card.

Secondly; can I have the kernel run something other than /init when  
it's done booting?  Ideally I would just like to call my application  
binary.  Are there any services I'll be missing if I don't use /init?   
I don't need to spawn a shell anywhere, but I would like some DHCP  
action.  I would also enjoy being able to pass arguments to this  
binary if at all possible.

And while I'm here;  I've compiled my kernel by starting with 'make  
allnoconfig' and then rebooting/recompiling until I have a system  
running with the required drivers.  Can anyone think of any boxes I  
might want to tick that may not have been noticed in this process,  
keeping in mind I want it as small and uncluttered as I can make it.

Ben Coughlan

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