Thursday, October 3, 2013

iQUIK updates

iQUIK (my fork of QUIK, the OldWorld Linux bootloader) has seen a few enhancements.
  • Better 3400c support. Now that I have a CD drive, I verified that the media bay ATA only needs to be hidden when there's nothing attached to it. CD booting is still at large (but will probably work just fine).
  • PDQ/Wallstreet documentation. This includes patches to get booting via PCMCIA/CF and via internal IDE, as well as kernel options needed. CD booting is still untested (and will likely cause the nvramrc patches needed to grow).
  • Bug fixes around large disk access that was preventing from correctly reading partitions larger than 4GB. There's still a problem with partitions on large disks, so you should probably create a '/boot' partition. I wonder if certain ATA packages on old OF have issues... Needs investigation.
  • !cat to display short files
  • Bug fixes to path handling and compatibility with yaboot.conf used by debian installer.
  • Turn on shallow setprop support for OF 1.0.5 (pending testing to see if it's needed)
The current to-do list:
  • Clean-up command parsing/handling a-la U-Boot
  • Investigate partition access on large disks
  • Automatic nvramrc patching to ease deployment
  • Janitorial:
    • malloc/printf replacements
    • claim() load area and prom_exit() path should close all opened handles, release all claimed memory (end goal is being able to quit and load again)
  • Add !parts to scan and display partition/fs info for devices
  • Rewrite shallow setprop support to work for all props, not just initrd-base/initrd-size
  • BSD kernel loading
  • Partition-less device support
  • FAT support
  • ISO9660 support
  • EXT4 support
  • FCode loading
  • Forth loading
Current test plans:
  • OF 1.0.5
  • CD booting
  • More machines (anyone?), maybe try some different CPU modules on my PDQ
It's actually sort of interesting that there's no guarantee that the same OpenFirmware release (i.e. 2.0.1) will have the same bugs. And I'm not just talking about device support, because that's fairly obvious (different I/O chipsets need different drivers). For example, the 3400c has 'setprop' issues that need to be worked around, but the Wallstreet doesn't. The Wallstreet is obviously newer, but there's no way to draw a line between support without trying it on every model (so might as well always use the work-around).

As usual, everything is at


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