Graphics support for /boot/loader

First public test

NOTE: This is work in progress. The code that you can download here is very preliminary. This is not a candidate to be committed to the repository; it's not ready for that yet. The purpose of this public test is to test the compatibility with a wider range of hardware and BIOS.

WARNING: Following the instructions below can render your computer unbootable!!! Do not go ahead unless you are prepared to boot from separate media (CD, DVD, USB stick) and restore the contents of your /boot directory! You have been warned!

In order to be able to participate in this test, your computer must meet the following conditions:

Performing the test is easy. You don't have to patch anything, you just need to extract a .tar.gz file and reboot. The following steps will guide you through the process (these are for FreeBSD only -- if you use DragonFly BSD, please refer to the section at the end of this page).

# cd /boot
# mkdir backup
# cp -p loader pxeboot loader.conf beastie.4th backup
# tar xpzf /tmp/gloader.tar.gz

Note: The tarball also includes a pxeboot binary, but it has not been tested at all. If you use PXE booting, you can give it a try, but be prepared that it might fail.

Trouble Shooting

How to recover if you are unable to boot:

The .tar.gz includes an alternative loader binary called "recover" that does not contain the graphics code (but is able to parse the new beastie.4th file). To use it, you have to abort the boot2 pause by pressing any key and entering "/boot/recover" at the prompt. Note, you have to press any key very early, before the boot loader is loaded by the boot2 stage.

If everything else fails, you need to boot from a "fixit" CD (or similar stand-alone media that enables you to get a root shell). Then mount your harddisk's root file system and copy the files from the /boot/backup directory back to /boot.

Thanks for participating!

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Special notes for DragonFly BSD

Basically it works very similar (please read all of the above, too!), but the setup is a little different.

# cpdup /boot /boot-backup
# cd /boot
# tar xpzf /tmp/gloader-df.tar.gz
# mkdir k
# mv kernel k/kernel
# mv k kernel

Update: Meanwhile, DragonFly BSD has dropped support for the FreeBSD-derived boot loader and replaced it with something home-brewed. Unfortunately, that means that the graphical boot loader won't work anymore with recent versions of DragonFly BSD.

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OliverFromme/BootLoaderTest (last edited 2011-12-02T14:29:41+0000 by OliverFromme)