Bootloader

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Revision as of 16:59, 12 April 2011 by Gadiyar (Talk | contribs) (List of bootloaders)

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Briefly, a bootloader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel software (such as the Hurd or the Linux). The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operating system (e.g. GNU).

List of bootloaders

Legend: ?:Unknown -:Not supported
Bootloader ARM BFIN MIPS PPC SH x86 remarks
APEX y -  ?  ?  ?  ?
Barebox (U-Boot-v2) y y - y - y allows networked setup, integrated editor and scripting
Blob y - - - - -
CFE - - y - - - for specific BroadCom chipsets
coreboot (LinuxBIOS) - - - - - y Conference talk by Peter Stuge at Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2008, video
Das U-Boot y y y y y y allows networked setup
Grub  ? -  ? y - y
Lilo - - - - - y x86 only, requires nasm to build
MicroMonitor y y  ? y y  ?
PMON 2000 - - y - - -
Qi y - - - - - Very fast, simple boot direct to Linux
RedBoot y  ? y y y y allows networked setup
Syslinux - - - - - y variants (including) isolinux are very flexible for booting x86
Yaboot - - - y - -
YAMON - - y - - -

A lot more exhaustive list is available at Wikipedia

List of legacy boot loaders

Please don't pick any of these for new designs!

  • rrload (RidgeRun, used for older TI OMAP boards)
  • pmon (used for Linux MIPS, including BroadCom wifi router boards like Linksys)

See also