Robert P. J. Day wrote: > On Fri, 30 Nov 2007, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote: > >> Robert P. J. Day wrote: >>> i'm sure i'm going to regret asking this only seconds after i >>> hit ENTER, but at what point during the boot process does the >>> kernel's corresponding /boot/initrd.img file kick in and get used? >>> >>> i'm following along reading the logic of initramfs and early >>> userspace, and can see where a compressed cpio archive can be >>> incorporated into the kernel image itself. fair enough. >>> >>> but how does the /boot/initrd.img (which is itself a compressed >>> cpio image) get processed during boot? it's certainly not passed >>> as an argument to the kernel as i can see via /proc/cmdline. so >>> how does it affect the boot sequence? thanks. > >> I believe that Grub loads the image, and then passes the location to >> the kernel at boot. Support for the file system of initrd.img has to >> be built into the kernel. > > but *how* does grub pass that info? that's the question here. on my > f8 system, the contents of /proc/cmdline is simply: > > ro root=/dev/f8/root rhgb quiet > > so how exactly is the kernel notified about the location of that > external initrd.img file? i'm guessing i might just start reading > through the early kernel code to see where it figures that out. > > rday > > p.s. is my question making any sense? maybe i'm just phrasing it > badly. > I don't believe the kernel is ever told the location of the file on the disk. The initrd option tells grub the file to load. Grub then loads the file into system memory. I am not sure, but I believe the address that Grub loaded it to in memory is passed in a register. But it may be in a fixed place in the block of data passed to the kernel, along with the options in the kernel line. I suspect that this is covered in the Grub info page if you want to know exactly how it is managed. I have never cared enough about the exact method to dig into it. It is also possible to boot a kernel without using an initrd file if you build all the drivers needed to access the root file system into the kernel. You may also want to take a look at the initrd.txt file in the kernel documentation tree. Mikkel -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!
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