[syslinux] SYSLINUX 3.70-pre1: development release

Luciano Rocha strange at nsk.no-ip.org
Thu Feb 28 11:49:33 PST 2008

On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 11:24:42AM -0800, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>  H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> > Here is a rough summary.  I don't have a wishlist ready, but we can talk 
> > about it:
> > nolen	- eliminating any dependency on a priori length (3.70-pre*)
> > 	The intent here is make it easier to support arbitrary network
> > 	protocols, such as FTP and HTTP, as well as
> > 	TFTP-to-other-protocol proxies.
> > bcopyint - unify all the real mode/protected mode machinery
> > 	Right now, SYSLINUX has three separate pieces of machinery for
> > 	real mode/protected mode transition, each of which have their
> > 	own feature sets.  This branch works on unifying them to a
> >   	single, compact, and full-featured set.
> > 	The longer term goal here is to enable ditching most of the rest
> > 	of the real-mode assembly code in favour of protected-mode C
> > 	code.
>  I should point out that I'm in a pretty advanced stage about discussing 
>  doing a PXELINUX-gPXE hybrid with the gPXE development team.  The general 
>  idea is pretty much to remove everything below the COM32 level and replace 
>  it with an enhanced version of gPXE.  We're still working out the details, 
>  but an initial analysis seems to indicate that it should be technically 
>  entirely feasible.  As part of that, a lot of C code would have to be 
>  written which can be reused as part of a rewritten SYSLINUX core for 
>  non-network media, too.

That is interesting. Myself, I've given some thought, but not much time,

1. make syslinux a mini-os, with some basic operations (dir and file
ops, mem alloc, and line input/output). The loader would load a standard
elf file, and the current features would be implemented as shared

2. add support for intel-vt/amd-v to memdisk, to allow emulation of
devices even under linux/windows.

3. com32 module for loading linux kernels directly from rpms or debs,
with the option of keeping the contents of the package as part of the

Of the three, the last is the simpler and less intrusive, so I've been
playing with it when I can. But lately I'm just battling with the
current buildsystem trying to build syslinux with a cross-compiler on my
OS X powerpc.

I'd suggest a list on the wiki of tasks that you believe are simple
enough for someone without much knowledge of syslinux internals, and
maybe compile a list of more arduous task for participation in google's
summer of code.

Luciano Rocha
>  	-hpa


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