[U-Boot-Users] uploading OS over network instead of u-boot do wnloading it from a server.

Wells, Charles Charles.Wells at NielsenMedia.com
Tue Jun 24 15:45:46 CEST 2003


I feel obliged to comment on your response to Brian's post.

>> It won't be practical (support nightmare!) for us to ask our customers to

>> setup a tftp server in order to use our product.
>What's so complicated about this? See for example how  Abatron  ships
>their  BDI2000s  -  they  include  a free TFTP server on their floppy
>disks which is so simple that even a Windoze user can start it.

You're making assumptions here that I don't believe are appropriate:

1. You are assuming that Brian's customers are at least as sophisticated as
Abatron customers.  Brian's original statement leads me to believe this is
not so.

2. You are assuming that you know more about Brian's customers than either
he or his Marketing group does.  Ultimately, it is the responsibility of a
company's Marketing group to determine what a customer is capable of and
will tolerate.

>> However, if the boot loader is capable of receiving the OS image over the

>> network, our PC side application can upload the OS and Ram disk image to 
>> our custom board the first time it connects to it.
>> Is this not a good idea?
>No, it is not. You are trying to re-invent the wheel. 

This is certainly an emphatic statement.  The least you could have done here
is to prefix it with "IMHO".  

U-boot supports the target-as-client method of downloading but does not
support the target-as-server method.  I've used both methods a number of
times over the years and both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Your
position seems to be that u-boot does everything useful for downloading.
Therefore, if u-boot doesn't "do it", then "it" must be a duplication.  I
disagree.  IMHO, target-as-server boot loading is a good idea.  The two
methods are useful in different circumstances and are not, IMHO, a

At the company I work for, we have three different MPC850 designs that work
together to form our new system.  The boot code in all three units contains
a target-as-server (UDP over Ethernet) loader.  We use this UDP/Ethernet
boot loader in exactly the mode that Brian is referring to above.  It
supports Linux, VxWorks and stand-alone images.  It's used every day by the
Development team, SQA team and Field Support team.  It works great.

The main advantage is simplicity.  Our boot code occupies less than 6k-bytes
of FLASH (that would fit in a 2708 ;-) ).  The small size attests to its
simplicity as well as the capabilities of the Ethernet controller in the
'850.  It was written and debugged in a very short time over a year ago and
has not required any maintenance since.  No head-scratching, no
hair-pulling, no patches.  It just works.

The way I see it, one of the benefits of these lists is discussion.  To cut
off discussion as you did is, IMHO, not productive.


Charles.Wells at nielsenmedia.com

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