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

mvincent at systemem.com mvincent at systemem.com
Fri Jun 27 23:01:03 CEST 2003

Hello Wolfgang, Charles. Sorry to jump in uninvited. I have been following 
this list for a while and this topic is particularly important to me so I 
thought I would add my 2 Pfennig's worth...

> > This whole discussion may not be appropriate on this list.

> I don't think so. It may be beneficial to many  people,  one  way  or 
> another.  To  be  honest,  the idea of running a server on the target 
> never even crossed my mind before. It  is  always  a  good  thing  to 
> discuss  alternative  solutions  -  and  if  it's only to come to the 
> conclusion that everything was done correctly :-)

Background: I designed a MPC8250 board with both WiFi and GPRS onboard (plus 
serial, Ethernet and other goodies) and I am currently working on the 
bootloader and OS ports. When I mentionned that I wanted to use U-Boot, I was 
asked if it would be possible to upload new firmware/config/etc over the 
wireless links. The expectation is that whoever is handling this update wants 
to "push" it, ie. initiate it remotely (which is easier in our case
since the 
hardware is meant to be installed in vehicles). 

My answer was that wireless links should be established only by the OS (Linux 
kernel and utilities in this case), not by the KISS bootloader. But more 
importantly, once you have a full OS running with spare memory and CPU cycles, 
it should not be a problem to run the standard servers (telnet, ftp...) that 
let you remotely manage anything that's on the filesystem, right? If security 
is a concern (it is for us), you can again rely on open standards such as SSH 
to secure your links.

My point is I like Wolfgang's approach: keep the U-Boot simple (uhmmmm, a bit 
late for that! ;^) ), using standard protocols only, and primarily make it 
serve the developpers well. Of course, some people have special requirements 
(not enough flash...) that force them to boot from Ethernet, others may have a 
problem with BOOTP/DHCP, and some may simply have a different perspective. 
It's an open discussion.

For the record, I have done my fair share of proprietary protocols, 
bootloaders and download utilities, and I don't care if I never have 
the "chance" to do another one!

Heartfelt THANK YOU to all the contributors to U-Boot!

Best regards,
Marc Vincent

ps: I apologize if you received this twice. My first attempt bounced 
on SF and I also goofed on the CC. I hate my mail setup...


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