New Boot Loader for PCs:
Currently we have to choose between the Mach/BSD boot blocks,
which are totally brain-dead and unfriendly in various respects,
and LILO (the Linux Loader), which is nice and featureful
but has the stupid restriction of not being able to load any boot image
larger than about 512KB.
Also, some appropriate boot loader support
could make Mach's new boot module system much cleaner and more efficient
and get rid of various horrible kludges.
Note that this new boot loader could (and should)
be useful to the BSD, Linux, and VSTa communities as well.
The boot loader should ideally would fulfill at least these requirements:
- Backward compatible with Linux, Mach, and BSD boot images.
- Functional under Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and Mach.
- User friendly (e.g. like OS/2's Boot Manager).
- No size limit on boot images other than available memory.
- Ability to load multiple boot modules on bootup
directly from different files,
eliminating the need to compose large monolithic boot images beforehand.
- Ability to operate either by interpreting specific file system types
(like the Mach/BSD boot loaders currently do),
or by using precalculated block lists
(like LILO does).
- Be at least somewhat machine-independent,
so that applicable parts of the code
can be reused on other architectures.