Runnix: another kexec based bootloader

Geoff Levand geoffrey.levand at
Thu May 22 16:34:57 EDT 2008

Kristian Kielhofner wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>   I"m not sure if this is the proper forum for these types of posts
> but I've been working on a kexec-based "bootloader" to meet my needs
> over the last year or so.  It's called Runnix.  Here's what I needed
> (Runnix current features - some in progress):
> -  Small.  Runnix is currently about 2.7MB on disk with (very generic)
> Linux 2.6.20, busybox, uclibc, kexec-tools, and dropbear for SSH
> -  Download and verification (currently SHA1) of Linux images, both
> for download and boot.  If an on disk image fails SHA1, a new image
> can be downloaded.  If a download fails, a different on disk image can
> be used.

> -  Run time configuration using a simple ASCII text file (default.conf
> for runnix, .conf files for squashfs/ext2 filesystem images)
> -  Configuration, support, debugging from windows, mac, linux, etc
> (using FAT16 filesystem + syslinux)
> -  Automatic failover of images (should upgrade fail)
> -  Automatic network based debugging using SSH (remote logins via SSH
> upon boot/image failure)
> -  Runnix compilation and expansion via buildroot2 based build system

Just FYI, for the PS3 bootloader we now use OpenWRT, which has kexec.
It is quite easy to use, and I think better than a custom config like
you have.

Jeremy Kerr has ported libtwin and his petitbooot to OpenWRT, which we
use, but those are not yet merged in.  We have some local fixups we
plan to merge also.


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