Subject: [announce] Gujin GPL bootloader version 2.8.3
Date: Wednesday 8th December 2010 22:12:05 UTC (over 6 years ago)
There is a new version v2.8.3 of the Gujin bootloader at http://gujin.org (and sourceforge) with bug fixes and improvements, and Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora packages for easy installation on i386/amd64 PC. In its standard form, Gujin is a graphic bootloader (with mouse support) which try to autodetect everything from its environment, and have near zero configuration. It can be installed on hard disks, CDROMs or USB thumb drives for easy testing, the fact that BIOS disk number usually change when the PC is booted from different devices is not a problem for Gujin; however Gujin arrived in memory has no effect on what it will boot. The major technical improvement is in the removal of the hard coded sector size (512 for HD, 2048 for CDROM); Gujin can be installed on devices with 512/1024/2048/4096 bytes per sectors, it can boot from such devices (when the BIOS support it), and it can chain-boot such devices by simulating a BIOS disk with those sector sizes, from a disk content stored on standard hard disk or CDROM. See the Makefile target "boothdimg" to test yourself. There is also improvements and bug fixed for the El-Torito simulator, i.e. booting a CDROM image file stored on a hard drive, as if it was a real CDROM: more DVD boot now, and a new option has been added to detect the underlying file once booted (/sbin/gujin --report-signature). Basically, the gujin bootloader simulate the El-Torito BIOS disk leaving an extended "$INT13SF" signature containing the BIOS EDD disk identification (PCI address...), which is compared at run time to /dev/disk/by-path and /dev/disk/by-id to give the partition to mount and the file to loop-mount instead of the CDROM. Some work has also been done to simplify the use of the tiny bootloader, for people having a simple configuration - like having a single Linux distribution on ext4fs on a PC (or a virtual PC): they can install like /sbin/gujin -t tinyext4.bin /boot/minigujin.ebios and the bootloader will automatically load the newest (by date) vmlinuz/initrd pair without displaying any menu, without probing any other disk than the booted one. In case of major problem, one can type Control-Break while loading to get an older vmlinuz/initrd pair. The command line can be given by the --cmdline="" parameter or stored in /boot/gujin.cmd. Use "/sbin/gujin --remove /boot/minigujin.ebios" to reinstall the previous bootloader (previous MBR saved inside /boot/minigujin.ebios). The tiny configuration can also be used as an El-Torito bootloader, see Makefile target "CDtiny", and on USB thumb drives by using respectively tinycdrom.bin and tinyusb.bin metafile (metafiles are stored inside the installer itself). Also, there has been a project-wide rename of file "boot.exe" to "gujin.exe", "tiny.exe" to "mingujin.exe" and "boot.bcd" to "gujin.bcd"; file "gujin" or "gujin64" are the Linux executable installer, and all the target bootloaders have "gujin" in their name. The file "changelog.wri" in the source archive describes many other modifications, fixing quite a few bugs. Downloads at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gujin/files/ Have fun, Etienne.