Is it possible to boot alternative OS from an USB stick?

pgf at pgf at
Sun Aug 24 23:06:36 EDT 2008

mitch wrote:
 > Open Firmware can boot ELF binaries directly.  Put your .elf file in the 
 > root directory on a USB key that is formatted with either a FAT 
 > filesystem (preferred) or an ext2 filesystem.  Then, on an unsecured XO 
 > laptop, type:
 > ok boot u:\myprogram.elf

mitch -- where are OFW capabilities such as this, and the "client
interface" mentioned below, documented?  (i suspect i've probably
seen the doc somewhere in my wiki travels, and didn't at the time
recognize it for what it was.)


 > In the case of SqueakNOS, you will also have to deal with the fact that 
 > the screen resolution is 1200x900.  According to my reading of the 
 > SqueakNOS docs on the web, it only supports 1024x768 at present.
 > You will also face the problem that none of the XO's mass storage 
 > devices (NAND FLASH, SD card, USB mass storage) or network devices (USB 
 > wireless LAN, USB wired network interfaces) are on the SqueakNOS 
 > supported list.
 > One quick way to address that would be to build a simple call gateway 
 > whereby Squeak could call the OFW "client interface" and thus use the 
 > OFW drivers for those devices.  OFW has drivers for every builtin device 
 > on the XO, and for quite a few plugin USB devices.   The OFW client 
 > interface is called via a single subroutine entry point, passing a 
 > single argument - a pointer to an array that tells which subfunction to 
 > invoke and provides argument and result pointers.  From C, the only 
 > assembly language necessary is a couple of instructions in the early 
 > startup, to move the address of the gateway routine from a register to a 
 > variable from whence it can be later called as an indirect function.
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 > Devel at

 paul fox, pgf at

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