Linux kernel start up and debugging

Slightly off-topic, but linux is stil a unixoid operating system. And every hint on system startup and debugging is valuable.

Seems like running OpenOCD and Turtelizer2 JTAG dongle with NanosG20 will be necesssary. AT91SAM9G20 support should be available, I hope.

Other points are:

  • Use QEMU/VirtualBox + GDB to observe startup behaviour of FreeBSD
  • Remember, nobody forbids looking at certain portions of Linux/NetBSD/OpenBSD kernel sources
  • OpenBSD and NetBSD are also a source of knowledge
  • Take a look at Atmel startup code
  • Make a table of prio 1 peripherials used by the kernel
  • Prioritize other peripherials

So, in summary I will use NanosG20 hardware, U-boot for PortuxG20 and FreeBSD kernel (no idea what is implemented at the moment)

NanosG20 FreeBSD

I would be glad to see FreeBSD running on NanosG20. Since I have no idea how to do that, I need  to investigate. One way would be finding a posibility to run u-boot for AT91SAM9G20 out of the NanosG20 2nd Stage Bootloader (stripped linux kernel). But another solution does exist:

It is a transplantation of PortuxG20 u-boot into NanosG20.

If this will work, next step would be flashing AT91SAM9G20 u-boot with FreeBSD booting support. And last but not least a working AT91SAM9G20 kernel must be available.

Another help:

Similar processor:

Comparison of linux and bsd kernel startup sequence:

BSD kernel structure: