[Mageia-dev] Syslinux integration roadmap

Erwan Velu erwanaliasr1 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 20:18:30 CEST 2011

Hi fellows,

I should have started by writting this email, but later is better that 
I'd like to share  with you the work I started on syslinux : I 
registered myself of maintainer of it.

Under Mandriva, we were running Syslinux 3.8x with the following 
- gfxboot patch (unsupported upstream as very intrusive)
- isohybrid patch from pterjan
- a remplacement of the built-in pnglib
- a packaging with 3 versions of isolinux to load a different 
configuration file regarding the processor capabilities (x86/x64)

I did upgrade to 4.04 for
- using the gfxboot com32 module which is now upsteam
- using a single version of isolinux
- simplifying the integration of upstream releases into mga
- an up to date version of HDT

Gfxboot module requested an update of the gfxboot tools & theme. This 
work is already done and works properly.

The pnglib patch management is under discussions in another thread.

The isohybrid patch have to be reworked as isohybrid is now named 
isohybrid.pl, a C version of isohybrid now exists also. Rework of this 
patch should be quite easy to do once we'll have understood all the 
tricks inside ;) That's shouldn't be a big deal though.

My plan for using a single version of isolinux is the following :
Using syslinux's capability to load various kernel & configuration files 
regarding some hw capabilites (the cpu in this case). I'm ending a 
prototype that will simulate the loading of different entries regarding 
the cpu arch. This will greatly simplify the management of the boot 
procedure and especially for the dual arch isos.

I'm also working for having some specific entries for the virtualized 
world like kvm or virtualbox (cf bug 44).

4.04 is also now providing a new package called extlinux which provides 
extlinux & the mbr file needed to make a very powerful bootloader for 
ext* & btrfs filesystems (more to come).

Switching to this new scheme will ease updates by using upstream's 
version of syslinux.
This will also require working on BCD to integrate this new 
configuration files. That shouldn't be hard neither.

I'm part of the upstream project, so if some more features/ideas are 
coming, I'll be more than happy to help you.


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