andrea-adami edited this page Oct 21, 2015 · 4 revisions

How kexecboot works

Submitted by Jay7 on Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:55

  • Devices bootloader is loading and starting kexecboot kernel
  • Kernel is starting kexecboot binary as init process from initramfs
  • Kexecboot then does following:
  • enumerate /proc/partitions entries (except partitions smaller than 200Kb);
  • if devices-recreating feature is enabled then remove device node from /dev and mknod' it again;
  • check every partitions for known (using fstype routine from klibc) and supported (using /proc/filesystems) filesystem;
  • try to mount partitions and look for boot.cfg;
  • if boot.cfg exists then read and parse it else check for default kernels (/boot/[zu]Image, /[zu]Image);
  • sort items found by PRIORITY;
  • show menu and wait for selection;
  • run kexec binary to load and boot selected kernel;


  • There is 'undocumented' support for 'machine-kernel'. When enabled, kexecboot will look into /proc/cpuinfo for 'Hardware' line, lowercase it, replace spaces by _, then prepend it with /boot/zImage- string. This path will be used to look for kernel as well when no boot.cfg is found. This 'feature' is obsoleted. If you are using this feature please let us know.
  • Currently fstype routine can recognize following FS'es and devices content: gzip, cramfs, romfs, xfs, ext4, squashfs, ext3, ext2, minix, jffs2, vfat, nilfs2, ocfs2, reiserfs, reiser4, gfs2, jfs, iso9660, luks, lvm2, swap, suspend.
  • uImage and zImage support is controlled by –with-zimage and –with-uimage configure options
  • kexec binary should reside in /usr/sbin/kexec
  • kexec will load kernel with following cmdline: root= rootfstype= rootwait mtdparts= fbcon=
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