2.8.3 released

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.

Posted by Etienne LORRAIN 2010-12-08

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