Booting in the dark

Kristoffer Ericson kristoffer.ericson at
Sun Feb 21 12:32:10 EST 2010

On Sun, 21 Feb 2010 12:02:15 -0500
Gerald A <geraldablists at> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:43 PM, Kristoffer Ericson <
> kristoffer.ericson at> wrote:
> > On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 11:36:28 -0500
> > Gerald A <geraldablists at> wrote:
> >
> > > If we're talking about anecdotes, let's look at other devices and their
> > > boot behaviors. Blackberry, iPhone, even my old PalmPilot. None of
> > > these have text bootscreens, and each of them are 100x+ the number
> > > of users. And very few complaints about having no boot messages.
> >
> > And all those are known for their open-ness? I got an iphone
> > 2 days ago, and its already pissing me off that it keeps the
> > good stuff under locks.
> >

I CC:ed mailinglist, assumed that you forgot it.

> I was talking numbers here, not open-ness. I have a Blackberry that always
> frustrates me, and when I had an iPhone for a month, I jailbroke it so I
> could
> actually use it.
> I've seen thousands of people using computer programs that suck. Much of
> what they do is work-arounds because the software is broken. They shut up
> and suffer, because there is no other way.
> What I'm suggesting here is a choice, not "my way or the highway". To me,
> that's also a key element in open source.

I fully agree.

> Its better to see that something is happening rather than
> > seeing an fullscreen logo and "hoping" that it boots.
> > And its not like we are asking them to do anything, just sit back.
> > And after awhile they will even have an vague idea of what is suppose to
> > happen.
> Ok, again -- during development of the boot kernel and modules, this is
> essential.
> In fact, it's why I suggested that for non-RELEASE builds, the text screen
> be the
> default boot method.


> But, if I'm a user, if _I_ have to worry about the kernel not finishing a
> boot, then
> there is something fundamentally wrong with things. Users should ONLY be
> running RELEASE builds, of course. And a failure to boot a RELEASE build
> should be a hardware error.

In general I agree,

> Now, there might be months, or even years until we get to this mythical User
> ready "RELEASE" build. But, if we figure out how to build it during the
> shakeout,
> then there are less compromises. For instance, I think the "little icon with
> 75%
> text" is in the wrong direction. If I'm booting and want to see the text, I
> want
> it to be 100% of the screen. For people to whom this is goobelygook, they
> want it to take up 0% of the screen, and rightfully so.

An "old" linux user appreciate the booting information + small logo.
A new linux user doesnt have anything to compare with and will
generally learn whatever is provided, either being splashscreen or
"normal" booting. I can agree that a new user might find it scary
but for a limited time.

> Your post was strong in your opinion, but I wanted everyone to see there is
> a worth
> in having the splash in there, but in a way that it's easy to go back and
> forth.
> I'd love to hear some comments on that, if you have any.

I didnt intend to make it strong, just compact :) 
Having an easy way to switch between would be nice yes. Im not exactly sure
how though.
Currently we got:
[PWR]+[U] = Reflash mode
[PWR]+[M] = Boot off SD
[PWR]+[S] = Serial output

So, lets say we add 2 more for kernel booting information.
[PWR]+[N] = Boot normally with kernel output
[PWR]+[O] = Boot from SD normally with kernel output

Now, we would need to have an kernel that doesnt have the openwrt logo since Im not aware
of any "disable kernel boot logo" that can be passed through the parameters string?

That would mean +2 keyboard combinations to "know" and 2 different kernels.

Personally I already got an bootloader and kernel with booting information on, but I believe
adding more options is starting to get bad since we already got 3.

Best wishes

> Thanks,
> Gerald.

Kristoffer Ericson <kristoffer.ericson at>

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