1.7. boot2 Stage

boot2 defines an important structure, struct bootinfo. This structure is initialized by boot2 and passed to the loader, and then further to the kernel. Some nodes of this structures are set by boot2, the rest by the loader. This structure, among other information, contains the kernel filename, BIOS harddisk geometry, BIOS drive number for boot device, physical memory available, envp pointer etc. The definition for it is:

/usr/include/machine/bootinfo.h:
struct bootinfo {
	u_int32_t	bi_version;
	u_int32_t	bi_kernelname;		/* represents a char * */
	u_int32_t	bi_nfs_diskless;	/* struct nfs_diskless * */
				/* End of fields that are always present. */
#define	bi_endcommon	bi_n_bios_used
	u_int32_t	bi_n_bios_used;
	u_int32_t	bi_bios_geom[N_BIOS_GEOM];
	u_int32_t	bi_size;
	u_int8_t	bi_memsizes_valid;
	u_int8_t	bi_bios_dev;		/* bootdev BIOS unit number */
	u_int8_t	bi_pad[2];
	u_int32_t	bi_basemem;
	u_int32_t	bi_extmem;
	u_int32_t	bi_symtab;		/* struct symtab * */
	u_int32_t	bi_esymtab;		/* struct symtab * */
				/* Items below only from advanced bootloader */
	u_int32_t	bi_kernend;		/* end of kernel space */
	u_int32_t	bi_envp;		/* environment */
	u_int32_t	bi_modulep;		/* preloaded modules */
};

boot2 enters into an infinite loop waiting for user input, then calls load(). If the user does not press anything, the loop breaks by a timeout, so load() will load the default file (/boot/loader). Functions ino_t lookup(char *filename) and int xfsread(ino_t inode, void *buf, size_t nbyte) are used to read the content of a file into memory. /boot/loader is an ELF binary, but where the ELF header is prepended with a.out's struct exec structure. load() scans the loader's ELF header, loading the content of /boot/loader into memory, and passing the execution to the loader's entry:

sys/boot/i386/boot2/boot2.c:
    __exec((caddr_t)addr, RB_BOOTINFO | (opts & RBX_MASK),
	   MAKEBOOTDEV(dev_maj[dsk.type], 0, dsk.slice, dsk.unit, dsk.part),
	   0, 0, 0, VTOP(&bootinfo));

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