what are multiboot, miniroot and boot_archive file ?

Posted on 2009-02-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Can someone please let me know the difference between these four file, and in terms of there usability,
like where we use these and under what condition.


My curiosity is what is the difference between miniroot, multiboot and boot_archive ??
Question by:beer9
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Brian Utterback earned 500 total points
ID: 23649484
The miniroot is a version of Solaris that is minimalized and designed to run from a RAMDISK. It
is used for initial installation of Solaris and will startup the installer when run.

The miniroot.safe file is a standalone version of Solaris that is designed specifically for system
recovery. Instead of the installed, it will look for a root file system and mount it at /a. This
in invoked via GRUB when you ask for the fail safe OS.

The boot_archive is a image of the current kernel and other files needed to boot in the current
configuration. This is used by GRUB to get the boot process going and is designed to make it
easier for GRUB to find on different file system types. This means that the boor_archive must
be kept up to date or the system cannot boot. If any file in the system that is in the boot_archive is changed,  the boot_archive must be updated or the system may not boot up
the next time it reboots.  The Sun patches that modify those files automatically updates the boot_archive, but if they are modified manually, you must update it.

The multiboot files are the programs actually given control by the boot loader. They
correspond to the multiboot specification and are what makes it possible for a standard
bootloader like GRUB to boot different OS's without having to know the specifics of each
OS's boot process.  It is sort of a shim that talks the multiboot spec on one side and the
specific OS boot process on the other.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31547202
Thanks blu!

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