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Linux Kernel Boot Process in RISC V - SiFive Boards -Introduction

Linux Boot Process in RISC V SiFive boards using BBL 

1. RISC V Boards are having 4 (Four) Modes.
     User mode -- User space programs runs
     Supervisor mode -- Kernel runs here
     Hypervisor mode -- Unspecified
     Machine mode --  Machine instructions
SBI (Supervisory Binary Interface) is interaction between Machine Mode & Supervisor Mode
it provide set of api for Supervisor to interact with Machine mode , like set_timer, system_shutdown, system_reset etc. 
2. In ARM CPU No.s & same is represented in RISC V as Hart Ids.
Boot CPU, or Hartid 0 is given to BBL for Initial boot process,
other HartIds are keep spining still HartId reaches to kernel init process.
3.The mhartid CSR is read,  so Linux can be passed a unique per-hart identifier.
  • 4. A PMP is set up to allow supervisor mode to access all of memory.
  • 5. Machine mode trap handlers, including a machine mode stack, is set up. bbl's machine mode code needs to handle both unimplemented instructions and machine-mode interrupts.
  • 6. The processor executes a mret to jump from machine mode to supervisor mode.
  • bbl jumps to the start of its payload, which in this case is Linux.
7. Early Boot in Linux:
  • 7-1): a0 contains a unique per-hart id. map this to Linux CPU IDs, so this is expected to be contiguous and close to 0.
  • 7-2)a1 contains a pointer to the device tree, represented as a binary flattened device tree (DTB).
  • 7-3) Memory is identity mapped, which bbl accomplishes by not enabling paging.
  • 7-4) The kernel's ELF image has been loaded correctly, with all the various segments at their correct addresses. This isn't particularly onerous for Linux, as it has a simple ELF image to load.
 8. Standard Linux Boot Process:
  • 1. A linear mapping of all physical memory is set up, with PAGE_OFFSET as the offset.
  • Paging is enabled.
  • 2.The C runtime is set up, which includes the stack and global pointers.
  • 3. A spin-only trap vector is set up that catches any errors early in the boot process.
  • start_kernel is called to enter the standard Linux boot process.
9.Setup_Arch:On RISC-V systems, setup_arch proceeds to perform following operations:
  • 9-1):Enable the EARLY_PRINTK console, if the SBI console driver is enabled. On RISC-V we unconditionally enable early printk because the SBI console is well behaved so there is no reason not to enable it.
  • 9-2):The kernel command line is parsed, and the early arch-specific options are dealt with. allowing the user to control the amount of physical memory actually used by Linux.
  • 9-3): The device tree's memory map is parsed in order to find the kernel image's memory block, which is marked as reserved. The rest of the device tree's memory is released to the kernel for allocation.
  • 9-4) The memory management subsystem is initialized, including the zero page and various zones. It support ZONE_NORMAL, as it is quite simple.
  • 9-5) Any other hart in the system is woken up.
  • The processor's ISA is read from the device tree, which is used to fill out the HWCAP field in the ELF aux vec. This allows user space programs to determine what the hardware they're executing. 


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