Recoding the configuration for live-build images

Ludovic Courtès ludo at
Fri Sep 3 14:40:42 UTC 2021


John Gilmore <gnu at> skribis:

> Does the GNU Mes bootstrap-reducing team have a plan to replace Grub and
> the Linux kernel and init (and perhaps a BIOS?) with something tiny that
> runs on bare metal and implements a file system, the mount command, and
> processes?  Many realtime OS's are much smaller than Linux or BSD and
> yet have those capabilities.  eCos might be a great start, and is free,
> highly portable, and includes a POSIX layer (and TCP/IP for debugging),
> though it currently lacks fork/exec/wait.  The original V7 UNIX kernel
> would work, if process sizes and filename sizes are patched, and a few
> device drivers written for modern disk and CDROM drives.  Such a
> bootstrap kernel would enable the Scheme bootstrap programs to run well
> enough to build gcc, then use gcc to build the Linux kernel, then boot
> it, and continue building.

>From the Guix perspective, during the last Reproducible Builds Summit,
we came up with code that generates a Linux initrd that, when booted,
starts building software up to a given package; this is described under
“Extreme Bootstrapping” at:

This is mostly a proof of concept to see how we can reduce the trusted
computing base.

Another approach some of us fancy is similar to what you describe:
bootstrapping a microkernel-based OS (presumably the Hurd).  Nothing
concrete to show yet…


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