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Butabee

Bootloader straight to game system

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I want to make a system where I can go straight from a bootloader to the game, but with some intermediary stuff like keyboard, mouse, usb, graphics, and sound drivers. This will start out as a single process system.

I am going to only support specific hardware at first and maybe expand later.

I downloaded all volumes of the AMD64 Architecture Programmer's Manuals and the Bios and Kernel Developer's guide for the 12h Family, since I'm targeting the first gen Fusion APUs.

I have about 8 years of programming experience in mainly C++, but I don't know any x86 or 64 architecture specifics.

Is there any recommended reading before I start with the first volume of the Architecture Manuals?
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Hmmm... I haven't done anything like this since the 90s, when you would just run without an OS, using the VESA standard for graphics (sound was trickier). If I had to do something like this these days, my first thought would be to make a custom Linux distribution that only runs the game. [url="https://wiki.archlinux.org/"]Arch Linux[/url] seems like a good place to start.
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[quote name='alvaro' timestamp='1352134481' post='4997621']
Hmmm... I haven't done anything like this since the 90s, when you would just run without an OS, using the VESA standard for graphics (sound was trickier). If I had to do something like this these days, my first thought would be to make a custom Linux distribution that only runs the game. [url="https://wiki.archlinux.org/"]Arch Linux[/url] seems like a good place to start.
[/quote]

Although using Linux might not be an option due to the GPL if this is a commercial venture. FreeBSD would be a better choice from a commercial point of view.
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I wrote a 50+ paper on this topic at UT back in 2007.

After months of research I concluded that such a system would need the following:

1) A linux kernel auto builder, one that can assemble/compile a new kernel with any number of custom modifications. This system would run on a server and can be downloaded by any end user. Many systems like this already exist and are freely available.

2) A packaging system similar to [url="http://www.pgbovine.net/cde.html"]CDE [/url]but able to pull in underlying shell/system dependencies as well. This would mean the entire system you used to build and test the game on could be packaged up and run on top of any compatible linux kernel. These systems would then be run in self contained bottles, meaning each process is run with different group privileges and only have access to a specific directory and subdirectories within the system. A system like this does not exist.

3) A fork of GRUB that allows kernel downloading and booting, I think this already exists.

4) Boot scripts custom tailored for loading game bottles. You will need to write these yourself.
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