Example Boot Sector

This is the assembly source for the boot sector used by the Linux free operating system. If it looks unfamiliar for intel assembly, that's because it gets run through the standard C preprocessor (CPP) and has comments starting with '!' stripped off... enjoy! :)

! SYS_SIZE is the number of clicks (16 bytes) to be loaded.
! 0x7F00 is 0x7F000 bytes = 508kB, more than enough for current
! versions of linux which compress the kernel
#include <linux/config.h>
!	bootsect.s		Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 Linus Torvalds
!	modified by Drew Eckhardt
!	modified by Bruce Evans (bde)
! bootsect.s is loaded at 0x7c00 by the bios-startup routines, and moves
! itself out of the way to address 0x90000, and jumps there.
! bde - should not jump blindly, there may be systems with only 512K low
! memory.  Use int 0x12 to get the top of memory, etc.
! It then loads 'setup' directly after itself (0x90200), and the system
! at 0x10000, using BIOS interrupts. 
! NOTE! currently system is at most (8*65536-4096) bytes long. This should 
! be no problem, even in the future. I want to keep it simple. This 508 kB
! kernel size should be enough, especially as this doesn't contain the
! buffer cache as in minix (and especially now that the kernel is 
! compressed :-)
! The loader has been made as simple as possible, and continuous
! read errors will result in a unbreakable loop. Reboot by hand. It
! loads pretty fast by getting whole tracks at a time whenever possible.


SETUPSECS = 4				! nr of setup-sectors
BOOTSEG   = 0x07C0			! original address of boot-sector
INITSEG   = DEF_INITSEG			! we move boot here - out of the way
SETUPSEG  = DEF_SETUPSEG		! setup starts here
SYSSEG    = DEF_SYSSEG			! system loaded at 0x10000 (65536).

! ROOT_DEV & SWAP_DEV are now written by "build".
#ifndef SVGA_MODE
#ifndef RAMDISK
#define RAMDISK 0

! ld86 requires an entry symbol. This may as well be the usual one.
.globl	_main
#if 0 /* hook for debugger, harmless unless BIOS is fussy (old HP) */
	int	3
	mov	ax,#BOOTSEG
	mov	ds,ax
	mov	ax,#INITSEG
	mov	es,ax
	mov	cx,#256
	sub	si,si
	sub	di,di
	jmpi	go,INITSEG

! ax and es already contain INITSEG

go:	mov	di,#0x4000-12	! 0x4000 is arbitrary value >= length of
				! bootsect + length of setup + room for stack
				! 12 is disk parm size

! bde - changed 0xff00 to 0x4000 to use debugger at 0x6400 up (bde).  We
! wouldn't have to worry about this if we checked the top of memory.  Also
! my BIOS can be configured to put the wini drive tables in high memory
! instead of in the vector table.  The old stack might have clobbered the
! drive table.

	mov	ds,ax
	mov	ss,ax		! put stack at INITSEG:0x4000-12.
	mov	sp,di
 *	Many BIOS's default disk parameter tables will not 
 *	recognize multi-sector reads beyond the maximum sector number
 *	specified in the default diskette parameter tables - this may
 *	mean 7 sectors in some cases.
 *	Since single sector reads are slow and out of the question,
 *	we must take care of this by creating new parameter tables
 *	(for the first disk) in RAM.  We will set the maximum sector
 *	count to 36 - the most we will encounter on an ED 2.88.  
 *	High doesn't hurt.  Low does.
 *	Segments are as follows: ds=es=ss=cs - INITSEG,
 *		fs = 0, gs is unused.

! cx contains 0 from rep movsw above

	mov	fs,cx
	mov	bx,#0x78		! fs:bx is parameter table address
	push	ds
	seg fs
	lds	si,(bx)			! ds:si is source

	mov	cl,#6			! copy 12 bytes
	push	di


	pop	di
	pop	ds

	movb	4(di),*36		! patch sector count

	seg fs
	mov	(bx),di
	seg fs
	mov	2(bx),es

! load the setup-sectors directly after the bootblock.
! Note that 'es' is already set up.
! Also cx is 0 from rep movsw above.

	xor	ah,ah			! reset FDC 
	xor	dl,dl
	int 	0x13	

	xor	dx, dx			! drive 0, head 0
	mov	cl,#0x02		! sector 2, track 0
	mov	bx,#0x0200		! address = 512, in INITSEG
	mov	ah,#0x02		! service 2, nr of sectors
	mov	al,setup_sects		! (assume all on head 0, track 0)
	int	0x13			! read it
	jnc	ok_load_setup		! ok - continue

	push	ax			! dump error code
	call	print_nl
	mov	bp, sp
	call	print_hex
	pop	ax	
	jmp	load_setup


! Get disk drive parameters, specifically nr of sectors/track

#if 0

! bde - the Phoenix BIOS manual says function 0x08 only works for fixed
! disks.  It doesn't work for one of my BIOS's (1987 Award).  It was
! fatal not to check the error code.

	xor	dl,dl
	mov	ah,#0x08		! AH=8 is get drive parameters
	int	0x13
	xor	ch,ch

! It seems that there is no BIOS call to get the number of sectors.  Guess
! 36 sectors if sector 36 can be read, 18 sectors if sector 18 can be read,
! 15 if sector 15 can be read.  Otherwise guess 9.

	mov	si,#disksizes		! table of sizes to try

	cbw				! extend to word
	mov	sectors, ax
	cmp	si,#disksizes+4
	jae	got_sectors		! if all else fails, try 9
	xchg	ax, cx			! cx = track and sector
	xor	dx, dx			! drive 0, head 0
	xor	bl, bl
	mov	bh,setup_sects
	inc	bh
	shl	bh,#1			! address after setup (es = cs)
	mov	ax,#0x0201		! service 2, 1 sector
	int	0x13
	jc	probe_loop		! try next value



! Restore es

	mov	ax,#INITSEG
	mov	es,ax

! Print some inane message

	mov	ah,#0x03		! read cursor pos
	xor	bh,bh
	int	0x10
	mov	cx,#9
	mov	bx,#0x0007		! page 0, attribute 7 (normal)
	mov	bp,#msg1
	mov	ax,#0x1301		! write string, move cursor
	int	0x10

! ok, we've written the message, now
! we want to load the system (at 0x10000)

	mov	ax,#SYSSEG
	mov	es,ax		! segment of 0x010000
	call	read_it
	call	kill_motor
	call	print_nl

! After that we check which root-device to use. If the device is
! defined (!= 0), nothing is done and the given device is used.
! Otherwise, one of /dev/fd0H2880 (2,32) or /dev/PS0 (2,28) or /dev/at0 (2,8),
! depending on the number of sectors we pretend to know we have.

	seg cs
	mov	ax,root_dev
	or	ax,ax
	jne	root_defined
	seg cs
	mov	bx,sectors
	mov	ax,#0x0208		! /dev/ps0 - 1.2Mb
	cmp	bx,#15
	je	root_defined
	mov	al,#0x1c		! /dev/PS0 - 1.44Mb
	cmp	bx,#18
	je	root_defined
	mov	al,#0x20		! /dev/fd0H2880 - 2.88Mb
	cmp	bx,#36
	je	root_defined
	mov	al,#0			! /dev/fd0 - autodetect
	seg cs
	mov	root_dev,ax

! after that (everything loaded), we jump to
! the setup-routine loaded directly after
! the bootblock:

	jmpi	0,SETUPSEG

! This routine loads the system at address 0x10000, making sure
! no 64kB boundaries are crossed. We try to load it as fast as
! possible, loading whole tracks whenever we can.
! in:	es - starting address segment (normally 0x1000)
sread:	.word 0			! sectors read of current track
head:	.word 0			! current head
track:	.word 0			! current track

	mov	al,setup_sects
	inc	al
	mov	sread,al
	mov ax,es
	test ax,#0x0fff
die:	jne die			! es must be at 64kB boundary
	xor bx,bx		! bx is starting address within segment
#ifdef __BIG_KERNEL__
#define CALL_HIGHLOAD_KLUDGE .word 0x1eff,0x220 ! call far * bootsect_kludge
				! NOTE: as86 can't assemble this
	CALL_HIGHLOAD_KLUDGE	! this is within setup.S
	mov ax,es
	sub ax,#SYSSEG
	cmp ax,syssize		! have we loaded all yet?
	jbe ok1_read
	mov ax,sectors
	sub ax,sread
	mov cx,ax
	shl cx,#9
	add cx,bx
	jnc ok2_read
	je ok2_read
	xor ax,ax
	sub ax,bx
	shr ax,#9
	call read_track
	mov cx,ax
	add ax,sread
	cmp ax,sectors
	jne ok3_read
	mov ax,#1
	sub ax,head
	jne ok4_read
	inc track
	mov head,ax
	xor ax,ax
	mov sread,ax
	shl cx,#9
	add bx,cx
	jnc rp_read
	mov ax,es
	add ah,#0x10
	mov es,ax
	xor bx,bx
	jmp rp_read

	mov	ax, #0xe2e 	! loading... message 2e = .
	mov	bx, #7
 	int	0x10

	mov	dx,track
	mov	cx,sread
	inc	cx
	mov	ch,dl
	mov	dx,head
	mov	dh,dl
	and	dx,#0x0100
	mov	ah,#2
	push	dx				! save for error dump
	push	cx
	push	bx
	push	ax

	int	0x13
	jc	bad_rt
	add	sp, #8

bad_rt:	push	ax				! save error code
	call	print_all			! ah = error, al = read
	xor ah,ah
	xor dl,dl
	int 0x13

	add	sp, #10
	jmp read_track

 *	print_all is for debugging purposes.  
 *	It will print out all of the registers.  The assumption is that this is
 *	called from a routine, with a stack frame like
 *	dx 
 *	cx
 *	bx
 *	ax
 *	error
 *	ret <- sp
	mov	cx, #5		! error code + 4 registers
	mov	bp, sp	

	push	cx		! save count left
	call	print_nl	! nl for readability

	cmp	cl, #5
	jae	no_reg		! see if register name is needed
	mov	ax, #0xe05 + 'A - 1
	sub	al, cl
	int	0x10

	mov	al, #'X
	int	0x10

	mov	al, #':
	int	0x10

	add	bp, #2		! next register
	call	print_hex	! print it
	pop	cx
	loop	print_loop

	mov	ax, #0xe0d	! CR
	int	0x10
	mov	al, #0xa	! LF
	int 	0x10

 *	print_hex is for debugging purposes, and prints the word
 *	pointed to by ss:bp in hexadecimal.

	mov	cx, #4		! 4 hex digits
	mov	dx, (bp)	! load word into dx
	rol	dx, #4		! rotate so that lowest 4 bits are used
	mov	ax, #0xe0f	! ah = request, al = mask for nybble
	and	al, dl
	add	al, #0x90	! convert al to ascii hex (four instructions)
	adc	al, #0x40
	int	0x10
	loop	print_digit

 * This procedure turns off the floppy drive motor, so
 * that we enter the kernel in a known state, and
 * don't have to worry about it later.
	push dx
	mov dx,#0x3f2
	xor al, al
	pop dx

	.word 0

	.byte 36,18,15,9

	.byte 13,10
	.ascii "Loading"

.org 497
	.word SYSSIZE
	.word SWAP_DEV
	.word RAMDISK
	.word SVGA_MODE
	.word ROOT_DEV
	.word 0xAA55

Copyright 1995-8 Chris Lattner
Last modified: Wednesday, 13-Sep-2000 14:10:31 CDT