Can't boot Marvel Sheevaplug from USB

Maks Verver maksverver at
Fri Sep 18 13:43:24 UTC 2009

James Butler wrote: [regarding USB booting problems]
> Test the fix when it arrives? Scott seems to have some idea what the
> problem is, and a lot of people have been bitten by it, so I'm hoping
> for a fix soon(TM).

Ok, I'll just wait for this then. :-)

> Do mmc(4)/sdhci(4) not support the controller?

I don't think so, but I didn't test extensively. (I added them to the 
kernel config but none of the boot messages suggested the SDIO slot is 
being detected.) I think Linux uses a specific driver for the Marvell 
SDIO port ("mvsdio") but to be honest, I don't really understand how the 
mvsdio, sdhci and mmc drivers work together.

> I've seen it suggested that UFS+softupdates is about as good as a
> conventional filesystem gets for flash media, because it's good at
> minimising transient writes.

True, but I think the internal NAND storage device is not a block 
device, which is why Linux needs the UBI/UBIFS combination to make a 
useful filesystem out of it. I'm not sure if FreeBSD has anything like this.

In any case, it's probably not essential. It would already be nice if 
FreeBSD would be able to run off an USB storage device or MMC in the 
SDIO slot.

Kind regards,
Maks Verver.

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