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Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System, The by Marshall Kirk McKusick, George V. Neville-Neil

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Chapter 14. Startup and Shutdown

When a computer is powered on, there is nothing running on the CPU. For a program to be set running, the binary image of the program must first be loaded into memory from a storage device. Many systems automatically start programs that reside in nonvolatile storage devices such as read-only memories (ROMs). Once the image of the program is loaded, the CPU must be directed to start execution at the first memory location of the loaded program. This process of bootstrapping a program into execution starts a program running on a CPU.

In this chapter, we examine how the FreeBSD kernel, or any other similar program, is bootstrapped. We then study the operation of the system during the initialization phase, ...

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