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Date:	Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:57:01 -0700
From:	Kevin Hilman <>
To:	Nicolas Pitre <>
Cc:	Stephen Boyd <>,
	Taras Kondratiuk <>,
	Thomas Petazzoni <>,
	Russell King <>,
	Jason Cooper <>,
	Victor Kamensky <>,
	LKML <>,
	Ben Dooks <>,
	Olof Johansson <>,
	Linaro Networking <>,
	linux-arm-kernel <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] ARM: zImage: ensure header in LE format for BE8 kernels

Nicolas Pitre <> writes:

> On Thu, 19 Jun 2014, Kevin Hilman wrote:
>> I think this should probably be officialized since we've taken away the
>> ability for magic-number checking tools (like 'file') to distinguish
>> between big- and little-endian zImages.
>> For now, I've updated my tools to check for 'setend be' in ARM and
>> Thumb2 mode, but if this does get officialized, I'll gladly move over to
>> it.
> Would you ACK this patch?
> ----- >8
> ARM: zImage: identify kernel endianness
> With patch #8067/1 applied, it is no longer possible to determine the

minor nit: I'd rather see a commit id (commit subject) instead of the
reference in RMK's patch tracker, but other than that...

> endianness of a compiled kernel image.  This normally shouldn't matter
> to the boot environment, except for those cases where the selection of
> a ramdisk or root filesystem with a matching endianness has to be
> automated.
> Let's add a flag to the zImage header indicating the actual endianness.
> Four bytes from offset 0x30 can be interpreted as follows:
> 	04 03 02 01	big endian kernel
> 	01 02 03 04	little endian kernel
> Anything else should be interpreted as "unknown", in which case it is
> most likely that patch #8067/1 was not applied either and the zImage
> magic number at offset 0x24 could be used instead to determine
> endianness. No zImage before this patch ever produced 0x01020304 nor
> 0x04030201 at offset 0x30 so there is no confusion possible.
> Signed-off-by: Nicolas Pitre <>

Acked-by: Kevin Hilman <>
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