That was one of the useful links which I had found which helped me get as far as I have, but thanks for reminding me of it, because I'd forgotten which of those links held the information I am starting to become in need of!
The main difficulty of standing on other shoulders to help move things forward is everyone who has done it seems to have used Linux. That leaves Windows as the second class cousin, supported solely for flashing Compute Modules.
What works for Linux often doesn't work half as well on Windows. All diskless full-Raspbian boot solutions I have seen require NFS drivers and even the GPIO Expander seems to have gone out of its way to make its use with Windows extremely difficult, by way of using CDC ACM, CDC ECM and IPv6.
Still; what's done for Linux does give a good indication of what needs to be done for Windows so it is all useful stuff.
ejolson wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:58 am
It would be nice if someone created a Windows install wizard that automatically set things up so an SD-card-less Pi would automatically boot to Raspbian when plugged in using a USB cable.
That should be possible, and perhaps not too hard to do. A Windows App, running in the system tray, can check the USB system for the presence of a "2708 Boot" device, and then invoke rpiboot.exe, and that's just about it.
It should be possibly to rewrite rpiboot in Python or a more Windows friendly language to help with that, but just calling the provided rpiboot would work for now.
The harder part is setting up what needs to be put out to actually boot the Pi, setting it up in such a way that the Pi and PC can communicate as necessary once the initial boot phase has completed.
We could already auto-boot Bare Metal bootcode.bin, Bare Metal Ultibo and other kernel.img, code, but full-Raspbian or other OS's requires refactoring what's done for Linux into something which will work with Windows and actually implementing it.
I was initially surprised so little appears to have been done or achieved in that direction. On reflection I suspect it's because Windows and Linux advocates are poles apart and it requires knowledge mostly held by those who have little interest in Windows, have little desire to see it working on Windows, are reluctant or adverse to helping achieve that.
That's understandable. To disklessly boot full-Raspbian over USB one currently has to use Linux and there's little reason Linux advocates would want to see that change. Some are quite happy there is that 'Linux lock-in' and don't want to lose or dilute that. It's the same resistance we see to booting a full Windows desktop on a Pi; they'd rather discourage that than encourage or help with that.
I think that even so, it's only a matter of time.