Patent Title: Boot architecture for microkernel-based systems
Abstract: A data processing system having an operating system environment, an operating system kernel, and a plurality of device drivers, wherein the plurality of device drivers are programs separate from the kernel. The data processing system includes a kernel that excludes device driver functions. The device drivers in the data processing system are user level tasks or programs. A boot volume stored in a storage device in the data processing system is provided, wherein the boot volume includes: (1) a file anchor, indicating a starting point to find files associated with the boot volume; (2) a plurality of file headers associated with the file anchor, each file header including an identification of files associated with the boot volume; and (3) a plurality of block list elements, each block list element identifying a contiguous block of data in a storage device, wherein data structures comprising a file may be identified and accessed using at least one block list element. A bootstrap task is used to load files into the memory from the data storage device using the boot volume to access the appropriate files, wherein the operating system environment may be initialized.