Some unordered thoughts about boot on Android-based devices
Common boot/recovery build
We are building both
recovery.img deliberately as being the
same configuration, except for one forcing the generation selection menu to be
This allows us to have better homogeneity for the build process as "Boot as recovery" devices would need to be handled otherwise.
This means that the only difference between a
those older devices is a configuration line in
/etc/boot/config that states
the image is built as recovery. Everything else is the same exact build.
"Boot as recovery" devices, instead, rely solely on the lack of
skip_initramfs in the kernel command-line to switch between the two boot
Recovery as pseudo-A/B
For devices that are not "Boot as recovery", this setup has the added benefit that the recovery partition is always a fully functional stage-1 able to boot in the system.
Tinkering on-device is, thus, less scary as one can flash a boot.img knowing that they can reboot to recovery if it fails to do a proper full boot.
It is recommended to flash
boot.img first, validate it works, and then to
recovery.img if you are not in a situation where you can trivially
recovery a broken boot.