The main idea is to boot a kernel, passing it all needed parameters. This is what the boot loader part of PALO does (see Section 3.4). Once it has been called by the firmware, it will load the Linux Kernel in memory, passing to it the given arguments, and tell the processor to branch to its entry point. This will begin the execution of the kernel on the PA-RISC computer.
The PALO management tool can transform the usual vmlinux into a PA-RISC bootable lifimage, including or not RAMDISK or NFSROOT support. However, it can also make a hard disk drive bootable, specifying the console output and the root device. We are going to see all these points precisely.
What must be kept in mind is that vmlinux is the kernel alone, which is not bootable as is. It needs PALO to be turned into a bootable lifimage for CD or network boot, or to be loaded at boot time from a prepared hard disk drive. Have a look at Glossary about these words. Quoting a well known PA/Linux hacker: