Technical information from LinuxDevices
For the Zaurus a special kernel+initramfs has been developed. This special-purpose kernel is small enough to be flashed on NAND and features a framebuffer graphical menu for the selection of boot media containing the kernel to be kexec'ed in the second phase.
Multi-partition cards and lots of filesystems are supported. The kernels to be launched are searched for in /boot of each available partition. There is a also a configuration file (/boot/boot.cfg) which allows selection of other kernels, custom kernel command lines, and specifies the label and the icon for each instance.
How to install:
Just unpack zaurus-installer-YOURMACHINE.tar.gz on a free (FAT or EXT2/3 formatted) partition: the package contains the kexecboot-kernel and the updater.sh utility. Then proceed as usual for flashing (switch off, pull battery out, insert battery again, before inserting AC plug press OK+Power On. In the Japanese Menu select 4 and finally 3 for SD card or 4 for CF).
For the SL-5500 (collie) and optionally for other Zaurus too, flashing is possible just using the routines of the original firmware: reset the unit, Press C and D button during restart.
NOTE: To fully clean your mtd partitions use flash_eraseall -j dev/mtd2 and flash_eraseall -j /dev/mtd3. If you want a rootfs in nand, this must be in the .jffs2 format. Just rename your-image-rootfs.jffs2 to initrd.bin and copy it on the card with updater.sh: the image will be flashed on /dev/mtd2. You can even have a second image in nand: updater.sh will search for a home.bin file to be flashed on mtd3.