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2001 Dec 30 16:43

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[vox] Was: README.1ST, Now Shwaine's custom Boot Disks -feel free to cha
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[vox] Was: README.1ST, Now Shwaine's custom Boot Disks -feel free to changesubject again if desired.



On Fri, 22 Jun 2001, Shwaine wrote:
> I meanwhile will be retreating to day 3 of my battle with homegrown
> root/boot disks, pondering why the howto instructions work for two 
> seperate disks but blow up like a big stink bomb when using one 
> combined disk.

Asking some obvious questions here:
If you are making a single boot disk installation system, I assume you
have a root.bin file image saved on the same boot floppy as the image and
a copy of the kernel and a way to load the kernel on that floppy. Yes?

You should probably use a minix filesystem for your root.bin image and it
can be hady to use the loopback interface to modify the image. You did
this?

Last, the readmes often say to write the root.bin image directly to the
floppy device (/dev/fd0). Obviously, if this was done, it would over-write
the boot sector and first parts of the booting floppy\ and render it
useless. For this reason the root.bin should be save on the floppy disk as
a file, and you should copmpress it with something like gzip before
storing it on the floppy.

My recollection of making custom boot floppies for different distros is a
bit hazy. If you could refer to the document you are using, I might be
able to offer some more suggestions on things to check.

I seemed to recall you made the minix filesystem as an image and stored
all you wnated in the root fs on that image. Then you compress the image
with gzip (dont know if they ever included bzip2 supprt). If gzip is used,
try gzip --best filename. Then you rename the file to root.zip and copy to
the same floppy as the kernel disk *but* as a file, not written directly
to the device. Then a command line boot arguement handed to the loading
linux kernel may include root=root.bin (if LOADLIN.EXE is used, for
example.) This should cause the preload of the root.bin file with the
kernel and avoid it asking you to insert the root.bin floppy.

Now-a-days, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make universal boot
floppies with linux and all of the modules needed, and a root filesystem
all on one floppy. It is however, still posible to compile your own kernel
with only the minimal options needed by you, no modules, and still manage
to et a minimal root filesystem in image format all on one floppy. :-)

Ages ago I made custome debian boot floppes for 2.0 and 2.2 kernels to get
network installation with pcmcia cards not supported under the std distro
boot floppies, but supported with the latest pcmcia-cs. Now-a-days, making
a custom bootable boot CD is the better solution. :-)

One of these days, I might make a dual boot linx/dos CD-ROM if I feel
tremendiously insane.

Anyway, more info on your issues would be helpful...

-ME



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