Re: linux boot/root disks, freeBsd errors, SGI speeds, deschall + , quake

Trent Piepho (
Wed, 14 May 1997 03:48:42 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 14 May 1997, Eating Before Swimming wrote:
> However - anyone have an idea of HOW to do this on a COUPLE floppies? I
> dont want to create new partitions. They have 100s of megs of games
> they've paid for and dont want to go thru the pain of reinstallation if
> I munge something. They are a business, I have to guarantee I wont
> destroy anything. Im not about to FIPS their partitions.

Why not use a ramdisk? Like the redhat install does it, after the kernel
boots one or more floppes are read into memory and then the ramdisk is mounted
as the root filesystem. Unless these computers only have 4 megs, you aren't
in any danger of running out of ram.

> A pair of floppies, or better, one disk for each machine would be IDEAL.
> Any ideas? Is it possible? How big would deschall for linux be
> STATICALLY linked (too huge to bother, I spose - I guess the libc-lite
> stuff is probably best to get everything onto one floppy?)

It wouldn't be very big. libc version 5.2.18 is only 550k, so you could try
and stuff that on a floppy. I think all you would need is:

kernel 300k
deschall 35k
a shell (ash is small) 61k
libc 550k
init 19k
ifconfig 21k
route 19k
a few scripts 5k

total 1010k

You can compress the filesystem on the floppy, so even if you go to 2-3 megs
with stuff you don't really need (like agetty and login, in case you want to
log on) you should still be able to stuff it on a floppy. You only need one
disk, as you can remove it when the machine is done booting.

|Gazing up to the breeze of the heavens \ on a quest, meaning, reason |
|came to be, how it begun \ all alone in the family of the sun |
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|Trent Piepho ( -- Metallica |