linux boot disks WITHOUT touching partitions (UMSDOS?)

Eating Before Swimming (
Fri, 16 May 1997 21:39:03 -0400 (EDT)

I'd like to get those 8 P166s sleeping at night at my disposal running
DESCHALL for our effort. One of them has to proxy since the whole
network will be runing off of one dynamic PPP connection. Actually
let me spec out what the limitations are:

- one dynamic PPP connection (must run u2t here, ouch perl on a floppy!)
- 7 other machines behind that PPP server box
- Win95 Pentiums and *I CANNOT TOUCH THE PARTITIONS*. I can steal a meg or
10 of disk, but thats it. It would have to be a DOS FILESYSTEM in that
case. (can UMSDOS help here?)

Perhaps the 7 machines should just run the win95 client. Thats probably
a good idea for now.

I still have to run a UDP relay gateway on the one machine, whcih
also has to automagically dialup the dynamic PPP link. This could
be nasty on floppy.

Looks like the best solution is to have something like the kernel
on a boot disk (or mebbe use LOADLIN from dos! yes!) with its root
filesystem on a floppy (unless LOADLIN can have a root filesystem
specified for it).

My idea here is to use UMSDOS which is designed for non-invasive
usage of LINUX on a mainly DOS/Win system.

Does anyone have knowledge of how to setup UMSDOS and boot from
loadlin or the like? Should I have ROOT on a floppy, and say
/usr on UMSDOS, and a script in /etc/rc.local run the PPP and UDP gateway
and deschall itself. I woudl assume that normal mounting of UMSDOS
"partitions" is possible via mount hitting /etc/fstab.

I think this would help alot of people, especially those who want
to get the extra few 1000 keys that linux offers over Win95.