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Re: questions about state of boot disks

Kirk Reiser <kirk@braille.uwo.ca> writes:

>I maintain a debian ftp mirror and have a set of my own boot disks
>for a package which I have developed for the blind community.  It is
>a speech screen review console.  I just released a new version of my
>package and wanted to produce some new bootable disks, so I went and
>got the kernel sources debian package for 2.2.10.  I took the .config
>from that package to insure I would build a kernel which had all of
>the standard facilities built-in of a debian kernel.  When I was
>finished my kernel was almost 1.1 megabyte.

I reached that point in my attempts to build a boot disk set that
would support a serial console (for a blind user who has a second
computer to act as a serial terminal).  The best workaround I found
was to put the kernel and the root filesystem on different floppies.
The scripts at that time would build a two-floppy set only for smaller
floppy sizes (e.g. 1.2 M), so I just adjusted the threshold.  I'm
attaching the patch.  I have not tried it recently, so it may well
need adjustment.

I do not think we can fit the kernel and root file system on the same
1.44 floppy in the long run, and I do not think it is worth much
trouble to try.  Others disagree.

By the way, the modules will no longer fit on a single floppy, either.

		- Jim Van Zandt

--- Makefile.orig	Sat Jan 30 10:44:19 1999
+++ Makefile	Sun Jan 17 22:19:06 1999
@@ -51,6 +51,10 @@
 kernel_version=$(shell echo $(kernel) | sed -e 's/.*kernel-image-//' | \
 			sed -e 's/_.*//')
+# test version with new kernel
 pcmcia_package=$(shell $(pathcmd:P=pcmcia-modules-$(kernel_version)_*.deb))
 # alpha part
--- rescue.sh.orig	Fri Jan 29 21:40:31 1999
+++ rescue.sh	Fri Jan 29 21:41:12 1999
@@ -187,7 +187,7 @@
 # Do the actual work of making the disk bootable.
-if [ $blocks -le 1400 ]; then
+if [ $blocks -le 91400 ]; then
     echo -n >$rootimage
@@ -308,7 +308,7 @@
 	cp $rootimage $mnt/root.bin
-if [ $blocks -le 1400 ]; then
+if [ $blocks -le 91400 ]; then
     rm -f $rootimage
--- scripts/rescue/messages/C/debian.txt.orig	Sun Jan 10 14:38:19 1999
+++ scripts/rescue/messages/C/debian.txt	Sat Jan 30 09:45:30 1999
@@ -1,14 +1,15 @@
                   Welcome to Debian GNU/Linux __debianversion__!
-This is the Debian Rescue disk. Keep it once you have installed
-your system, as you can boot from it to repair the system on your
-hard disk if that ever becomes necessary (press <F3> for details).
+This is a special version of the Debian Rescue disk, designed for
+installations controlled by a serial port.  Keep it once you have
+installed your system, as you can boot from it to repair the system on
+your hard disk if that ever becomes necessary (press <F3> for
-On most systems, you can go ahead and press <ENTER> to begin
-installation.  You will probably want to try doing that before you try
-anything else.  If you run into trouble, or if you already have
-questions, press the function key <F1> for quick installation help.
+The root filesystem must be read from a second floppy (press <F3> for
+details).  If you run into trouble, or if you already have questions,
+press the function key <F1> for quick installation help.
 WARNING: You should completely back up all of your hard disks before
   proceeding. The installation procedure can completely and
--- scripts/rescue/messages/C/f3.txt.orig	Sun Jan 10 14:38:21 1999
+++ scripts/rescue/messages/C/f3.txt	Sat Jan 30 09:36:18 1999
@@ -5,10 +5,7 @@
 parameters. (Boot parameters are listed in the <F4> and <F5> screens.)
 Available boot methods:
-  Start the installation.
 (For these two methods you need an extra root floppy.)
 ramdisk0 (or ramdisk1)
   Start installation, load the ramdisk from the first 

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