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Bug#988472: Bug#604839: [installation-guide] Planned overhaul of chapter 4.3 "Preparing Files for USB Memory Stick Booting"

Holger Wansing <hwansing@mailbox.org> writes:

> Hi,
> David <bouncingcats@gmail.com> wrote (Sat, 9 Oct 2021 21:56:24 +1100):
>> I see that the suggestion to use 'cat' comes
>> from #604839.
>> Yes, 'cat' will "work", however I feel there is no
>> good reason to use 'cat' there.
>> Because the purpose of 'cat' is for concatenating
>> multiple files, and it also requires a shell redirection
>> from stdout. Both are unnecessary here.
>> I suggest this command should be used:
>> # cp /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin /dev/sdX

Wow that's a new capability :-)  IIRC cp couldn't historically write
directly to block devices, and DEST had to be either a target file or
directory.  It makes me wonder if install(1) has also gained spooky new
capabilities :-p

> The documentation in the syslinux package also has
> 	A simple MBR, roughly on par with the one installed by DOS (but
> 	unencumbered), is included in the SYSLINUX distribution.  To install
> 	it under Linux, simply type:
> 	cat mbr.bin > /dev/XXX
> 	... where /dev/XXX is the device you wish to install it on.
> so I guess there is some good reason to do it this way.

Holger, do you think this could be from the days of

    cat bootloader.bin kernel.image userspace.bin > /block/device


AFAICT these semantics aren't totally totally anachronistic, because of
systemd-boot's "unified image" or "unified kernel image" support...but
that said, I'm not sure if this is an example of simple
appended/concatenated images.


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