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Re: investigation of SYSLINUX booting problems

Ian Murdock writes ("Re: investigation of SYSLINUX booting problems"):
> It is easier to manipulate a SYSLINUX Boot Disk.  All one needs to do
> is copy a kernel image to the diskette.  Also, SYSLINUX uses an msdos
> diskette, so users can change the kernel image on the diskette before
> they even install Linux.  With LILO, this is not possible.

One can write a raw floppy image to a floppy disk, if one doesn't want
a filesystem on the floppy too.  The user needs `rawrite' anyway, and
it is probably easier to understand `do with *this* image what you did
with *that* one' than `manipulate the floppy in the following weird

Ian Murdock writes ("Re: investigation of SYSLINUX booting problems"):
> You can do this with syslinux, too.  I think (correct me if I'm wrong,
> someone) that you can do everything with syslinux that you can do with

Except, it seems, support certain systems.  (OK, we may have
identified and solved one of the main problems, but it seems to me
easier to support one program than two.)

Bruce Perens writes ("Re: investigation of SYSLINUX booting problems "):
> [...]
> Which one gets used to create a boot floppy depends on other issues, the
> most important one of which is whether we're trying to cram the root
> filesystem on the same disk as the kernel.

This can be done fairly easily if you use a boot-time uncompressing
technique: the kernel loads the ramdisk from the floppy, which has a
filesystem with the kernel as a file.

Then the kernel runs init, which is actually a wrapper that
uncompresses and untars whatever fraction of stuff you needed to
compress to fit the kernel on.  It then runs the real init (or sh or

Unfortunately you can't easily compress the libc, because tar and gzip
will need it even if the init wrapper doesn't.  Depending on the size
of things you can easily get over 300K to spare, and possibly more.


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