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Re: Questions regarding the base system

From: Christoph Lameter <clameter@waterf.org>
> I looked at the base system and I think we should remove adduser from it.
> I dont think it is essential to be able to add users in a minimal system.
> It is needed right now just to create one initial user.
> Perhaps we could live without it?
> bruce> It's quite small.
> But it requires perl!

I see. The pre-inst and post-inst scripts of many packages require Perl,
as well. Probably some of those packages are in the base.

> Are the MBR features documented somewhere?

I think there's a README. It reads the active flag in the partition
table, and if you hold shift while booting it prompts for the partition
number. The source is very short, but is written in i86 assembler because
the executable must fit within 440 bytes on the boot block.

> What is the purpose of the syslinux package in the base?
> bruce>SysLinux is used to make the boot floppy during the installation
> bruce>procedure. It provides a working "boot:" prompt, which you don't
> bruce>get if you just DD the kernel to the floppy. It's very small.
> The base system is not used during the installation procedure. So it does
> not have a purpose in the base?

The current installation menu program does indeed make use of the base
system to make the hard disk and floppy bootable. You can replace this
with your new boot disk creation script.

> There is a kernel image in rex's base.
> bruce>Oops. That's a mistake.
> I would like it to be in the base system. Installation via loadlin
> requires a kernel image somewhere when access to the dos partition is
> quite a problem.

Currently, the installation menu program asks you to insert the boot
floppy and copies the kernel from the floppy to the hard disk. This
allows you to switch what kernel will be installed by switching boot
disks, which seems to work well. This gets more complicated if you are
not booting from a floppy. It also gets more complicated if there are
separate floppies for the modules, which we will need because there are
now too many modules to fit on one floppy.


Bruce Perens, Pixar Animation Studios
*** "Toy Story" video tape in U.S. stores October 30 ***
Worldwide box office total for "Toy Story": $353,275,005

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