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Re: [Debian] Running Linux from CD

Nico De Ranter <nico@sonycom.com> writes:

> Hi,
> is it possible to run Linux completely from CD. We have created
> a product on top of Linux but now face the problem of having to
> install Linux every time we give a demo to a potential costumer
> (when running on the customer's PC).  Being able to boot and run
> linux completely from CD would make giving demos a lot easier.
> Nico

It sure is possible, as I did this several times. In fact it is the
way Eagle Linux m68k (a Debian based distribution) runs their install
programms and demo mode.

Here are some steps on how to create such a CD.

1. Install a System on ONE Partition with everything setup as
2. Create a second partition of ~16 MB, format and mount it (I assume
   its mounted to /floppy)
3. Copy the directories and files onto /floppy that are needed to
   boot and mount the CD. Link everything else to /cdrom/<dir/file>
   e.g.: (Be carefull to preserve the right, use mc or tar.)
   > cp -R /etc /floppy/etc
   > ln -s /cdrom/usr /floppy/usr
   You should be able to fit the neccessary stuff into that 16 MB
4. Edit /etc/rcS.d/S00cdromboot.sh  (create that)
   inser the following lines:
   mount /dev/<16 MB Partition> / -oremount,rw -n
   mount /dev/<Installed System Partition> /cdrom -oro
5. boot via loadlin with root=/dev/<16 MB partition>
6. Get that working
7. Remove as much as possible from the 16 MB Partition and link that
   to /cdrom, you need to get below 4 MB, or you have to use the
   commandline for bigger ramdisks.
8. Make a 4 MB ramdisk and copy the 16 MB Partition onto it, you should
   have it below 4 MB by now.
9. gzip the ramdisk and put it onto the ONE System Partition, add
   loadlin and the kernel and some bat file for starting.
10. Burn a CD from the ONE System partition.

I hope that doesn't sound to complicated. If you have any questons,
feel free to write.

May the Source be with you.

PS: I could send you an Image of such a CD via ftp, but ist ~150 MB.

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