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Re: [Debian] Running Linux from CD



On Fri, Jul 03, 1998 at 05:34:06PM +0200, Brederlow wrote:
> > They didn't have space for it anymore.  It'd be an interesting thing to set
> > up to give people at LUG meetings.  It's kinda what I wanted to do with a
> > Zip disk..  Bring me a Zip disk and I'll give you a working Linux system
> > that doesn't use any HD space.
> 
> I used a 30 MB Linux on a zip for some time here at university. Not
> fast, but far better than using NT. :) Since zips are rw, one can just 
> install a normal Debian on it.

Debian wouldn't install in 30 megs.  I think I'll try for 60-70.


> I'm working on it. I also want to have the CD exported via nfs and
> possibly have other machines boot via nfs. All one would need to show
> how Linux work in a network is one CD and one bootdisk.
> Using some loopback device to store data is also in my mind,
> especially for swap.
> 
> I heard that swap might not be on a MSDos filesystem. Is that still
> true and what is the reason?

There'd be no reason for loopback filesystem for swap...  Linux can handle a
swapfile.  I don't see why it would matter to Linux if the thing was on fat
since fat is owned by root traditionally..  Other than that you can't set
the permissions to 640 for the thing..  That'd constitute a security risk,
but one I think would be manageable if you mount the FAT partition securely.


> > Could be quite useful.  I'll look in to building something to do this if
> > nobody else has once I start working on the Zip version of the same.  More
> > will fit on the CD-ROM, but the Zip is more upgradable and I can build the
> > Zip disks custom from a mirror..  =>
> 
> Do you have a script to build the zip? Can you mount the zip ro to
> simulate a CD?

No.  I'll prolly hack the boot floppies images to do the same and then do
what they do with other packages to make a super rescue disk first.  WHen I
have that figured out, I'll look into more complex things like having the
small installation on it.  Loading Linux on this thing is not likely gonna
be easy.  I'm thinking that the kernel will load a ramdisk image and use the
proc filesystem to find the Zip drive.  Once it does that it can use the
thing normally in theory.  =>

We'll see.  I only have the SCSI model so I can only do the original SCSI
and parallel port versions.  When people see how I do it, they're welcome to
send me info on how to do the same with the Zip Plus SCSI, the same with the
Zip Plus parallel driver, and the IDE models..

For an idea of how I'm gonna ID this thing, each disk Linux sees on my IDE
bus is listed in /proc/ide/..  In there I have ide0/ and ide1/, but I also
have hda and hdc, symlinks to inside those devices..  So, I can find my hard
drive by looking for WDC in /proc/ide/hd?/model.  When I get the new SCSI
cables I should be able to do the same with the SCSI bus and I -KNOW- what
the SCSI Zip drive's ID is.  That kind of thing will help me ID the drive by
the device name Linux uses, which should let me access it fine.

You won't likely need to do all of that for a CD-ROM.  Certainly, you'd not
be able to.  The only reason I'm able to is that there aren't many models of
Zip drive out there to contend with.

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