Re: PNP addons

From: Michele Andreoli (
Date: Fri Dec 24 1999 - 05:53:31 CET

On Mon, Dec 20, 1999 at 05:32:44PM -1000, Ronald Willis nicely wrote:
> Great Linux distro,
> I am excited to install but I am highly interested in your PNP addons from
> the web page. Please show where to download. It will provide a great
> educational experience.

Ron, no addon called PNP exists for muLinux. Official addons are EXT,TCL,
X11,VNC and GCC. I called this kind of material "plug-and-play" addons in
my web page because they can be "plugged" in the file-system, and "played"

This feature is achieved using the PATH stack: binaries on newer addons take
precedence on binaries in older addons. For example: with only the BASE
floppy, the "mv" command is a fake script; mounting EXT addon, the "mv"
binary is /usr/local/bin/mv, the good one.

Another (important) example is the "login" command: if you mount EXT,
the true "login" take place, and the fake/rustic one in /bin/login

This of course, is one of the major difference beetwen muLinux and
other distro. But this is possible in muLinux, because it use a
dynamic file-system, builded using a stack of ramdisks.

Using this simple idea, I can provide a single floppy Linux with
emergency scripts, and a growing full Linux, with other addons.

Ramdisks in kernel 2.0.36 are at max 16, /dev/ram0->/dev/ram15, with
the limit of about 4M for ramdisk (this may be changed via boot
parameters, of course).

Actually, all the addons are compatible, i.e. they can coexist
together, because they use different ramdisk number. But is not
impossibile to conceive incompatible addons.

For example: the USR segment in the 3th part of first floppy, is
really an addon. The only difference is: it start at offset!=0.
It is possible to provide different USR segment for particular
single floppy purpose.

Michele (i'm fracturing panettone, a this moment)

I'd like to conclude with a positive statement, but I can't 
remember any. Would two negative ones do?       -- Woody Allen
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