Re: customising muLinux

From: Michele Andreoli (
Date: Wed Jun 14 2000 - 08:09:56 CEST

On Tue, Jun 13, 2000 at 09:16:26AM +0200, Alexander Polonsky nicely wrote:
> Hello, Michele!
> > Maybe my opinion is minority, but muLinux is designed as emergency,
> > pedagogical, poket tool. To change kernel and to change libc is not
> > in the plan. When I wish to recompile something, I use a complete
> > Linux installation.
> OK. Let me a little change the question: Could you please tell me, how
> have you reduced the Linux to the size of a 1.72 floppy? How did you
> complied the libraries, binaries and modules, how have you changed the
> startup scripts?

No black magic, and no art, only handicraft. I didn't made smaller libc,
or smaller kernel: I only choose the smallest in my hardisk.
I started figuring what was the minimum compentent's list able to run
an usable system.

In the command side, I used the "blackbox" technics: a single binary able
to start many simple command, using argv[0]. You find blackbox in /bin and
can notice many /bin/* command are simple symlinks to blackbox.
I used many script, as command surrogate: they use a own "blackbox",
/bin/gateway and symlinks.

A lot of other binaries are simply reduced, stripping out something like:
full screen support or exotics command line options. A good example of
that is "hdparm".

Other command are written by scratch, as personal exercise; example "tr",

The best part of floppy costrution was been to segment all in the single
files: boot,root.gz, usr.bz2, with increasing compressing ratio.
BOOT contains kernel and saved profile (it is mountable in /startup); ROOT.gz
contains the basic system able to load the very first+
mulinux addon: USR.bz2.


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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