Re: 4 meg boot failures

From: Jef (
Date: Sat Oct 28 2000 - 23:54:02 CEST

On 28 Oct 2000, at 13:27, Michele Andreoli wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 07:29:53PM -0700, winsor SMP nicely wrote:
> > Michele
> >
> > If someone were to strip USR portion (of unneeded for "clone and setup" binaries and such)
> Oh, thank you for the question: the answer is ROOT.gz! We have in ROOT.gz
> the minimal tool able to run the basic scripts that unpack the images
> from the hard-disks. Example: command as "ifconfig" are in USR.
> ROOT.gz contains the shell interpreter and libc5. The editor itself is
> in USR (another example).
> It is not possible to reduce ROOT.gz again, because it is not possible
> to reduce libc5. These are the sizes:
> 470 lib
> 3028 /bin
> In /bin you have: ash, gzip, bzip2, tar, ls, rm, mount etc.
> for base scripting.
> > and rebuilt a new USR on another partition. (with a smaller size???)
> > And then rebuilt B/R/U disk, would this allow a greater chance of success, to at least clone an "extremely" barebones muLinux system to disk, and then upgrade via setup for full muLinux installation after creating swap file???
> > Over the last year or so this "4meg" issue has appeared many times.
> > It would be good if this could be resolved...............
> >
> When I trashed by Debian, I was trying exactly that. But USR is left
> out from this discussion. For 386 with 4M we need TWO floppy disk, as
> ancient Slackware:
> BOOT (floppy 1) uncompressed
> ROOT (floppy 2) uncompressed
> Currently, we have a single floppy with three segment:
> BOOT (uncompressed) ROOT (compressed with gzip)
> and USR( highly compressed with bzip2)
> Only BOOT (the kernel) and ROOT (the shell) are involved in
> installation. So, I'm managing a new floppy disk with ROOT on it,
> but uncompressed, i.e. *mountable*.
> After the BOOT floppy, the kernel ask
> "Please insert the ROOT floppy"
> Luckyly, this feature is still present in 2.0.36 kernel. It
> trasform the system in Amiga1000, and acts like (old) DOS when booting
> from the rescue disk.
> Modern rescue disk (from Win98) use ramdisks, like muLinux does.
> So, we have to emulate old DOS, because it works without
> additional RAM.
> It is very easy to create the ROOT floppy disk:
> # fdformat /dev/fd0H1722
> # mkfs.ext2 /dev/fd0H1722
> # mount /dev/fd0H1722 /a
> # gzip -d ROOT.gz
> # mount -o loop ROOT /mnt
> # mkdir -p /mnt/startup/init
> # cp -a /mnt/* /a
> # umount /a; umount /mnt
> Now, boot using the BOOT+ROOT+USR muLinux floppy, and at boot
> type:
> boot: mulinux load_ramdisk=0
> Put the new ROOT floppy, at request.
> Now, we have muLinux running from the floppy disk, with RAM->0.
> Michele
Related to this subject, you might take a look at the muSamba
disk, wich set's up a 300kb ramdisk, barely enough to expand the
modules. muSamba can't clone to a ext2 partition, but it CAN
clone to umsdos.
But then again, it isn't smallest of one kind.


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