Lepton floppy Linux

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Leptons: a family of particles consisting of the electron, the muon and the tau, along with their neutrinos.

  What is Lepton

Lepton is the temporary name for a single floppy Linux, based on the kernel series 2.4.x. It is my lab where I do experiment with the framebuffer device in Linux. lepton boot logo


  • Floppy disk is formatted 1722k, and it is pure, mountable ext2fs
  • Kernel is 2.4.18
  • Support framebuffer graphics (console 1024x758 and 800x600)
  • Using j2 and fbppm you can load JPEG images
  • It runs enterely in RAM, as usual.
  • Filesystems supported: ext2, isofs, vfat, ntfs
  • Ethernet networking enabled: 8139too and 3c59x drivers built-in
  • Boots using LILO, with full screen bootlogo
  • Uses full busybox 0.60 from Debian + my additional BB (rustic busybox)
  • Some assembly commands from asmutils
  • It is a complete UNIX in the console, with init, shell history, multi-console, etc.
  • gpm mouse server (the mouse in the console: only PS/2 mice)
  • EE assembler text-editor
  • Full screen ncurses applications from muLinux: pion (filemanager), help (hypertextual help), info (system info)
  • Screen Saver framebuffer demo, with flying jpeg.
  • MEMTEST utility (new).


  • Lepton is not user-configurable (yet).
  • At the prompt, you must load your preferred keymap with: loadkeys it|us|br|de ...
  • Lepton has no memory: it runs in RAM.


  • Remove the ncurses library, writing a sort of wrapping library interface versus the framebuffer graphics.
  • populate the /usr/doc with a mini-course on UNIX shell and scripting, for my students.

  Binaries in the disk

From Debian Busybox

agetty    chroot       dmesg       echo     head      login     pidof     rmmod    tar       uptime
ar        chvt         domainname  env      hostname  ls        ping      route    tee       vi
ash       clear        dos2unix    false    id        lsmod     poweroff  sed      tftp      wc
-ash      cmp          du          fbset    insmod    mkdir     printf    sh       touch     wget
basename  cp           dumpkmap    find     kill      mknod     ps        sleep    tr        which
bash      create.kmap  e3          free     killall   mkswap    pwd       sort     true      whoami
busybox   cut          e3em        gateway  killall5  modprobe  rdate     stty     tty       xargs
cat       date         e3ne        grep     ln        more      reboot    swapoff  umount    yes
chgrp     dd           e3pi        gunzip   loadkeys  mount     reset     swapon   uname     zcat
chmod     df           e3vi        gzip     loadkmap  mv        rm        sync     uniq
chown     dirname      e3ws        halt     logger    nc        rmdir     tail     unix2dos
init insmod modprobe
From Rustic Busybox
ip_broadcast  ip_network  modprobe  msg  scan
bb         fastdd    fortune    hdparm    ile   mawk    mon     pion      screen_saver  timeout
chkpasswd  fbppm     fsck.ext2  help      info  md5sum  muawk   poke      setconsole    wave
crypt      fdformat  ftpget     hexd      j2    miterm  muhex   random    setlevel      xopen
expr       fdisk     gpm        ifconfig  less  mixer   muless  readchar  time

  Download Lepton


  How to copy Lepton on the floppy disk

	# fdformat /dev/fd0u1722
	# cat lepton-VERSION.raw > /dev/fd0u1722
	# sync
You need Linux, for that. DOS/Win9x users can use muLinux (in this case).


Lepton is released under GPL, but is totally unsupported by the Author. The author is Michele Andreoli. Please, do not ask and do not report bugs: it is only a demo. Source code for fbppm.c (framebuffer PPM image loader), j2 (jpeg to PPM converter) and for the rustic Busybox are available in the same directory.


Last update: 21 Oct 2003