[RC5] Linux boot disks

Gerald Richter glassman1 at neonshadow.net
Wed Jun 21 20:12:02 EDT 2000


Andrew Frank wrote:
> 
> That'd be great if you did.  When you're done, at the very least, you should
> get yourself a link from the FAQ-o-matic so that people will be able to find
> it.

Maybe. :o/ Was actually thinking Freashmeat, but that's okay.

> I personally am better at using *nix from a user's prospective than an
> admin's perspective, so even simple things like mounting/unmounting a floppy
> or CD-ROM can be a pain for me.  I don't know how small you can get it.  As
> one person who would use it, this is what would be useful to me (just
> suggestions, take 'em or leave 'em).

Cool. :o) Doesn't hurt to bounce ideas around.
 
> First, it would be nice if the disk were formatted with a standard 1.44MB
> format, that way the buffers can be fetched/flushed by sneakernetting the
> whole disk into virtually any 'net connected computer (Windows, Linux, MacOS
> anyway).

UMSDOS filesystem... Cute idea, but chews up valuable space. Might
consider it for a version w/o networking support. Just have to see how
much space everything else takes up.

Hrm... bash, kernel, net utils, not much else needed...
 
> Second, SMP support would be cool, but as of yet, I think most SMP boxes
> have hard drives so this isn't as important.

Easy, with basically no overhead under linux. I actually ran a dual
P/133 for several months w/o an hd before adding some and making it a
server.
 
> Third, inclusion of tools like uptime, top would be nice (I don't know
> what's built into the kernel and what isn't, but those would be nice if they
> just magically worked somehow).

Uptime is monitored by the kernel in /proc/uptime, as to top I can't
imagine it being too big. The uptime util is simply a script that does a
'cat /proc/uptime', small and easy to include.
 
> Fourth, the ability to set/change passwords, create accounts would be
> cool.  As well, enough free space to use it as an internet connection
> sharing router would be nice.  I realize that this is really pushing what
> can be done in 1.39MB though, so I'd be surprised to see it.

What would be the point of multiple users? It's doable, but a pain in
the ass. The root filesystem would be stored in a .tgz, and would have
to be updated if one took the trouble of supporting multiple users from
a floppy distro.

As to connection sharing/firewalling, that's cake. Most of that is
kernel based, and what isn't is just a couple hundred bytes. There are
several floppy based distros that are built exclusivly for routing.

-Gerald

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