Boot floppy/root floppy to ramdisk, add more later?

Boot floppy/root floppy to ramdisk, add more later?

Post by Karsten M. Se » Wed, 03 Sep 1997 04:00:00

I am looking for suggestions on how to run Linux fully from ramdisk,
in order to get around some build problems I'm experiencing.

System is a P188 with 96MB RAM, plenty of room for a pretty
substantial Linux install.  What I'd like to do is create boot and
root floppies, mounting / to a ramdisk.  Once a minimal setup is up, I
would add additional files to /etc and /lib files to allow a kernal
rebuild, either from floppy or from a local harddrive (not bootable,
but mountable after boot).

Going offline to try this, we'll see how it works.


1. Making boot-floppy w/ ramdisk as root

        I've recently got myself a tapedrive, and now of course
I need a floppy to boot a kernel from with the tape driver included
(I'm using a QIC-117 tape, so it's not in the standard kernel).

        If I recall it correctly, the SLS disks use a configuration
where a ramdisk image is loaded from the boot floppy and is then used
as the root partition. I looked up the appropriate file (ramdisk.c)
in the kernel source, and it actually has code for loading a ramdisk.
The only thing is, I have got no idea whatsoever how the write the
ramdisk image to the boot-disk and how to get some pre-loaded files into
that image.

        I would very much appreciate if anyone could give me a hint.

        By the way, I'm using ftape-9.6 with 0.99.13 and it
works just fine, contrary to other recent postings. (Only minor hacking
needed mostly due to 0.99.13 being compiled with C and ftape with C++)
Only thing is, the tape won't keep streaming if I use gzip; but apart
from that I backed up my entire filesystem and it compared nicely.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,




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