This is about the new Doslinux distribution created by Kent Robotti.
Unlike the UMSDOS version you may have heard about, the latest one uses the
loopback device to access an "image" file. The image file is a true e2fs
filesystem that appears as a single large file to DOS. Much cleaner than
the -LINUX---.--- "magic directory" approach taken by UMSDOS, though it does
require you to stake a claim up front for all the space you'll ever want.
I ran into one setup problem, and thought I should share the workaround for
After you run "setup" you'll run a routine called "looplinux" which will
prompt for "Your DOS or Win95/98 directory". When it prompted me to enter
/dev/???? I thought that only the four ???? were significant -- wrong! It
wants you to type the complete device name *including* the leading "/dev/"
-- the first time this happened, I entered just the "hda1" and got a kernel
panic. It was pretty obvious, though, since the kernel was trying to mount
"hda1" and not finding any such device.
I ran "setup" and "looplinux" from my E: drive, but even though I entered
"/dev/hda6" it still reported the free space on my /dev/hda1 (C:) drive --
AND that is where it built the image file. "This is bad news," I thought.
Then when I tried to boot it, the kernel panic message told me it WAS trying
to mount /dev/hda6 as I had specified! So the looplinux routine was using
my input when configuring the initial ramdisk, but it wasn't taking it into
account when building the filesystem image.
Tell looplinux to use the drive you really want, then exit to DOS and use
the MOVE command to move DOSLINUX.IMG from C:\DOSLINUX\SYSTEM to
E:\DOSLINUX\SYSTEM (or whatever drive you really wanted). Yes, it works!
I was lucky to have enough space on my C: drive to create the image file as
large as I wanted it -- if you were trying to put it onto a system that was
tight for space on its C: drive, you'd be out of luck for now. But it looks
like a fairly minor tweak to the looplinux routine will fix that. I hasten
to add, both the kernel and the strange new "loop" filesystem are working
I disagree strongly with those who say that Doslinux isn't "worth the
hassle." If you have a notebook or other system that you've never had the
nerve to reformat for e2fs, you really ought to give Doslinux a try.