Installing w/out floppy drive?

Installing w/out floppy drive?

Post by Mike Overvol » Mon, 24 Feb 1997 04:00:00



Is it possible to get around the boot disk routine?  I ask since
I don't have a working floppy.  Respond to

Thanks
Mike Overvold

--

 
 
 

Installing w/out floppy drive?

Post by Frank Sweets » Mon, 24 Feb 1997 04:00:00


: Is it possible to get around the boot disk routine?  I ask since
: I don't have a working floppy.  Respond to

:  
: Thanks
: Mike Overvold

Well, the redhat cd is bootable, if your cdrom supports it.

--
"Oh, I took that thing [emacs] off,  |  RedHat Linux 2.1.26 i386
it was huge and nobody uses it. It's |  Because reboots are for upgrades!

        -MSDOS programmer/sysadmin   |   for pgp key.        frank sweetser

 
 
 

Installing w/out floppy drive?

Post by Juergen Il » Fri, 28 Feb 1997 04:00:00


Hallo,
: Is it possible to get around the boot disk routine?  I ask since
: I don't have a working floppy.  Respond to

:  
: Thanks
: Mike Overvold
:
There are some distributions, that use loadlin to load the kernel and the
Ramdiskimage from CD. So it is not necessary to have a working floppy to
install it. One of these distributions is the SuSE-distribution, which is
very popular in germany (have a look at http://www.suse.de/). I don't know,
which other distributions have such a feature. This method is only applicable,
if you have DOS and a working CDROM-driver on your harddisk...

hope that helps,

 
 
 

Installing w/out floppy drive?

Post by Jacky » Sat, 01 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Same for Slackware 96.


> Hallo,

> : Is it possible to get around the boot disk routine?  I ask since
> : I don't have a working floppy.  Respond to

> :
> : Thanks
> : Mike Overvold
> :
> There are some distributions, that use loadlin to load the kernel and the
> Ramdiskimage from CD. So it is not necessary to have a working floppy to
> install it. One of these distributions is the SuSE-distribution, which is
> very popular in germany (have a look at http://www.suse.de/). I don't know,
> which other distributions have such a feature. This method is only applicable,
> if you have DOS and a working CDROM-driver on your harddisk...

> hope that helps,


 
 
 

Installing w/out floppy drive?

Post by Byron A Je » Sun, 02 Mar 1997 04:00:00




>Is it possible to get around the boot disk routine?  I ask since
>I don't have a working floppy.  Respond to


This is one of the tasks on my ever expanding TODO list. I really don't
understand this sick love affair with floppies. Frankly they suck. Neither
of my home machines nor my portable has a working floppy. I very rarely
miss them because Linux is a child of the internet and CDROM, which is how
I install every bit of software I have.

Installing without a floppy is kind of a chicken and egg problem because
to do the reall install you need access to root filesystem on the floppy
and you don't have a floppy.

The saving grace is that the boot images are available on the internet and
the CDROM. Unfortunately they are in floppy bootimage format with isn't
in a format that's easily readable.

But there's a sledgehammer for that - the loopback device. This extremely
obscure yet useful fellow let's you mount a regular file as a block device.
It's great for looking at file based CDROM, MSDOS (as in DOSEMU), and linux
filesystem images and is invaluable for building compressed versions of
boot floppies (which of course I can't stand ;-). The problem? Only runs
under Linux. Chicken, egg, really sucks.

So you can't do this without a Linux box, and of course you don't have a
Linux box. Easiest thing to do is to create a mini Linux box using one of
the DOS based Micro Linux distributions: MiniLinux (old as dirt), Xdenu,
DiLinux, and tinylinux.

So this is what I do for Slackware (which I still use for now):

1) Use another Linux box to mount the rootdisk as a loop device.
2) Use another loop device as a UMSDOS filesystem.
3) Copy the original filesystem to the UMSDOS filesystem.
4) Unmount both.
5) Re-mount the UMSDOS filesystem as a MSDOS filesystem. If you're following
you'll see that the MSDOS filesystem will have the --LINUX-.--- system files
that UMSDOS uses to map long filenames and all the files in the mangled yet
legal MSDOS 8.3 format.
6) Take the MSDOS filesystem and tar into a file (rootdisk.tar)

Steps 1-6 only needs to be done once. keep the file rootdisk.tar around when
you need to do a floppyless install.

Now the target box has to already have a running OS on it. If not then you
are not going anywhere because without a floppy and without a hard-disk based
OS you can't do anything. So I'm presuming that you have MSDOS on the target.

Here we go:

1) Move the rootdisk.tar file, an appropriate Linux kernel, a copy of loadlin
and a copy of TAR.EXE (the last 3 are available on sunsite.unc.edu and mirrors
or in any Slackware distribution). I've found that Windows Terminal binary
file transfer and Linux sx (X-modem) works quite well together.

2) make a directory c:\LINUX and cd into it.

3) Use tar.exe to untar the rootdisk.tar file in to the C:\Linux directory

   C:\LINUX> tar -xvf rootdisk.tar

Since this was originally tarred from a MSDOS version of a UMSDOS filesystem,
the resulting filesystem is be UMSDOS which can be a root filesystem for
the Linux kernel.

4) Run loadlin to load the kernel and boot Linux. Presuming that C: is the
first ide HD and vmlinuz is the Linux kernel. This should be close:

  C:\LINUX> loadlin vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 rw ramdisk=0

At this point the kernel should pick up the UMSDOS filesystem for the
rootdisk and boot from it. You can not drop your CDROM in or create your
net connection (I wouldn't advise using PPP/SLIP for this purpose) and
do you install.

I've never done this with RedHat but they have a similar procedure.

It's a pain in the butt. It's almost worth getting the floppy fixed. However
the floppy for the Toshiba T100X pentop I have runs $250. It wasn't worth it.

Here's another couple of possibilies:

1) Use a ZIP drive. With a kernel with the parallel ZIP driver and SCSI
compiled in, it's possible to boot Linux from it. Transfer the distribution
to the ZIP drive, plug it into the parallel port and use Loadlin to boot Linux
with a root of /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda4.

2) Use one of the UMSDOS based distributions.

3) Use one of the UMSDOS based distributions and try to install the packages
from a non UMSDOS based distribution yourself.

None are really pallatable but it can be done.

Hope this helps.

BAJ
--
Another random extraction from the mental bit stream of...
Byron A. Jeff - PhD student operating in parallel - And Using Linux!