Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Todd Litt » Thu, 14 Apr 1994 06:37:08



Is it possible to configure Linux such that is uses little to no local
hard disk space?  I'd like to run it on a couple of systems, but I don't
have the disk space to spare.  I have one system set up with everything on it
along with large disks, tapes, etc.  I'd like to run two other machines.  One
a 486 with an ethernet card, and the other a 486 notebook connected via
a parallel port cable.  How can I run Linux for occasion use on these last
two systems with the least aount of disk space necessary?

Thanks,
Todd

 
 
 

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Larry Doolitt » Thu, 14 Apr 1994 12:26:54




> Is it possible to configure Linux such that is uses little to no local
> hard disk space?  I'd like to run it on a couple of systems, but I don't
> have the disk space to spare.  I have one system set up with everything on it
> along with large disks, tapes, etc.  I'd like to run two other machines.  One
> a 486 with an ethernet card, and the other a 486 notebook connected via
> a parallel port cable.  How can I run Linux for occasion use on these last
> two systems with the least aount of disk space necessary?

If the systems have lots of RAM, and have low expectations,
you can do without hard disk entirely.  I have been monkeying with
Richard Lyons' cramdisk patches, and they allow me to boot a
fully functional and net-aware Linux (no X or development tools)
on an 8M machine.  This is with a 2.5M cramdisk, booting from
a 1.2M floppy.  Richard reports Linux *with* X on a demo disk,
1.44M, with a 4M cramdisk.  Good stuff!



 
 
 

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Hal J Schechn » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 04:35:30


: Is it possible to configure Linux such that is uses little to no local
: hard disk space?  I'd like to run it on a couple of systems, but I don't
:have the disk space to spare.  I have one system set up with everything on it
:along with large disks, tapes, etc.  I'd like to run two other machines.  One
: a 486 with an ethernet card, and the other a 486 notebook connected via
: a parallel port cable.  How can I run Linux for occasion use on these last
: two systems with the least aount of disk space necessary?

I have sucessfully set up linux in under 20 megs.  But that was without
net stuff ( the N series) and it was useable.... I would say around
20 or so megs with everything you need for what you are looking for.
Mind you, it would be VERY watered down.

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Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Whistl » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 08:02:37




: I have sucessfully set up linux in under 20 megs.  But that was without
: net stuff ( the N series) and it was useable.... I would say around
: 20 or so megs with everything you need for what you are looking for.
: Mind you, it would be VERY watered down.

        I have set up Linux with networking and X in about 20 Megs.
I'd like to distribute it to the net, but I have no way right now to
set it up.  I have it on a UMSDOS filesystem, and I'd like it to be
able to install in either a Linux or MSDOS filesystem.

        The system is stripped down with the intention of being
a drop-in Linux X-terminal type system.
I figured anyone who wanted a full Linux distribution could install
Slackware or SLS, but this would be the perfect miniature X-terminal
type installation.

Interest? Ideas?  Ways of packaging it? :)

        -Sam

 
 
 

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Ken Wilc » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 09:07:44


: Is it possible to configure Linux such that is uses little to no local
: hard disk space?  I'd like to run it on a couple of systems, but I don't
: have the disk space to spare.  I have one system set up with everything on it
: along with large disks, tapes, etc.  I'd like to run two other machines.  One
: a 486 with an ethernet card, and the other a 486 notebook connected via
: a parallel port cable.  How can I run Linux for occasion use on these last
: two systems with the least aount of disk space necessary?

I have set Linux up with a diskful - dataless system, which I think that you
could do no problem. All I did was install the full system on one host with
full implementation and then install enough on the other machine to get it
up and configured. Then I set up a / partition (I think 12M ) and then
mounted everything else though nfs. And I gave it 8Megs of swap. That is
about 20 Megs. Worked just as if you were on the same machine, which ever you
logged in on. Mind you that the nfs slowed it down a little.

 
 
 

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Ric » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 22:47:25





>: I have sucessfully set up linux in under 20 megs.  But that was without
>: net stuff ( the N series) and it was useable.... I would say around
>: 20 or so megs with everything you need for what you are looking for.
>: Mind you, it would be VERY watered down.
>    I have set up Linux with networking and X in about 20 Megs.
>I'd like to distribute it to the net, but I have no way right now to
>set it up.  I have it on a UMSDOS filesystem, and I'd like it to be
>able to install in either a Linux or MSDOS filesystem.

I've set up Linux with networking and X in 1.44Mb.  Of course, there's
not much room for your standard *ix utilities - it's got a shell, the
networking s/ware, the X server and related files, the window manager
and rxvt/oclock/xasteroids, and that's about all.  Handy for turning a
PC into an Xstation at the flick of a reset button, though.

On the other hand, I have a reasonably complete Linux+networking in
1.44Mb.  The standard utils are there - ksh/ls/head/grep/awk/perl/vi
ftp/rlogin/less/rz/sz/minicom/getty/etc/etc.  Again, turns a PC into a
Linux workstation with minimal effort.

The target system needs at least 8Mb RAM, tho.

If you are interested, go to sunsite and have a squiz at
/home6/ftp-stuff/Linux/kernel/misc-patches/cramdisk-1.0.tar.gz.

Cheers,
Rick.
--
 _-_|\  | Rick Lyons : C/C++/X/Unix/DOS/86/DSP | "My ethicator machine must've

\_.-._/ | Work: +61.7.837.4008 (2300-0700 GMT) | compromise spectral release
     v  | Home: +61.7.349.2764 (0800-1300 GMT) | phantasmatron! I'm a genius!"

 
 
 

Diskless or nearly diskless Linux?

Post by Chng Tiak Ju » Sat, 16 Apr 1994 10:45:53



: : Is it possible to configure Linux such that is uses little to no local
: : hard disk space?  I'd like to run it on a couple of systems, but I don't
: : have the disk space to spare.  I have one system set up with everything on it
: : along with large disks, tapes, etc.  I'd like to run two other machines.  One
: : a 486 with an ethernet card, and the other a 486 notebook connected via
: : a parallel port cable.  How can I run Linux for occasion use on these last
: : two systems with the least aount of disk space necessary?
: I have set Linux up with a diskful - dataless system, which I think that you
: could do no problem. All I did was install the full system on one host with
: full implementation and then install enough on the other machine to get it
: up and configured. Then I set up a / partition (I think 12M ) and then
: mounted everything else though nfs. And I gave it 8Megs of swap. That is
: about 20 Megs. Worked just as if you were on the same machine, which ever you
: logged in on. Mind you that the nfs slowed it down a little.

I did a similar thing except that I stuff everything I need into a
bootup disk based on the instructions from Kelly Murray. So I do not have
to install anything on the client machines at all!

Regards,
Tiak Jung
--

Institute of Systems Science                           Phone: +65 772-6704
National University of Singapore                         FAX: +65 778-2571

 
 
 

1. Diskless Linux X-Terminal (Was: Re: Diskless Linux machines)

We are using floppy-only machine as X-terminal here.

Configuration is:
  386SX 25 MHz, 4MB RAM, NE2000 Ethernet, 1.2M Floppy, mono-VGA, 1 COM-port
  no hard-drive, no co-processor; (approx. price $400 new)
  Kernel 1.0.8, XFree 2.1

All you need is to boot from floppy, NFS-mount /usr and /lib directories
and start X over nfs. Then you can rlogin (or telnet) to another machine,
setup DISPLAY, and start window manager there.

For making the boot diskette you can use basic Slackware distribution.
You should rebuild the kernel without any kind of unnecessary support (like
harddrive, SCSI, SLIP and so on). After that you can take Slackware's "boot
disk", put new kernel there, copy network configuration files from /etc.
After copying the kernel don't forget to change RAMDISK size to 0 with
rdev and run lilo.  For networking you need route, ifconfig, rpc.portmap,
mount, rlogin (or telnet).  You should edit /etc/rc.d/inet* scripts and
put "mount ..." for /usr and /lib in you rc.local file.

Kernel+sh+X+rlogin will run in 4Meg RAM, so you don't need swap.
X-server performance is really decent.


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