'minitool' tiny utils for boot floppies

'minitool' tiny utils for boot floppies

Post by Bob Tinsle » Wed, 15 Jul 1998 04:00:00

'minitool' is a pet project to implement basic system administration
tools and miscellaneous shell utilities into a single *small*
statically-linked binary.

The two major use for this is expected to be boot floppies so that

 * Linux can be bootstrapped onto very low-memory machines

 * full use can be made of the limited space on rescue disks
   (leaving more for modules, or your favorite shell and editor)

 * an extremely small, one size fits all, initrd can mount a floppy
   and install dynamically-linked packages with little overhead

Current highlights in the 70Kb binary include

        arch cat chgrp chmod chown chroot cksum clear conv cp date
        dd df dmesg doexec domainname echo expr false fdformat fgrep
        gzcat hexdump hostname kill ln ls mkdir mkfifo mkfs.minix
        mknod mkswap more mount mt mv nice octdump printenv rm rmdir
        rpn seq swapoff swapon sleep sync tar tee test touch true
        umount uname

and the code is written in such a way as to allow extensions to be
added with relative ease, or features to be removed.

The project has now reached a stage where it would benefit from
fresh eyes looking at the code to improve it in areas such as
enhanced functionality, portability, and reliability.

Anyone offering to help with this, drop me a line...

        -- Bob


'minitool' tiny utils for boot floppies

Post by Steve Pel » Wed, 15 Jul 1998 04:00:00

Quote:>'minitool' is a pet project to implement basic system administration
>tools and miscellaneous shell utilities into a single *small*
>statically-linked binary.

Cool. I've thought about doing something like that for a while.

Are there any tools for re-linking dynamically linked programs into
statically linked ones? Also, are there any tools for taking a collection
of files, determining which symbols are required by the collection, and
then creating a dynamic library with only those sections required by the
set (in order to make a minimal library)?

Having a shell with all of the file and directory commands, without the
more specialized commands (mount/umount, tar, gzip) would be very useful
for doing those tricky operations such as installing new libraries...


1. bootable floppy 'emergency' restore util?

I've just been through the 'unexpected powerdown ==> trashed filesystem'
experience...everything was sensibly backup up (tar) on DAT, but it still
took about 4 hours to build (from my slackware CD) a new filesystem,
install a basic system, restore the tar into a subdir and copy the
relevant bits (mostly /etc and /usr/local) back where they belonged.

WHat would have REALLY been useful is some utility that would

- fit on a floppy with a minimal system

- do all the fdisk stuff (with suitable prompts if necessary) to redo the
partitions and swap

- restore a complete filesystem cf ufsdump on Sun, from DAT

...all of which would have taken about 30 minutes and left me *much* more
confident that everything was in the right place with the correct
permissions when I'd finished...

Does anything like this exist for linux?

Does the equivalent of ufsdump exist for Linux?


2. EtherTools for RS6000

3. Newbie: CONFIGURE'd boot floppy - won't boot

4. Mediaone and the DHCP conundrum...

5. Adding 'boot from floppy' option to Grub

6. how do I get my computer to recognize my cd drive for installation?

7. Can't complete install of Slakware, won't make boot floppy

8. INND - shared writeable mapping

9. Linux floppy won't boot, DOS floppy will

10. Q: How to read 3.5'' floppies without floppy drive ?

11. can't boot 'boot.flp' version 2.2.5

12. Installation problem: can't boot from boot floppy

13. FreeBSD 4.2 won't boot - 'read error' on boot after install