SLS update

SLS update

Post by Peter MacDona » Fri, 21 Aug 1992 11:06:35

A new README, 1.Z and some misc files in 3/ has been uploaded to  The new bootimage has an improved install script
which allows for things like installing from the B: drive.  Disk3
now contains a copy of the readme, plus the boot_b.exe and boot_b.doc
files, so that SLS can now be installed from the B: drive, yes, even
the boot.  It also correctly sets the /lib/libm.a libhard.2.2.2 if
you tell it you have a 387.

Following is the readme file.   Hopefully, it answers some of the
plethora of questions I have been getting, but can not answer
because mail is broken on my workstation.  

FTP site administrators: I guess it is ok to mirror or download
it to your site now.  Good Luck, and hope some find it usefull.



SLS (Softlanding Linux System) Copywrite 1992, Softlanding Software.

Here is release .96c of the SoftLanding Linux System (SLS),
which is NOT just an image dump of someones Unix system.

This distribution is freely available if you have internet
access, or an obliging friend with access to it.


0) provide an initial installation program (for the queasy).
1) utilities compiled to use minimal disk space.
2) provide a reasonably complete/integrated U*ix system.
3) provide a means to install and uninstall packages.
4) permit partial installations for small disk configs.
5) add a menu driven, extensible system administration.
6) take the hassle out of collecting and setting up a system.
7) give non internet users access to Linux.

In particular, the menu interface allows the users to see what
commands (using "v") would be executed if an option was selected,
so that Unix newbies who use it, don't have to always stay
newbies (this was my big complaint about DELL, ISC, etc).
In some ways, however, this release is more a framework than
a finished product in that much more can be added to the menus.
So be forewarned.

There are several reasons for using DOS formatted
floppies for for distribution:

1) it is easier for first time users to download/bootstrap
2) it is easier to view/maintain/change the distribution.
3) users can take just the parts from each disk they want.
4) DOS diskcopy can be used to backup all but disks 1 and 2.

In future, when bmap support comes to DOS FS, a look will
be taken at putting disks 1 and 2 on DOS formatted floppies
as well, so that replication of the system using just DOS
diskcopy is feasable.


SLS is a binary mostly distribution (except for the kernel), and
is broken into 2 parts: base (10 disks) and X (5 disks).
Highlights of the base are:  gcc/g++, emacs, kermit, elm/mail/uucp,
gdb, sc (spreadsheet), man pages, groff, elvis, zip/zoo/lh and menu.  
Highlights of X are: X, programmers libs, 75 dpi fonts, games (spider,
tetris, xvier, chess, othello, xeyes, etc) and utilities like xmag,
xmenu, xcolormap, and gwm.

Utilities < 40K are linked -N (in most cases) to eliminate the
header, so much disk space is saved.  Disk usage is as follows:

Minimal base system:     6 Meg
Full base system:       20 Meg
Full base system + X11: 30 Meg

Other combinations are easily obtainable, by using the sysinstall
utility to install and uninstall selected packages.   The next release
will have better documentation, jump tables (hopefully) and a more
complete and flexible installation utility.

In brief, the disks contain the following:

        disk1: Boot and Ramdisk FS image.
        disk2: Utilities disk.
        disk3: Contains the base system, minus the /usr/bin directory.
        disk4: Contains the base systems /usr/bin/ directory.
        disk5: Contains the kernel source code, and the GNU debugger Gdb.
        disk6: Contains the base systems man pages and uucp (for mail).
        disk7: Contains the gcc compiler and libs.
        disk8: Contains the GNU C++ compiler and grof utils.
        disk9: Contains mail, grof and include files.
        disk10: Contains emacs.
        disk11: Contains the base X-windows system.  You will need at least this
                and X386 from xextr1.1 to run X-windows.
        disk12: Contains the X386 server and some games and things.
        disk13: Contains the programmers libraries etc, for compiling X programs.
        disk14: Contains the 75 Dot/inch fonts for X.
        disk15: Contains gwm (Generic Window Manager) which can emulate Motif and others.


The distribution is made up of 15 disks, only the first two of
which are not DOS formatted floppies. Each disk contains about
1100K of stuff.  You can, however, get a pretty complete system with
just disk 1-4, or if you already have linux up, just disks 3 and 4.
You may want to get just 1-4 first and do a minimal install, just
to get a feel for the system.

First thing, write protect all disks, as the install process doesn't
need to write to any distribution disk.   After that just boot with
Disk1 in drive A: (or drive B: if using the boot_b method below).  
When prompted, replace with Disk2 (the utilities disk) as requested
by the menu.

Once the utilities disk is mounted, you will need to use fdisk, and
then mkfs on the selected partition (see the next section).   Once
that is done you can just type:

        doinstall /dev/PART

where PART is the disk partition you created with fdisk, and you
should be off to the races.  The auto installation utility "doinstall"
does all of the remaining work of installing some or all software onto
the hard drive, and generating a new boot disk.  It then asks you to
reboot to start using Linux from the hard disk.  The questions
"doinstall" asks are pretty straightforward, and should be more or
less fool resistant :-).


Before you can install Linux on your hard drive, you must partition your
drive, and put a file system on it.  Roughly, this entails:

 - Create a Linux/Minix partition with "fdisk" on your hard drive and reboot.
 - Make a file system on the partition with "mkfs".
 - Use "doinstall /dev/PART", where PART is your partition, to start
   the installation.  For example "doinstall /dev/hda2".

This last step will ask you to put a formatted floppy in the drive
so that BOOT DISK can be prepared for you, so have one ready ahead of time.  
When the installation is complete, and you reboot from this floppy, you
will be using Linux from your hard drive.

Before you begin, however, you may wish to type "menu" and browse the
Instructions submenu.  But make sure you exit "menu" before you start
the install process.  You can also print files from there using "P",
or you can use "cat README > /dev/lp1" or "cat README > /dev/lp2".

Your first task after the base install is done, should be to make backup
copies of all of your disks  (Look in the "User Commands" menu).
Even before you begin the install, you can use DOS diskcopy to
create backup of disk 3-15, or all but the first two disks.
In fact, you should make sure all disks are write protected first,
before you start the installation.

**************** EXAMPLE PARTITIONING PROCEDURE **************************
/# fdisk

Command (m for help): n
Command action
   e   extended
   p   primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4): 2
First cylinder (500-977): 500
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (500-977): 977

Command (m for help): t
Partition number (1-4): 1
Hex code (type L to list codes): 81

Command (m for help): v
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hda: 5 heads, 17 sectors, 977 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 85 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot  Begin   Start     End  Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1           1       1     499   20000    4  DOS
/dev/hda2           1       1       7   30000   81  Linux/MINIX

Command (m for help): w
reboot now before doing anything else
...<after the reboot>
/# mkfs /dev/hda2 30000
/# doinstall /dev/hda2
**************** END OF EXAMPLE PARTITIONING PROCEDURE *******************


If your boot drive is a different format than your floppies (ie, one
is 5 1/4 and the other is 3 1/2), and you have a drive B: then do the
following, which allows booting from the B: drive:

 1 - Boot up Dos
 2 - Put Disk3 in drive B:
 3 - Put a blank formatted disk in A:
 4 - Type b:\boot_b    #if this fails, read B:boot_b.doc
 5 - Remove Disk3 and put Disk1 in drive B:
 6 - Reboot


If obtaining via FTP, just use rawwrite.exe to write 1 and 2 to
floppy.   Rawwrite.exe is available in
Download all files in each subdir to a DOS (or Linux) formatted disks,
and  you are ready to go.   The kernel is 96c, slightly modified to
try all FS types when none is specified on a mount, so install will
work either way.  In future, I will probably eliminate this and just
have the install script try all types.


The SLS system is also available, primarily for non-netters from:

        Softlanding Software
        910 Lodge Ave.
        Victoria, B.C., Canada
        (604) 360-0188

for $3.25/disk US ($4.00/disk Canadian) copying charge,
for 5 1/4 format.  Add $1/disk for 3 1/2 format.  Add  GST (7%)
and PST/SST as applicable, plus $10.00 S&H.  Prices are subject
to change without notice.  Sources are available on a component
by components, as requested basis, for the same
distribution fees as above.  There will be NO update disks
from Softlanding for this version,  but starting, probably,
with the next version when jump tables and >64 processes is
available, a 2-3 disk update issue will be looked at.

Notice:  There is no warranty with this product, either expressed
or implied.  Use at your own risk.  Softlanding is not liable or
responsible for damage or loss incurred or resulting from the use
or misuse of this product, and it's responsibility is limited to
providing copies of disks.  Softlanding charges only for the copy
service, not the content.  The content is made freely distributable
at no charge, subject to the following restrictions.


Please read the file COPYING which outlines the GNU copying
restrictions.  The linux kernel is copywrite Linux B. Torvalds.
Various other copywrites apply, but the upshot is that you
may do whatever you like with SLS, except restrict others
in any way from doing likewise, and you must leave all copywrites
intact, and you can not misrepresent or take credit for others work.



Softlanding has no objection to SLS being resold, but it does
have a request.  Softlanding asks that if you do resell SLS,
that you also offer customer support to your clients.  That is,
Softlanding would ideally be the only source of the unsupported
SLS distribution, or the clearing house for new versions, with
other resellers adding value in the way of support (and
most likely, price).  Softlanding, however, intends to make
no effort to enforce or coerce this policy.  It is only a

See Softlanding for a gentle touch down from a DOS bailout.



1. SLS update: SLS 1.02 / 99p9 kernel

SLS has been updated to 99p9 on tsx-11.  The only changes are:

        a2/image.tgz: new 99p9 image
        b4/lx99p9.tgz: new kernel source
        b4/lxpatch.tgz: revised patches to raw kernel sources

With it, the SLS version has been bumped to 1.02.  This is really
more a book keeping thing for to track bug reports.



3. SLS update: gcc 2.3.3, libc4.2, etc

4. A Linux beginner

5. notice of impending SLS update:

6. Full screen TV in X?

7. SLS update: libc4.3 and XFree1.2

8. I have routing problem... could you help me?

9. SLS update: complete details enclosed

10. SLS update

11. SLS update: 99p12 and lib 4.4.2

12. SLS update: missing man pages

13. SLS update: 'a' - 'c'