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Old 05-28-2006, 07:07 AM   #1
Strykaas
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How to manually create a boot floppy for linux ?


Hello all,

I have installed Mandriva and Suse recent distributions with success, choosing the option not to install GRUB/LILO on the MBR of my disk, but by creating a dedicated linux boot floppy. It worked great.

Now, I am on to Fedora Core 5, but this one does not mention the floppy boot option. I am now stuck, and want to create a boot floppy with GRUB or LILO. How shall I do that ? Is it tricky ? Any direction I shall look into ?

Thanks for your help


PS: Don't ask me why I don't want to mess the MBR.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 07:33 AM   #2
aus9
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install grub file for FC then have a read of my howto create your own grub floppy set to boot ....it is likely FC uses a kernel with initrd image so have a look at your /boot files to see what you need

good luck
 
Old 05-28-2006, 08:30 AM   #3
whipermr5
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Try running this as root:
Code:
mkbootdisk $(uname -r)
 
Old 05-28-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
Strykaas
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Thanks for your quick answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by whipermr5
Try running this as root:
Code:
mkbootdisk $(uname -r)
The problem is that I do not have any running linux system at this time. I only have a XP.
I am currently downloading a LiveCD from Ubuntu. Hope this will help.


During FC installation process, I only have these options :

Install GRUB on HDA (my XP drive) / Install GRUB on HDB (my Linux drive)

or

Do not install any loader


I've obviously chosen the second one...


What do you mean by installing "grub files" ?

Thanks.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 09:31 AM   #5
whipermr5
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You could install Fedora Core 5, choosing not to install any bootloader. After this, boot back into the install CD and type "linux rescue" to enter rescue mode. Choose your keyboard layout, don't start network interfaces then when they drop you into a shell, type
Code:
chroot /mnt/sysimage
then
Code:
mkbootdisk $(uname -r)
. But remember there is no way to do all this without first installing FC5.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
Strykaas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whipermr5
You could install Fedora Core 5, choosing not to install any bootloader. After this, boot back into the install CD and type "linux rescue" to enter rescue mode. Choose your keyboard layout, don't start network interfaces then when they drop you into a shell, type
Code:
chroot /mnt/sysimage
then
Code:
mkbootdisk $(uname -r)
. But remember there is no way to do all this without first installing FC5.

OK I have tried this, installed FC with no loader, but once I type the mkbootdisk command, I've got several complaints :

"tail: cannot open '+3' for reading : no such file or directory"
"tail: cannot open '+3' for reading : no such file or directory"
"Insert a disk into fd0. all data will be lost, etc..."
"Press enter or CTRL C"

I press enter with the floppy in. Then I've got the following error messages :

"cp : writing `/tmp/mkbootdisk.kcF567/vmlinuz` : no space left on device"
"cp : writing `/tmp/mkbootdisk.kcF567/initrd.img` : no space left on device"
"cat : write error : no space left on device"
"cat : write error : no space left on device"

Note : I did not choose the read only mode for the /mnt/sysimage lookup. The floppy is not accessed btw. The hard drive is not full.

Any suggestion ?

Thanks.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 10:32 AM   #7
Strykaas
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After searching a bit, it sounds like a file size issue... too big for a floppy ?

Note that my system features a scsi cd writer that is not used for booting.

Maybe the solution would be to omit the scsi modules ?

Last edited by Strykaas; 05-28-2006 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 11:00 AM   #8
Strykaas
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I have checked the /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5 file : it is 1.5 mb ... My understanding is that it is too large for a floppy, so that FC does not offer the floopy-boot option ... Am I stuck ? Why should the kernel be placed on the boot floppy ?
 
Old 05-28-2006, 12:32 PM   #9
Strykaas
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Ok now I'm with GRUB to manually make a bootable floppy.
After booting with a plain grub floppy, I have typed in the 3 following commands :

root (hd1,1) #hdd2 in linux
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5 root=/dev/hdd2
boot

It then boots, spits lots of logs onto the screen, and suddenly reboots my computer. I haven't seen any meaningful error message...
Maybe the initrd grub command is recommended ?

Any help appreciated.
 
Old 05-28-2006, 06:43 PM   #10
Strykaas
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OK it was that, the initrt command made it and it finally booted my FC5 Cute look btw, way cleaner than all that I have seen before. Great hardware recognition too. I'll have to use it a bit before I can make my final decision (I'm preparing a linux internet box for my mother who has never seen any windows based PC).

Now, If I got it right, I have to write a menu.lst file to add these 4 commands to a boot floppy and tada, that should make it. We'll see that tomorrow, but I'm sure I'm slowly getting to it ! I'll document the exact operations carried out if it works, just to save another newbie like me from spending an afternoon trying to make a bootable floppy !

To be cont'd
 
Old 05-29-2006, 03:56 AM   #11
whipermr5
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Great, Strykaas, I'm glad you went so far on your own!
 
Old 06-18-2006, 11:19 AM   #12
Strykaas
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OK I'm done with it.
I finally used the grub.conf file instead of menu.lst because it did not work.
The final boot command was not required.
I've added the easy default and timeout options.
Works like a charm.
Thx for your help !
 
  


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