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Old 08-02-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
Registered: May 2006
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problems booting linux kernel from fat

hello all,
I want to boot a custum compiled kernel version from a pen drive with fat system.
I have already decided the packages and the entire OS tree is ready on my hard drive.
now I need to coppy the system to my pen drive and install a boot loader on the pen drive.
my pen drive is detected as /dev/sda1 and I have put the bzImage in /boot along with the initrd image called initrd.img which I created for my kernel.
my modules are in /lib/modules/ directory and all other directories including /bin /usr/local/bin /etc /var etc have been all created on the pen drive.
I have no problem putting files on the pen drive but when files r getting copied with the cp -ra command from root they give error creating simbolic link and also can't retain ownership.
also there is an error creating special files. will this effect the booting of the custom OS?
I will need to complete this assignment in a couple of days
and I am thinking of choosing syslinux for the task.
Please help,
Old 08-02-2006, 02:40 AM   #2
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The FAT file system doesn't support Linux symbolic links or Linux permissions. Can you use a Linux file system on your pen drive?
Old 08-02-2006, 09:06 AM   #3
Registered: May 2006
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problems booting kernel from a fat file system, how does slax do that?

I want to know if fat does not permit symbolic links, how is slax managing that?
secondly I don't want or need any security on the system.
it is a small device with a single board computer and the keypad is having just 4 arrow keys one enter key and an escape key. may be there will be and alter key as well.
so I need to boot it of the fat file system.
actually I have VMware running on my xp system and copying files from my slackware OS from within VMware on to a pen drive is not working when pen drive is formatted as ext2 or 3 file system.
so I have to go with fat.
Please help.
Old 08-02-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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I don't know anything about slax - sorry about that. But I'm sure the fat32 (and fat16) file systems don't support links. EDIT: Being sure is a recipe for disaster - but I've never had them work in any distro I've used.

I have a pen drive mounted here at /mnt/dongle which is a fat32 file system and my home drive is mounted on an ext3 file system. Here are some examples of what happens:
/mnt/dongle/working$ echo hello > test.out
/mnt/dongle/working$ cat test.out
/mnt/dongle/working$ ls -l test.out
-rwxrwxrwx 1 steve steve 6 2006-08-03 04:56 test.out*
/mnt/dongle/working$ ln -s test.out test2
ln: creating symbolic link `test2' to `test.out': Operation not permitted
/mnt/dongle/working$ ln test.out test2
ln: creating hard link `test2' to `test.out': Operation not permitted
/mnt/dongle/working$ ln -s test.out /home/steve/test2
/mnt/dongle/working$ ls -l /home/steve/test2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 steve steve 8 2006-08-03 04:57 /home/steve/test2 -> test.out
/mnt/dongle/working$ cat /home/steve/test2
cat: /home/steve/test2: No such file or directory
As far as running XP under VMWare and copying files from it to an ext3 formatted partition you can do this. Are you running Samba on the Linux box? You can create shares and from XP you can copy the files to the shares.

Last edited by gilead; 08-02-2006 at 03:08 PM.
Old 08-02-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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I think that all Linux distributions which can be installed onto a FAT file system do so using a read-only compressed cloop file system (a single file which contains an entire file system inside of it). The "virtual" file system inside this file has *nix style file permissions, so a Linux OS can work.


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