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Old 02-09-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
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Init without a kernal, can it serve any purpose?

I saw a post about this on this forum that I can have just an init system running without a kernal, made possible through busybox.. It sounds interesting to me, but I'm just wondering are there any applications for sort of thing, if so what might someone use this setup for?
Old 02-09-2016, 05:24 PM   #2
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short answer: no.

long answer: your system needs a kernel to abstract the hardware and without a kernel your system cant do anything unless each piece of code was written just for that hardware( on the old vacuum tube and early transistor computers thats how it worked) so no that wouldn't work

for more info look here
Old 02-09-2016, 06:37 PM   #3
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You may have it backward. You can run a kernel and use busybox as the init process.

The way that works is that the kernel+initrd are loaded, the kernel then creates a memory resident filesystem restored from the initrd. The kernel then execs a program for init - and that CAN be any program at all. When that program exits the kernel will halt (or panic, depending how it exits).

Busybox makes a good init - it has many of the core commands builtin, so there is no need for external storage for those.

The commands are listed at:

Last edited by jpollard; 02-09-2016 at 06:39 PM.
Old 02-10-2016, 03:42 AM   #4
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Ohh okay I get it thanks for clearing that up guys I'll keep busybox in mind then, but I'm leaning more towards a custom init process if that makes sense since I'm learning about Gentoo, but it will definitely be useful if I'm lazy lol. I don't know I got to research more about Busybox then, thanks again fellas!


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