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Old 03-25-2005, 09:53 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Edinburgh
Distribution: Server: Gentoo2004; Desktop: Ubuntu
Posts: 720

Rep: Reputation: 30
what happens when a LiveCD boots up?


I'm in the process of making a live cd. I'm making the cd etc and I would just like some pointers about what each file does.

I understand that the initrd file contains the root directory which then gets loaded onto /dev/ram0.

How big should this be? MOst things I have read say that it should be only 4mb.

What happens if the root directory is larger than 4mb (which it will be). Surely I don't mount 500mb into my RAM! that would be a waste.

Could someone please explain to me what happens when a live cd boots (normally). That is, what happens to the initrd file, where does the rest of the / (root) directory live? WHat hsould I really put in the initrd file? (at the moment I have busybox and tinylogin)

Many thanks in advance
Old 03-25-2005, 11:48 AM   #2
Registered: May 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: #1 PCLinuxOS -- for laughs -> Ubuntu, Suse, Mepis
Posts: 315

Rep: Reputation: 31
I am pretty sure each live CD is slightly different than the other.
Typically they will mount hte "remaining" files from the CD under some mount point on the mem-fs.

you have think of initrd as the file-system (not simply a file that gets loaded into /dev/mem ..)

Size depends on a lot of things .. but 4M seems small, most kernels are about 2.5M .. I would say 16-32 M woule be quiet generious.

Why don't you download knoppix/mepis and a few others and run them .. getting these numbers out will be trivial ..


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