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SubjectRe: Kernels > 1M
On Mon, 9 Aug 1999, George wrote:

> On Mon, 9 Aug 1999, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>
> >I guess I find that a bit hard to believe... it seems that if you want
> >to automate it it would be a lot easier and cleaner to use LILO, and not
> >a disk in the drive. For boot disks I personally want access to the
> >kernel command line, hence I use SYSLINUX (but I'm biased, of course!)
>
> Those of us trying to boot Linux from 'hdd' or past the 1 GB mark find
> disks handy to. Not my computer, but others I have worked with that are
> running the other operating system too and thus cannot change to not need
> the disk.

This is not really a point against using lilo (which indeed has
advantages). But making a lilo based boot disk is a bit of hassle (and
difficult for people w/o a clue: You need to make floppy with a
filesystem, copy kernels images AND lilo boot code there. Mount it
somewhere, write a lilo.conf file reflecting this setup then run lilo
with the right change_root option.
It would be good if there were something like:

mklilobootdisk <floppy device> <bootimage>.

Probably with additional options like:

mklilobootdisk <floppy device> -N<imagenameforbootup> -A<appendargs>
<bootimage> -N<anotherimageforbootup> <and the filename>
This is as simple as dd if=<bootimage> of=<floppy device>, so noone would
complain.

I think it would be simple to write as a script based on the current lilo.
If lilo would be extended to accept explicit record numbers of
the images in its config file, one could even make this work w/o a
filesystem on the disk.

And you'd need something like rdev. This means, print the current append
setting for a given or all boot images on the disk, and allow to modify
them on the fly. You can most probably do it as a script to, but c-prog
might be simpler if the lilo boot disk has no filesystem (and thus no
local linux.conf file).

If I'd need lilo based bootdisks with different kernel images more often,
I'd probably already had such a disk..

The major problem with all this, however, is that people don't read
docs. So, if you remove the default boot loader, someone will just dd
the kernel to a disk and get a very, very long face in case of a required
desaster recovery. Its up to you if you want to leave this poor guy stand
in the rain then or continue to support this old feature.

Michael.

--

Michael Weller: eowmob@exp-math.uni-essen.de, eowmob@ms.exp-math.uni-essen.de,
or even mat42b@spi.power.uni-essen.de. If you encounter an eowmob account on
any machine in the net, it's very likely it's me.


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