Basic Linux

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by dj_nexxus, May 10, 2014.

  1. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    In the MSDOS world, you only would need to format a disk, run th command : sys [drive letter] and voila you have a core ms-dos boot disk from which you could build and customize with autoexec.bat and config.sys etc...
    My question is: I have been searching for some weeks now with no definitive answer for...how do you build a basic linux install in the same way? now I know you would have to create a linux and swap partition, but from there is it just a matter of copying over vmlinuz and initrd.img (I doubt highly). What are other BASIC files that MUSt be installed to get a successful boot?

    Side note: I am presuming that one may need to recompile the kernel to remove all but the bare minimum configuration?


    Any help would be great. thanks in advance.
    DevynCJohnson likes this.
  2. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    1) In real and practical terms WHY? TO WHAT END?

    2) What end result do you want or expect? What exactly do you mean by "a successful boot". Command Line only? GUI? Desktop Environment? Windows Manager?

    3) Different distros are well ...different. How much work are you prepared to put in? Are we talking Arch Linux? Gentoo?Slackware? Debian type ? Redhat type? What is your starting point?

    4) In an MSDOS world you will still install stuff you will probably never use. The road to Windows 8 is great and you will get even more stuff.
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  3. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    I rather ask why not! And I use Slackware a lot and only talking about CLI boot
  4. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    http://small-slackware.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/slackware-linux-minimum.html

    http://www.slackwiki.com/Minimal_System

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/331801/what-is-the-absolute-minimum-that-a-linux-system-needs-to-boot
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  5. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    This is close to what I am querying about, but I dont want any installer to do the installation, I want to know how to format a hard disk, partition it for a linux and swap partition, copy over ONLY the files needed to boot.

    I think this might be what I am looking for, but need a little less vague explanation. so I have my linux partition, my swap partition, I copy over bash shell, vmlinuz, initrd.img and that is it?
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  6. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Active Member

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    Well, the Tinycore Linux site has instructions on how to do just that - partition, then format, then set up grub, then copy files.
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  7. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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  8. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys, but I think most of the replies are still missing the point, for example, in MSDOS you would do the following:

    1: Partition your disk using fdisk
    2: format your disk using format
    3: and copy the system files using "sys" which essentially puts io- sys, and msdos -sys in the correct place on the drive and copies the command interpreter command-com also

    then voila, you can boot from this disk, noting however all you could really do is just use internal commands like copy and move etc....

    how is that entire procedure accomplished in linux? linux from scratch also builds alot of UNWANTED software into the build and all of my research on the net nas proved futile thus far. so far I can partition my drive into a linux partition and swap partition manually and format them, installing a bootloader like lilo is where I have hit a roadblock.
    With that said please do not direct me to some project or stand alone ISO I wish to do this from scratch using only the base tools that come with linux, as I refuse to believe it cannot be done without hours of kernel configuration or source building. thanks in advance for anyone who can assist.
  9. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Okay seriously, did you read about LFS? It literally show how to build a system from scratch. Some have even gotten LFS to 8 Mb of disk space...very minimal. The most minimal you can get without really advanced knowledge.

    If you want something that acts like MS-DOS try MS-DOS. Linux is not like it in most ways. There is no 'bare minimal' unless you build yourself. No one else cares for it. If they do, they just build from scratch.
  10. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    OK seriously do you understand English? I do not think it makes sense to read through,:
    Things to mention
    IRC
    Packages
    Change Logs
    Eratta
    Host Requirements
    Typography

    and a whole list of other paragraphs when there are ALOT of experienced Linux users out there who can direct me to the answer to my question and for an administrator you should be a little more accommodating that just "If you want something that acts like MS-DOS try MS-DOS".
    I am trying to ascertain if there is any way to build a Linux boot disk as easy as it is to make one in MSDOS, if you dont know how to do it fine. dont try to come down on me because I am trying to efficiently find the answer to my question.
    you may now proceed to ban me if you want to feed your god complex...sigh.
  11. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a fundamental mistake to liken DOS to Linux. Just because you can do X on DOS doesn't mean that you can expect to do X on Linux. If you eventually prove me wrong, and succeed in what you want to do, please let me know.

    People talk about Windows, OSX and Linux. Linux is something more complex than DOS. What would a minimum install of Windows look like? DOS hasn't been behind Windows for years.

    There are Linux distros that will run from a floppy disk (or disks) like the ones listed at http://www.linuxbootdisks.com/distro16.asp
    Do not expect too much from them.

    One train of thought is that it should be called GNU/Linux. GNU is the working part and Linux is the Kernel. The Kernel, Linux, is of no use by itself. It is only by the addition of packages that it becomes useful.

    If you want to look at other OSs which may, or may not, be more what you want then look at: FreeDOS, Menuet, KolibriOS, or possibly Minix .

    If you had told us what your desired end result was then we may have been able to help more...
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  12. dj_nexxus

    dj_nexxus New Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, and you are quite correct, I in no way expect it to be as easy as the sys command in msdos, but I just remember back when I used msdos up until "I think win98" creating an msdos bootdisk from an already running system without any thirdparty tools was quite invaluable, infact I still have a bootable CD I created using an image of a custom msdos bootdisk I created that proves to be invaluable.
    With that said, I do not have any final "goal" per se in my question, I just want to know if there is an easier way than a recompiling the kernel or along that line to create a bootdisk from an already running system.
    the mkinitrd utility seems to be what I am looking for, but I was wondering if I was not duplicating work that has not already been done.
    again, thanks for the non-venomous feedback. and I will surely update this thread if I succeed.
  13. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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  14. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Oh don't worry. I don't have to ban you...I have other ways of "feeding my complex". I am sick of people like you. Come around expecting something very specific from Linux that some other system can do...and when no project exists to provide that function instead of trying to create something to fix the problem you just harass the community. There really isn't anything like the MS-DOS boot disk creation tool from ME available for Linux because no one really needs it. If you want something similar to it, make it yourself. Efficiency my ass.
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  15. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    FO SHO... Try to mount usb storage or use wireless devices on MS-DOS running from a floppy disk, for instance. Even for ethernet... You'll have to load 3rd party drivers. DOS is not that grand.

    Why don't you simply go for minimal installs (like ubuntu's)?

    There's no need to do what you want to nowadays. If you need bootable rescue disks etc., there's plenty ready to burn.

    Regardless, if you really intend to accomplish that somewhat useless goal, you can actually do it on your own, although there are manuals on how to build linux from the ground up, which include the 'minimalist' approach you're looking for.
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  16. Darren Hale

    Darren Hale Active Member

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