[syslinux] syslinux 2.04 and linux 2.4.21?

Andreas Haumer andreas at xss.co.at
Thu Jul 17 01:12:42 PDT 2003

Hash: SHA1


Thanks four your response & sorry for the delay answering your

H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> What happens if you create a floppy without LILO?
I tried with syslinux alone in the first place, and
only added LILO and Grub bootloaders as this didn't

But now I did a new test run like follows:

*) I took a new floppy right out of the box.

*) The floppy was mounted with "mount -t msdos"

*) I put the following files on the DOS floppy:
   - vmlinuz ..... a 2.4.21 kernel, bzImage
   - initrd.gz ... initial ramdisk for this kernel
   - syslinux.cfg

# cat /mnt/floppy/syslinux.cfg
LABEL linux
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=initrd.gz

*) umount floppy

*) run syslinux 2.04 like this:

# syslinux -s /dev/floppy/0

*) the floppy now contains the following files:

root at tolstoi:~ {608} $ mount -t msdos /dev/floppy/0 /mnt/floppy
root at tolstoi:~ {609} $ ll /mnt/floppy/
total 1157
drwxr--r--    2 root     root         7168 Jan  1  1970 ./
drwxr-xr-x    4 root     root         1024 Jun 27 23:37 ../
- -rwxr--r--    1 root     root       349474 Jul 17 09:14 initrd.gz*
- -r-xr--r--    1 root     root         7828 Jul 17 09:18 ldlinux.sys*
- -rwxr--r--    1 root     root           51 Jul 17 09:23 syslinux.cfg*
- -rwxr--r--    1 root     root       817674 Jul 17 09:24 vmlinuz*

Booting with this floppy gives:

SYSLINUX 2.04 2003-04-16  Copyright (C) 1994-2003 H. Peter Arvin
Loading vmlinuz................
Boot failed: please change disks and press a key to continue.

I tried this on three different computers, the result is always
the same. Under Linux, I can read the whole floppy without any
read error (with "dd"). I can't believe it's a hardware problem.

I also tried with different kernel images (same floppy, I just
replaced the kernel files for each try):

a) Linux 2.2.21 (bzImage, kernel image size=478635 Bytes)

Syslinux loads the kernel image, then loads the ramdisk image,
then starts the kernel just fine (booting fails, because it
uses the wrong ramdisk, but that is not the point)

b) Linux 2.4.20-rc2 (bzImage, kernel image size=692449 Bytes)

Same as a)

c) Linux 2.4.19 (bzImage, kernel image size=685724 Bytes)

Fails like 2.4.21

d) Linux 2.4.21-rc4 (bzImage, kernel image size=774126 Bytes)

Same as a)

This is weird. I have no idea what's going on here.
Size, configuration and patchlevel of these kernels is
of course different. But they were all compiled with
"make bzImage" and are proper, bootable and working
kernel images.

I'm sending you the 2.4.21 floppy image (the first one I tested)
in private mail.

Thanks for your support.


- - andreas

- --
Andreas Haumer                     | mailto:andreas at xss.co.at
*x Software + Systeme              | http://www.xss.co.at/
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A-1100 Vienna, Austria             | Fax: +43-1-6060114-71
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