[syslinux] Looking for info

James Alan Brown James at jabcomp.force9.co.uk
Fri Jan 25 12:14:42 PST 2002

Dear All,

This may at first seem a bit odd but I 
am hopping to find some info that I feel 
would help the Linux community as a whole.

With so many different flavours of Linux 
and with each distribution doing their own 
thing there doesn't seem to be any easy way  
to create a Linux install on a new virgin 
PC without committing oneself to a 
"Brand Name" (Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake 
Debian Slackware or other).

Each Brand has its good points as well 
as it bad points and it is not until you 
start writing C programs for Linux that 
you soon realise there exists a total screw 
up with RPM's added "dif files" that change 
the config of pure tar source files to 
suite the Brands likes/dislikes of the 
LSB (Linux Standard Base).

What I would like to do is to produce a 
bootable (Linux) CD that has a directory 
of tools to partition a new hard drive, 
format, probe your hardware, install a 
kernel,set up a base system with a Bash 
Shell and a C++ compiler. Giving the end 
user an easy way of building up a custom 
"Brand Free System".

I have looked hard on the net at mini-Linux/
Linux from scratch corelinux and endless 
others but most seem to be so complex or 
require you to have some ones distribution
already installed upon your system.

I am hoping to produce something like the 
old MS DOS way where you booted up,
partitioned, formatted and install the 
DOS shell (Bash for Linux) on 1 CD.

I can see that syslinux is part of this key 
and indeed, is used by many of the big Linux
brand names, do use syslinux to boot up a ram 
disk (initrd) at the start of the install. 

Can you boot up a Linux CD and mount it as 
/root with a directory structure containing 
tools and the needed header files?

Can any of you give me info on any good 
books (Making a Linux Distribution)/ info 
files on how to set about this task?

Any good ideas on how to go about it would 
also be welcome.


James at jabcomp.force9.co.uk

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