[syslinux] Question concerning booting from Floppy Drive

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Thu Jul 4 12:37:25 PDT 2002

David Reimer wrote:
> First I'd like to thank you, and everyone who has contributed to the 
> isolinux development. It has been the solution to many of my development 
> needs.
> Currently I am creating a Linux system that runs directly from CD. 
> Currently the CD is working and I am using isolinux to boot the CD. The 
> compressed kernel is approximately 2 meg and the compressed initial 
> ramdisk is approximately 4 meg. What I am interested in is using a 
> floppy to boot the kernel and initial ramdisk which are on the CD. Is 
> the a way to use a floppy to boot strap the isolinux system which is on 
> the CD, or if this is not possible, or just a bad idea is there a way to 
> boot the kernel and initial ramdisk on the CD using a floppy in some 
> other fashion. The reason I am interested in doing this is that many of 
> the systems that I currently have can not boot directly from CD and the 
> kernel and initial ramdisk are to big to fit on a floppy or floppies. 
> Unfortunately, loadlin is not a solution due to its kernel and ramdisk 
> size limitations. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

It's not possible unless you go kernel hacking.  If you're not bootinf 
from a CD-ROM, the BIOS cannot talk to it.  You could make the kernel 
load a ramdisk from the CD -- this isn't an "initial ramdisk" anymore, 
since that is by definition is loaded by the boot loader -- but that is 
a custom kernel mod.


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