[syslinux] MBR ## SYSLINUX ## Linux (before first partition)

Larry Riedel larryr at saturn.sdsu.edu
Wed Oct 27 21:52:56 PDT 2004

> > > >                          I would like to boot Linux by having it
> > > > at the beginning of the disk, right after the MBR and SYSLINUX,
> > > > _before_ the first partition, and _not_ in a filesystem. [...]
> >
> > Other than simplicity/genericity, I guess the key thing is
> > to not need to have any partition related requirements for
> > the hard disk; it might not even have any partitions defined;
> > maybe the entire first N sectors of the disk are just a
> > generic blob comprising a canned MBR+SYSLINUX+Linux, and when
> > the system boots up it lets the user partition the disk,
> > or use NFS, etc.  I did not mean to suggest I have thought
> > SYSLINUX /needs/ to be there, but I had thought it might be a
> > good choice.
> But that, itself, is a requirement; many partitioning schemes use
> additional sectors, and you can't use any of the disk that you're
> using without telling operating systems that you're doing so.

I am only interested in situations with standard PC partitioning
(with a table in the MBR and possibly continued in an "extended"
partition) and with operating systems that do not access
anywhere on the disk except the partitions they are explicitly
told to, and of course to read the standard PC partition table.

> The easiest way to do it with syslinux is to create an MBR with
> synthesizes a partition table entry in memory [...]

That sounds good to me, but as important as the partitioning,
maybe more important, is that I do not want to have to create
a filesystem for the kernel; I want to have it at an absolute
sector location.  In a theoretical perfect world, I would just
put the start sector location of the kernel into the MBR as the
boot sector; I am hoping to find the closest thing to that,
hopefully without writing any code to do it, other than maybe
simple scripts or transparently simple C programs.


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