[syslinux] Re: syslinux] syslinux vs grub

Blaauw,Bernd B. B.Blaauw at student.fontys.nl
Fri Jan 7 04:29:25 PST 2005

Hello HPA,

I think on harddisks, Syslinux is going to lose somehow from other bootloaders like LILO, Grub and others.

However, SYSLINUX is still VERY usefull for removable media like diskettes, Zipdisks, USB Flash keys, etc..

I don't know if the fact that Syslinux is now installed using blockmapping is really breaking the usefullness for harddisks. You already mentioned system attribute will protect from defragmentation tools, but how about disksizes?

Isolinux and PXElinux will remain unreplaceable, so it would be most interesting to see most development in every component that is not Syslinux itself.
PXElinux, Isolinux, Memdisk, Menu, Sample programs.

Since 3.10preX, Memdisk's INITRD can take multiple files. However, can it also take a few different always-present media, like imagefile(s) on harddisk or floppy, or take the floppy itself?

LABEL loadDiskImageFromFloppy
kernel memdisk
append initrd=fd0/fdboot.img  # or initrd=A:\FDBOOT.IMG ???

or take the floppy itself:
LABEL loadFloppyIntoRAM
kernel memdisk
append initrd=fd0  # or APPEND initrd=A: ???

Bootable cdroms for example have a data area and a bootfile area.
It's easy to obtain the bootfile (disk image) from the cdrom, it's relatively easy to modify the image, but it's a lot of work to recreate the cdrom again (MKISOFS, burn disk image).

So Syslinux 3.xx series has its use, and I'm sure you're still full of ideas.
Some I (still) have:
*above mentioned MEMDISK support for reading floppy disks and reading image files from harddisk and floppydisk

*Syslinux/Memdisk compressible (usable for boot floppy) by UPX for example. Linux kernel can be compressed by UPX, FreeDOS kernel can, and maybe Syslinux also. When seeing the compression ratio in the Syslinux .zip archive there's a nice 2:1 result.

*Compatibility with LinuxBIOS would be great (www.linuxbios.org).

Keep up with the excellent work, seeing the Linux distributors use your work (and thus millions of people using your bootloader) is quite an achievement!


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