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Old June 1st, 2003, 11:40 PM
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twistedcranium twistedcranium is offline
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Post info:: Making a linux boot disk

Most folks ignore that operating system installation procedure where it is asked if a boot disk (emergency disk) should be made.

While this boot disk is important in Windows operating systems, it is even more important in Linux, especially in a dual-boot system, where Windows and Linux exist together. Even if you boot using a bootloader existing on a system hard-drive, you should keep an up to date boot disk handy. If the standard boot process goes awry, toss the boot disk in, reboot, and then you can get in to repair the problem.

So during an installation/upgrade of an OS, when asked to make a boot disk....Definitely do so!

But, what happens if you didn't make a boot disk during the Linux install? Don't fear, mkbootdisk is there for you...

Typical command line....

/sbin/mkbootdisk --device /dev/fd0 2.4.20-13.9

This command instructs the mkbootdisk executable to use the floppy disk drive (/dev/fd0) to write the boot disk info to, and to send it all the appropriate information to load the kernel numbered 2.4.20-13.9

A man page of mkbootdisk provides more on the command, but here are a few quickies:

-mkbootdisk might reside in different places on different distros
-if --device is not specified, it will by default use /dev/fd0....so you can shorten the length of the command line entry by not using it if your floppy exists at that default location.
-remember that if you have multiple kernels installed, one boot disk may not properly boot the other kernels, so you would be best off making one for each kernel.

So get those floppies out of the closet and make yourself a Linux lifeboat!
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