Additionally, here is a certainly incomplete list of Web pages devoted
* AboutLinux.com: http://www.aboutlinux.com/.
* Adventures in Linux Programming:
* Dave Central Linux Software Archive:
* debianHELP http://www.debianhelp.org/.
* Erlug Webzine (Italian): http://www.erlug.linux.it/.
* Free Unix Giveaway List: http://visar.csustan.edu/giveaway.html.
Lists offers of free Linux CDs. Also available via E-mail:
email@example.com, with the Subject: send giveaway_list.
* Information on Linux in corporate environments:
* Jeanette Russo's Linux Newbie Information:
* JustLinux.com: http://www.justlinux.com/.
* Linux Cartoons:
* LinuxArtist.org: http://www.linuxartist.org/.
* Linuxinfor.com - Online Linux Resources:
* linuXChiX.org: http://www.linuxchix.org/.
* LinuxDevices.com: The Embedded Linux Portal:
* Linux Educational Needs Posting Page:
* Linux in Business: Case Studies:
* Linux Hardware Database Laptop Superguide:
* Linux Inside: http://linuxinside.org/.
* Linux Links: http://www.linuxlinks.com/.
* Linux Memory Management Home Page:
* Linux Newbie Project: http://kusma.hypermart.net/.
* Linux on the Thinkpad 760ED: http://www.e-oasis.com/linux-tp.html.
* LinuxOrbit: http://www.linuxorbit.com/
* Linux Parallel Port Home Page:
* Linux MIDI & Sound Applications: http://sound.condorow.net/.
* Linux Start: http://www.linuxstart.com/.
* Linux Tips and Tricks Page: http://www.patoche.org/LTT/.
* Linux Today PR: http://www.linuxpr.com/.
* Mandrakeuser.Org: http://mandrakeuser.org/
* My Linux Contributions by Richard Gooch:
* Micro Channel Linux Web Page: http://www.dgmicro.com/mca/.
* Parallel port scanners and SANE:
* Pascal Central: http://www.pascal-central.com/
* PegaSoft Portal: http://www.vaxxine.com/pegasoft/portal/
* PocketLinux. http://www.pocketlinux.com/.
* Red Hat and ISDN4Linux: http://www.webideal.de/.
* SearchLinux: http://www.searchlinux.com/.
* The Free Linux CD Project: http://www.freelinuxcd.org/.
* The Site for People Learning Perl: http://learn.perl.org/.
* USB Linux Home Page: http://peloncho.fis.ucm.es/~inaky/uusbd-www/.
* VLUG: The Virtual Linux Users Group: http://www.vlug.com/.
Searching for "Linux" on Web Search Engines, like Yahoo!
(http://www.yahoo.com/), Altavista (http://www.altavista.com/), or
Google (http://www.google.com/) will provide copious references to
Linux Web sites. Further information about about Web search engines is
in the Web and Internet Search Engine Faq:
Refer also to the answer for: "What Other FAQ's and Documentation Are
There for Linux?"
2.4. What News Groups Are There for Linux?
Comp.os.linux.announce is the moderated announcements group. You
should read this if you intend to use Linux. It contains information
about software updates, new ports, user group meetings, and commercial
products. It is the only newsgroup that may carry commercial postings.
Submissions for that group should be e-mailed to
Comp.os.linux.announce is archived at:
Also worth reading are the following other groups in the
comp.os.linux.* and alt.uu.comp.os.linux.* hierarchies--you may find
many common problems too recent for the documentation but are answered
in the newsgroups.
Remember that Linux is POSIX compatible, and most all of the material
in the comp.unix.* and comp.windows.x.* groups will be relevant. Apart
from hardware considerations, and some obscure or very technical
low-level issues, you'll find that these groups are good places to
Information about e-mail clients (MUA's), mail transfer agents
(MTA's), and other related software are in the comp.mail.* groups,
Questions and information about News reading software are in:
Please read "If this Document Still Hasn't Answered Your Question...."
before posting. Cross posting between different comp.os.linux.* groups
is rarely a good idea.
There may well be Linux groups local to your institution or
area--check there first.
See also "How To Get Information without Usenet Access."
Other regional and local newsgroups also exist--you may find the
traffic more manageable there. The French Linux newsgroup is
fr.comp.os.linux. In Germany there is de.comp.os.linux.*. In
Australia, try aus.computers.linux. In Croatia there is hr.comp.linux.
In Italy, there is it.comp.linux.
A search of http://groups.google.com/ can provide an up-to-date list
of News groups.
[Axel Boldt, Robert Kiesling]
2.5. What Other FAQ's and Documentation Are There for Linux?
There are a number of special interest FAQ's on different subjects
related to system administration and use, and also on miscellaneous
topics like Flying Saucer Attacks (the music) and support for
The official Usenet FAQ archives are: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/.
The Internet FAQ Consortium provides a searchable archive at:
http://www.faqs.org/. The site also maintains a current archive of
Internet Request For Comment (RFC), Best Current Practices (BCP), and
For Your Information (FYI) documents.
Here are some FAQ's and documents that might be especially useful, and
their network addresses:
* A FAQ for new users:
* AfterStep FAQ:
* BASH Frequently Asked Questions: ftp://ftp.cwru.edu/pug/bash/FAQ/.
* de.comp.os.unix.linux.infos - FAQ: http://www.dcoul.de/.
* Frequently Asked Questions about Open Source:
* Ftape-FAQ: http://www.linuxinfor.com/en/ftapefaq/Ftape-FAQ.html.
* GNU Emacs: http://www.lerner.co.il/emacs/faq-body.shtml.
* GNU Linux in Science and Engineering:
* GNU Troff (groff) Info: http://www.cs.pdx.edu/~trent/gnu/groff/.
* Gnus 5.x: http://www.ccs.neu.edu/software/contrib/gnus/.
* KDE FAQ: http://www.kde.org/faq.html.
* GNU General Public License FAQ:
* Linux PPP FAQ: http://www.linuxinfor.com/en/pppfaq/PPP-FAQ.html.
* Linux-Raid FAQ: http://www.linuxinfor.com/en/raidfaq/index.html.
* List of Periodic Information Postings:
* News.newusers.announce FAQ http://web.presby.edu/~nnqadmin/nan/.
* Online Linux Resources: http://www.linuxinfor.com/en/docfaq.htm.
* O'Reilly & Associates Openbook Project:
* Sendmail: http://www.sendmail.org/faq/.
* Sendmail: Installation and Operation Guide: Formatted and me
source versions are in the doc/ subdirectory of Sendmail source
code distributions. http://www.sendmail.org/.
* Technical FAQ for Linux Users:
* Web Internet Search Engine: http://www.infobasic.com/pagefaq.html
* Wu-ftpd: http://www.wu-ftpd.org/man/ (really a collection of man
pages), with HOWTO's at: http://www.wu-ftpd.org/HOWTO/
* XTERM--Frequently Asked Questions.
2.6. Where Are the Linux FTP Archives?
There are three main archive sites for Linux:
* ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/OS/Linux/ (Finland).
* ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/. Recently renamed to
http://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/ with a nice WWW interface. (US).
* ftp://tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/ (US).
The best place to get the Linux kernel is
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/. Linus Torvalds uploads the
most recent kernel versions to this site.
Of the U.S. distributions, Debian GNU/Linux is available at
ftp://ftp.debian.org/pub/debian/. Red Hat Linux's home site is
ftp://ftp.redhat.com/, and Linux Slackware's is
The Small Linux distribution, which can run in 2 MB of RAM, is located
The contents of these sites is mirrored (copied, usually approximately
daily) by a number of other sites. Please use a site close to you--it
will be faster for you and easier on the network.
* ftp://ftp.sun.ac.za/pub/linux/sunsite/ (South Africa)
* ftp://ftp.is.co.za/linux/sunsite/ (South Africa).
* ftp://ftp.cs.cuhk.hk/pub/Linux/ (Hong Kong).
* ftp://sunsite.ust.hk/pub/Linux/ (Hong Kong).
* ftp://ftp.spin.ad.jp/pub/linux/ (Japan).
* ftp://ftp.nuri.net/pub/Linux/ (Korea).
* ftp://ftp.jaring.my/pub/Linux/ (Malaysia).
* ftp://ftp.nus.sg/pub/unix/Linux/ (Singapore).
* ftp://ftp.nectec.or.th/pub/mirrors/linux/ (Thailand).
* ftp://planetmirror.com/pub/linux (Australia). (Also take a look at
* ftp://ftp.monash.edu.au/pub/linux/ (Australia).
* ftp://ftp.univie.ac.at/systems/linux/sunsite/ (Austria).
* ftp://ftp.fi.muni.cz/pub/UNIX/linux/ (Czech Republic).
* ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/Linux/sunsite/ (Finland).
* ftp://ftp.univ-angers.fr/pub/Linux/ (France).
* ftp://ftp.iut-bm.univ-fcomte.fr/ (France).
* ftp://ftp.ibp.fr/pub/linux/sunsite/ (France)
* ftp://ftp.loria.fr/pub/linux/sunsite/ (France).
* ftp://ftp.dfv.rwth-aachen.de/pub/linux/sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.tu-dresden.de/pub/Linux/sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.uni-erlangen.de/pub/Linux/MIRROR.sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/mirrors/sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/pub/linux/mirror.sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.ba-mannheim.de/pub/linux/mirror.sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.uni-rostock.de/Linux/sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.uni-tuebingen.de/pub/linux/Mirror.sunsite/ (Germany).
* ftp://ftp.unina.it/pub/linux/sunsite/ (Italy).
* ftp://giotto.unipd.it/pub/unix/Linux/ (Italy).
* ftp://cnuce-arch.cnr.it/pub/Linux/ (Italy).
* ftp://ftp.flashnet.it/mirror2/metalab.unc.edu/ (Italy).
* ftp://ftp.nijenrode.nl/pub/linux/ (Netherlands).
* ftp://ftp.LeidenUniv.nl/pub/linux/sunsite/ (Netherlands).
* ftp://ftp.nvg.unit.no/pub/linux/sunsite/ (Norway).
* ftp://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/pub/Linux/metalab.unc.edu/ (Poland).
* ftp://ftp.rediris.es/software/os/linux/sunsite/ (Spain).
* ftp://sunsite.rediris.es/software/linux/ (Spain).
* ftp://ftp.cs.us.es/pub/Linux/sunsite-mirror/ (Spain).
* ftp://ftp.etse.urv.es/pub/mirror/linux/ (Spain).
* ftp://tp.etsimo.uniovi.es/pub/linux/ (Spain).
* ftp://ftp.luna.gui.es/pub/linux.new/ (Spain).
* ftp://ftp.metu.edu.tr/pub/linux/sunsite/ (Turkey).
* ftp://unix.hensa.ac.uk/mirrors/sunsite/pub/Linux/ (UK).
* ftp://ftp.io.org/pub/mirrors/linux/sunsite/ (Canada).
* ftp://ftp.cc.gatech.edu/pub/linux/ (US).
* ftp://ftp.freesoftware.com/pub/linux/sunsite/ (US).
* ftp://ftp.siriuscc.com/pub/Linux/Sunsite/ (US).
* ftp://ftp.engr.uark.edu/pub/linux/sunsite/ (US).
* ftp://ftp.infomagic.com/pub/mirrors/linux/sunsite/ (US).
* ftp://farofa.ime.usp.br/pub/linux/ (Brazil).
Please send updates and corrections to this list to the Linux FAQ
the other "source" sites, and some have material not available on the
2.7. How To Get Linux without FTP Access.
The easiest thing is probably to find a friend with FTP access. If
there is a Linux user's group near you, they may be able to help.
If you have a reasonably good email connection, you could try the
FTP-by-mail servers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Linux is also available via traditional mail on CD-ROM. The file
ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/Installation-HOWTO, and the
contain information on these distributions.
2.8. How To Get Information without Usenet Access.
A digest of comp.os.linux.announce is available by mailing the word
"subscribe" (without the quotes) as the body of a message to
linux-announce-REQUEST@news-digests.mit.edu. Subscribing to this list
is a good idea, as it carries important information and documentation
Please remember to use the *-request addresses for your subscribe and
unsubscribe messages; mail to the other address is posted to the news
2.9. What Mailing Lists Are There?
The Linux developers now mainly use the Majordomo server at
email@example.com. Send a message with the word "lists"
(without the quotes) in the body to get a list of lists there. Add a
line with the word, "help," to get the standard Majordomo help file
that lists instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the
Currently, the kernel list is archived at:
Please do not post off-topic material to the mailing lists. Most of
them are used by Linux developers to talk about technical issues and
future developments. They are not intended for new users' questions,
advertisements, or public postings that are not directly related to
the mailing list's subject matter. Comp.os.linux.announce is the place
for all public announcements. This is a common Internet policy. If you
don't observe this guideline, there's a good chance that you'll be
There is a linux-newbie list where, "no question is too stupid."
Unfortunately, it seems that few experienced users read that list, and
it has very low volume.
There are numerous Linux related mailing lists at
http://www.onelist.com/. Go to the categories page and choose "Linux."
There are also mailing list subscription links at:
The Mailing Lists Available in Usenet page is: http://paml.net/. The
list information is also on: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/, and is posted to the
groups: news.announce.newgroups, news.lists, and news.groups, among
2.10. Where Are Linux Legal Issues Discussed?
On the linux-legal mailing list, of course. You can subscribe to it,
as with many of the other Linux related lists, by sending a message
with the word "help" in the body of the message to
2.11. Sources of Information for Unmaintained Free Software Projects.
There are Web pages at: http://unmaintained.sourceforge.net, and:
Please try to contact the original author(s) via e-mail, or the person
who listed the software as unmaintained, before even thinking to place
a license on the package.
2.12. Are the News Groups Archived Anywhere?
The Usenet Linux news groups are archived at
archives of comp.os.linux.announce. These are mirrored from
ftp://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/, which also archives comp.os.linux,
comp.os.linux.development.apps, and comp.os.linux.development.system.
2.13. Where To Find Information About Security Related Issues.
There's a page of Linux related security information at:
Another site is: http://www.rootshell.com/, which has information
about Internet security and privacy issues.
For information about the Weekly Linux Security Digest email
newsletter and numerous security related databases, look at
2.14. Where To Find Linux System Specifications.
As a start, look at the Linux Standards Base,
http://www.linuxbase.org/. The site contains information about test
software, file system organization, and shared library naming
3. Compatibility with Other Operating Systems
3.1. Can Linux Use the Same Hard Drive as MS-DOS? OS/2? 386BSD? Win95?
Yes. Linux uses the standard MS-DOS partitioning scheme, so it can
share your disk with other operating systems.
Linux has loadable kernel modules for (presumably) all versions of
Microsoft FAT and VFAT file systems, including Windows 2000 and
WindowsMe. In a correctly configured system, they should load
automatically when the partitions are mounted.
Note, however, that many other operating systems may not be exactly
compatible. DOS's FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.EXE, for example, can overwrite
data in a Linux partition, because they sometimes incorrectly use
partition data from the partition's boot sector rather than the
In order to prevent programs from doing this, it is a good idea to
zero out--under Linux--the start of a partition you created, before
you use MS-DOS--or whatever--to format it. Type:
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdXY bs=512 count=1
where hdXY is the relevant partition; e.g., /dev/hda1 for the first
partition of the first (IDE) disk.
Linux can read and write the files on your DOS and OS/2 FAT partitions
and floppies using either the DOS file system type built into the
kernel or mtools. There is kernel support for the VFAT file system
used by Windows 9x and Windows NT.
There is reportedly a GPL'd OS/2 device driver that will read and
write Linux ext2 partitions.
For information about FAT32 partition support, see
See, ("What Software does Linux Support?") for details and status of
the emulators for DOS, MS Windows, and System V programs.
See also, "Can Linux access Amiga file systems? ", "Can Linux access
Macintosh file systems? ", "Can Linux access BSD, SysV, etc., UFS? ",
and "Can Linux access SMB file systems? "
There are said to be NTFS drivers under development, which should
support compression as a standard feature.
3.2. How To Access Files on a MS-DOS Partition or Floppy.
Use the DOS file system, type, for example:
$ mkdir /dos
$ mount -t msdos -o conv=text,umask=022,uid=100,gid=100 /dev/hda3 /dos
If it's a floppy, don't forget to umount it before ejecting it!
You can use the conv=text/binary/auto, umask=nnn, uid=nnn, and gid=nnn
options to control the automatic line-ending conversion, permissions
and ownerships of the files in the DOS file system as they appear
under Linux. If you mount your DOS file system by putting it in your
/etc/fstab, you can record the options (comma-separated) there,
instead of defaults.
Alternatively, you can use mtools, available in both binary and source
form on the FTP sites. ("Where Are the Linux FTP Archives?")
A kernel patch (known as the fd-patches) is available which allows
floppies with nonstandard numbers of tracks and/or sectors to be used;
this patch is included in the 1.1 alpha testing kernel series.
3.3. Does Linux Support Compressed Ext2 File Systems?
The ext2compr project provides a kernel patch Information about them
is located at http://e2ompr.memalpha.cx/e2compr/.
There is also a Web site for the e2compr patches. The code is still
experimental and consists of patches for the 2.0 and 2.1 kernels. For
more information about the project, including the latest patches, and
the address of the mailing list, look up the URL at
[Roderich Schupp, Peter Moulder]
zlibc is a program that allows existing applications to read
compressed (GNU gzip'ed) files as if they were not compressed. Look at
ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/libs/. The author is Alain Knaff.
There is also a compressing block device driver, "DouBle," by
Jean-Marc Verbavatz, which can provide on-the-fly disk compression in
the kernel. The source-only distribution is located at
ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/patches/diskdrives/. This driver
compresses inodes and directory information as well as files, so any
corruption of the file system is likely to be serious.
There is also a package called tcx (Transparently Compressed
Executables), which allows you to keep infrequently used executables
compressed and only uncompress them temporarily when in use. It is
located at ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/utils/compress/.
3.4. Can Linux Use Stacked/DBLSPC/Etc. DOS Drives?
Until recently, not very easily. You can access DOS 6.X volumes from
the DOS emulator ("What software does Linux support? "), but it's
harder than accessing a normal DOS volume via the DOS kernel option, a
module, or mtools.
There is a recently added package, dmsdos, that reads and writes
compressed file systems like DoubleSpace/DriveSpace in MS-DOS 6.x and
Win95, as well as Stacker versions 3 and 4. It is a loadable kernel
module. Look at
3.5. Can Linux Access OS/2 HPFS Partitions?
Yes, but Linux access to HPFS partitions is read-only. HPFS file
system access is available as an option when compiling the kernel or
as a module. See the Documentation/filesystems/hpfs.txt file in the
kernel source distribution. ("How To Upgrade/Recompile a Kernel.")
Then you can mount HPFS partition, using, for example:
$ mkdir /hpfs
$ mount -t hpfs /dev/hda5 /hpfs
3.6. Can Linux Access Amiga File Systems?
The Linux kernel has support for the Amiga Fast File System (AFFS)
version 1.3 and later, both as a compile-time option and as a module.
The file Documentation/filesystems/affs.txt in the Linux kernel source
distribution has more information.
See ("How To Upgrade/Recompile a Kernel.")
Linux supports AFFS hard-drive partitions only. Floppy access is not
supported due to incompatibilities between Amiga floppy controllers
and PC and workstation controllers. The AFFS driver can also mount
disk partitions used by the Un*x Amiga Emulator, by Bernd Schmidt.
3.7. Can Linux Access BSD, SysV, Etc. UFS?
Recent kernels can mount (read only) the UFS file system used by
System V; Coherent; Xenix; BSD; and derivatives like SunOS, FreeBSD,
NetBSD, and NeXTStep. UFS support is available as a kernel
compile-time option and a module.
See, ("How To Upgrade/Recompile a Kernel.")
3.8. Can Linux Access SMB File Systems?
Linux supports read/write access of Windows for Workgroups and Windows
NT SMB volumes. See the file Documentation/filesystems/smbfs.txt of
the Linux kernel source distribution, and ("How To Upgrade/Recompile a
There is also a suite of programs called Samba which provide support
for WfW networked file systems (provided they're for TCP/IP).
Information is available in the README file at
The SMB Web site is http://www.samba.org/, and there is also a Web
site at samba.anu.edu.au/samba/.
3.9. Can Linux Access Macintosh File Systems?
There is a set of user-level programs that read and write the older
Macintosh Hierarchical File System (HFS). It is available at
Access to the newer, HFS+ file systems is still under development.
3.10. Can Linux Run Microsoft Windows Programs?
WINE, a MS Windows emulator for Linux, is still not ready for general
distribution. If you want to contribute to its development, look for
the status reports in the comp.emulators.ms-windows.wine newsgroup.
There is also a FAQ, compiled by P. David Gardner, at
In the meantime, if you need to run MS Windows programs, the best
bet--seriously--is to reboot. LILO, the Linux boot loader, can boot
one of several operating systems from a menu. See the LILO
documentation for details.
Also, LOADLIN.EXE (a DOS program to load a Linux, or other OS, kernel
is one way to make Linux co-exist with DOS. LOADLIN.EXE is
particularly handy when you want to install Linux on a 3rd or 4th
drive on a system (or when you're adding a SCSI drive to a system with
an existing IDE).
In these cases, it is common for LILO's boot loader to be unable to
find or load the kernel on the "other" drive. So you just create a
C:\LINUX directory (or whatever), put LOADLIN.EXE in it with a copy of
your kernel, and use that.
LOADLIN.EXE is a VCPI compliant program. Win95 will want to, "shutdown
into DOS mode," to run it (as it would with certain other DOS
Earlier versions of LOADLIN.EXE sometimes required a package called
REALBIOS.COM, which required a boot procedure on an (almost) blank
floppy to map the interrupt vectors (prior to the loading of any
software drivers). (Current versions don't seem to ship with it, and
don't seem to need it).
3.11. Where Is Information about NFS Compatibility?
This information is partly taken from Nicolai Langfeldt's excellent
NFS HOWTO, and is current as of 10/1/1999.
Most version 2.2.x kernels need a set of patches to install the knfsd
subsystem, maintained by H.J. Lu, to communicate efficiently (if at
all) with Sparc, IBM RS, and Alpha machines, and probably others. This
package is actually a collection of patches to the kernel sources.
Better support for non-Intel architectures is included in the 2.4
There is also a user-space server. Although it lacks remote file
locking, it is easier to install. It may be equally efficient.
In the Documentation/Changes of recent kernel distributions, there is
a list of URL's for both the knfsd server and the user-space server.
There is a CVS server available for the kernel-space NFS subsystem, as
well as a NFS WWW page at http://www.linuxnfs.sourceforge.org/,
although the URL requires a password for access. The relevant URL's
are listed in the README.nfs file at ftp://ftp.us.kernel.org/, and
other kernel archive sites, along with login information. Patches are
The source archives of the user-space server and utilities currently
In the case of older Solaris releases, the lack of statd or lockd on a
client or server machine may cause incompatibility. On some versions
of Solaris, statd can be used to exploit features of the automounter.
Sun released a patch to correct this, but statd still needs to be
started by root on such systems. On recent Solaris systems, refer to
the information in /etc/dfs/dfstab and the share(1M) manual page to
enable volume sharing. In addition, the rpcinfo program can tell you
if statd or lockd are available on the local or remote machines.
The linux-kernel mailing list has on-and-off discussions of the status
of the NFS subsystem, which appears to be changing rapidly.
[Nicolai Langfeldt, Robert Kiesling, Anders Hammarquist]
3.12. Can Linux Use True Type Fonts?
Yes. There are a number of True Type font servers for the X Window
System. One of them is xfsft. Its home page is
http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jec/programs/xfsft/. There are also
instructions for configuration.
People have reported success with other True Type font servers. There
are links from the xfsft Home Page to them as well.
You can also compile True Type Font support into your X server
directly. Again, refer to the xfsft Home Page for details.
3.13. Can Linux Boot from MS-DOS?
If LILO doesn't work, and if the machine has MS-DOS or Microsoft
Windows, you may be left with a computer that won't boot. This can
also happen on an upgrade to your Linux distribution. Re-installing
LILO is the last thing that the installation does. So it is vitally
important when installing or upgrading Linux on a dual boot machine,
to have a MS-DOS or Windows rescue disk nearby so you can FDISK -MBR.
Then you can go about using LOADLIN.EXE instead of LILO.
This config.sys file is one possible way to invoke LOADLIN.EXE and
boot MS-DOS or Linux.
menuitem=DOS, Dos Boot
menuitem=LINUX, Linux Boot
shell=c:\redhat\loadlin.exe c:\redhat\autoboot\vmlinuz vga=5 root=/dev
STACKS = 0,0
rem all the other DOS drivers get loaded here.
This creates a menu where you can directly jump to LOADLIN.EXE before
all of the MS-DOS drivers get loaded.
The paths and options are peculiar to one machine and should be
intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. See the LOADLIN.EXE
docs for options. They are the same as LILO, and options are just
passed to the kernel, anyhow.
3.14. How Can Linux Boot from OS/2's Boot Manager?
1. Create a partition using OS/2's FDISK.EXE (Not Linux's fdisk).
2. Format the partition under OS/2, either with FAT or HPFS. This is
so that OS/2 knows about the partition being formatted. (This step
is not necessary with OS/2 `warp' 3.0.)
3. Add the partition to the Boot Manager.
4. Boot Linux, and create a file system on the partition using mkfs
-t ext2 or mke2fs. At this point you may, if you like, use Linux's
fdisk to change the code of the new partition to type 83 (Linux
Native)--this may help some automated installation scripts find
the right partition to use.
5. Install Linux on the partition.
6. Install LILO on the Linux partition--NOT on the master boot record
of the hard drive. This installs LILO as a second-stage boot
loader on the Linux partition itself, to start up the kernel
specified in the LILO configuration file. To do this, you should
boot = /dev/hda2
(where /dev/hda2 is the partition you want to boot from) in your
/etc/lilo/config or /etc/lilo.config file.
7. Make sure that it is the Boot Manager partition that is marked
active, so that you can use Boot Manager to choose what to boot.
There is a set of HOWTO's on the subject of multi-boot systems at the
LDP Home Page, http://www.linuxdoc.org/.
4. File Systems, Disks, and Drives
4.1. How To Get Linux to Work with a Disk.
If your disk is an IDE or EIDE drive, you should read the file
/usr/src/linux/drivers/block/README.ide (part of the Linux kernel
source code). This README contains many helpful hints about IDE
drives. Many modern IDE controllers do translation between `physical'
cylinders/heads/sectors, and `logical' ones.
SCSI disks are accessed by linear block numbers. The BIOS invents some
`logical' cylinder/head/sector fiction to support DOS.
Older IBM PC-compatible BIOS's will usually not be able to access
partitions which extend beyond 1024 logical cylinders, and will make
booting a Linux kernel from such partitions using LILO problematic at
You can still use such partitions for Linux or other operating systems
that access the controller directly.