Subject: Re: Install NetBSD over the top of Linux
To: None <>
From: Antti Miettinen <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/17/1996 18:38:45
>>> Well, there's always MSDOSFS.  I don't know of any others.
>>Unfortunatly this means to introduce a non transparent way to 
>>interpret msdos files as special files. How does linux do this? 
>>I heard it is able to boot from msdos fs. 
>What you're referring to is the ability to run a special program from MS-DOS
>and have it boot Linux.  I believe there is even a way to boot a Linux
>kernel that is stored in a MS-DOS partition.  But as I understand it, you
>still need a Linux installation to work -- that "booting from MS-DOS"
>only gets the kernel loaded.

Actually you can boot and run linux without ever formatting a special
filesystem for it. You can use something called the UMSDOS filesystem,
where you have all linux-related files on some MSDOS partition in a
subdirectory. There is extra information (owners, permissions, long
names, /dev special files etc.) encoded into some MSDOS files with
funny names which are invisible under linux. The linux UMSDOS fs
interprets those files so that once linux is booted you see a
filesystem which looks like a "real" fs with long names, symlinks etc.

The performance might be described as horrible but UMSDOS makes
installation very easy. Some folks here at HUT made an X11 kit out of
linux, UMSDOS & XFree and this is the reason I know anything about
UMSDOS. Just unlha the package and your boring DOS-PC turns into a
nice X11-terminal :)