Subject: Re: System configuration utility
To: Brian C. Grayson <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 09/28/1998 02:04:28
>  Two ideas on the boot-floppy lack-of-space issue:
>  1.  What about having a stripped-down minimal Son of Sysinst
>    tool on the boot floppy, and a nice set of tools (Mother of
>    Sysinst, vi, tcsh(?), lynx (text-based web browser/ftp program for
>    unexpected downloads/FAQ/net searches)) on another _optional_
>    floppy for those that would prefer a simpler, friendlier
>    interface?  I'd be willing to swap floppies once (a la
>    NetBSD-1.0?) if it made the install even slightly smoother.

I dont know how much headroom there is on the i386 install floppy.  We
may be heading to two-floppy install anyway (esp. if we switch to
ncurses evenfor boot media) in which case it's moot.

Unless, that is, there's so much growth that it pushes them from two
floppies to three...

Lynx?  Gag.   :)

>  2.  So far, I've had success in packing around 1.9M on 1.44M
>    floppies under NetBSD using a slightly modified fd driver,
>    with the various tricks done in FreeBSD and Linux.  That
>    extra .5M would give us some space for those whose drives
>    support it (presumably every 1.44M IBM-PC-like drive
>    manufactured since 1990 or so???).

Well, maybe. It does make duplicating them from dd'able floppy images
a bugger. Unless you burn another partition number for the tricky
encoding, and give special instructions about how to do the "dd".

>    (If the boot or loader code on various machines can't deal with
>    non-512-byte sectors or funny gaps, then the first cylinder or
>    two would have to be ordinary, 

Almost certainly.

>		and the bootblocks would have
>    to contain code that was capable of reading the rest of the
>    cylinders.  This is one of many areas where I do not have the
>    necessary skills to do the job myself.)