Subject: Re: Possible to get a working system on floppy/
To: Jared D. McNeill <>
From: Todd Whitesel <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/11/2000 07:34:15
> I'm leaving for vacation Saturday morning, and lucky me, the hard disk on
> my laptop blew a few days ago. So... I need to make a minimal system on a
> floppy or two that has at least the following: PCMCIA support (for the
> modem and ethernet card), pppd, and ssh. Is there a way that I could have
> maybe one floppy for the kernel, and another floppy for the root fs? The
> laptop only has 8M of RAM, so I don't think I can fill up the RAM too
> much. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Go to /usr/src/distrib/i386/floppies, type make. Watch and learn.

Then go into the ramdisk/ directory and edit both "list" and "ramdiskbin.conf".
Remove programs you don't need. Add programs you DO need.
make clean && make.
Play around with it a bit. Read man pages for crunchgen and friends.

You will probably need a kernel with every nonessential option removed.
Even then, ssh might prove to be too large.

Worst case, you can use the double-floppy machinery in fdset and fdset-common.

The ramdisk tools are very straightforward and it should take no more than
a few hours to get a viable prototype working.

Todd Whitesel
toddpw @