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The Linux Bootdisk HOWTO

Tom Fawcett


Copyright � 1995-2002 by Tom Fawcett

v4.5, January 2002

This document describes how to design and build boot/root diskettes for
Linux. These disks can be used as rescue disks or to test new system
components. You should be reasonably familiar with system administration
tasks before attempting to build a bootdisk. If you just want a rescue disk
to have for emergencies, see Appendix A.1.

Table of Contents
1. Preface
    1.1. Version notes
    1.2. To do list
    1.3. Feedback and credits
    1.4. Distribution policy
2. Introduction
3. Bootdisks and the boot process
    3.1. The boot process
    3.2. Disk types
4. Building a root filesystem
    4.1. Overview
    4.2. Creating the filesystem
    4.3. Populating the filesystem
    4.4. Providing for PAM and NSS
    4.5. Modules
    4.6. Some final details
    4.7. Wrapping it up
5. Choosing a kernel
6. Putting them together: Making the diskette(s)
    6.1. Transferring the kernel with LILO
    6.2. Transferring the kernel without LILO
    6.3. Setting the ramdisk word
    6.4. Transferring the root filesystem
7. Troubleshooting, or The Agony of Defeat
8. Reducing root filesystem size
    8.1. Increase the diskette density
    8.2. Replace common utilities with BusyBox
    8.3. Use an alternate shell
    8.4. Strip libraries and binaries
    8.5. Move files to a utility disk
9. Miscellaneous topics
    9.1. Non-ramdisk root filesystems
    9.2. Building a utility disk
10. How the pros do it
11. Creating bootable CD-ROMs
    11.1. What is El Torito?
    11.2. How it Works
    11.3. How to make it work
    11.4. Create Win9x Bootable CD-Roms
12. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list
A. Resources and pointers
    A.1. Pre-made Bootdisks
    A.2. Rescue packages
    A.3. LILO -- the Linux loader
    A.4. Ramdisk usage
    A.5. The Linux boot process
B. LILO boot error codes
C. Sample root filesystem listings
D. Sample utility disk directory listing

1. Preface

Important This document may be outdated. If the date on the title page is    
          more than six months ago, please check the [http://                
          Bootdisk-HOWTO homepage to see if a more recent version exists.    

Although this document should be legible in its text form, it looks much
better in Postscript, PDF or HTML forms because of the typographical
conventions used.

1.1. Version notes

Graham Chapman wrote the original Bootdisk-HOWTO and supported it through
version 3.1. Tom Fawcett started as co-author around the time kernel v2 was
introduced, and he is the document's current maintainer. Chapman has
disappeared from the Linux community and his whereabouts are currently

This information is intended for Linux on the Intel platform. Much of this
information may be applicable to Linux on other processors, but I have no
first-hand experience or information about this. If you have experience with
bootdisks on other platforms, please contact me.

1.2. To do list


 1. User-mode-linux ([] http:// seems like a great way to test out
    bootdisks without having to reboot your machine constantly. I haven't
    been able to get it to work. If anyone has been using this consistently
    with homemade bootdisks, please let me know.
 2. Re-analyze distribution bootdisks and update the "How the Pros do it"
 3. Figure out just how much of the init-getty-login sequence can be
    simplified, and rip it out. A few people have said that init can be
    linked directly to /bin/sh; if so, and if this imposes no great
    limitations, alter the instructions to do this. This would eliminate the
    need for getty, login, gettydefs, and maybe all that PAM and NSS stuff.
 4. Go through the 2.4 kernel source code again and write a detailed
    explanation of how the boot process and ramdisk-loading process work, in
    detail. (If only so that I understand it better.) There are some issues
    about initrd and limitations of booting devices (eg flash memory) that I
    don't understand yet.
 5. Delete section that describes how to upgrade existing distribution
    bootdisks. This is usually more trouble than it's worth.
 6. Replace rdev commands with LILO keywords.

1.3. Feedback and credits

I welcome any feedback, good or bad, on the content of this document. I have
done my best to ensure that the instructions and information herein are
accurate and reliable, but I don't know everything and I don't keep up on
kernel development. Please let me know if you find errors or omissions. When
writing, please indicate the version number of the document you're
referencing. Be nice.

We thank the many people who assisted with corrections and suggestions. Their
contributions have made it far better than we could ever have done alone.

Send comments and corrections to the author at the email address above. 
Please read Section 7 before asking me questions. Do not email me disk

1.4. Distribution policy

Copyright � 1995-2002 by Tom Fawcett and Graham Chapman. This document may be
distributed under the terms set forth in the Linux Documentation Project
License. Please contact the authors if you are unable to get the license.

This is free documentation. It is distributed in the hope that it will be
useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of 
merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

2. Introduction

Linux boot disks are useful in a number of situations, such as testing a new
kernel, recovering from a disk failure (anything from a lost boot sector to a
disk head crash), fixing a disabled system, or upgrading critical system
files safely (such as

There are several ways of obtaining boot disks:

��*�Use one from a distribution such as Slackware. This will at least allow
    you to boot.
��*�Use a rescue package to set up disks designed to be used as rescue disks.
��*�Learn what is required for each of the types of disk to operate, then
    build your own.

Some people choose the last option so they can do it themselves. That way, if
something breaks, they can work out what to do to fix it. Plus it's a great
way to learn about how a Linux system works.

This document assumes some basic familiarity with Linux system administration
concepts. For example, you should know about directories, filesystems and
floppy diskettes. You should know how to use mount and df. You should know
what /etc/passwd and fstab files are for and what they look like. You should
know that most of the commands in this HOWTO should be run as root.

Constructing a bootdisk from scratch can be complicated. If you haven't read
the Linux FAQ and related documents, such as the Linux Installation HOWTO and
the Linux Installation Guide, you should not be trying to build boot
diskettes. If you just need a working bootdisk for emergencies, it is much
easier to download a prefabricated one. See Appendix A.1, below, for where to
find these.

3. Bootdisks and the boot process

A bootdisk is basically a miniature, self-contained Linux system on a
diskette. It must perform many of the same functions that a complete
full-size Linux system performs. Before trying to build one you should
understand the basic Linux boot process. Here we present the basics, which
are sufficient for understanding the rest of this document. Many details and
alternative options have been omitted.

3.1. The boot process

All PC systems start the boot process by executing code in ROM (specifically,
the BIOS) to load the sector from sector 0, cylinder 0 of the boot drive. The
boot drive is usually the first floppy drive (designated A: in DOS and /dev/
fd0 in Linux). The BIOS then tries to execute this sector. On most bootable
disks, sector 0, cylinder 0 contains either:

��*�code from a boot loader such as LILO, which locates the kernel, loads it
    and executes it to start the boot proper; or 
��*�the start of an operating system kernel, such as Linux. 


If a Linux kernel has been raw-copied to a diskette, the first sector of the
disk will be the first sector of the Linux kernel itself. This first sector
will continue the boot process by loading the rest of the kernel from the
boot device.

When the kernel is completely loaded, it initializes device drivers and its
internal data structures. Once it is completely initialized, it consults a
special location in its image called the ramdisk word. This word tells it how
and where to find its root filesystem. A root filesystem is simply a
filesystem that will be mounted as ``/''. The kernel has to be told where to
look for the root filesystem; if it cannot find a loadable image there, it

In some boot situations ?? often when booting from a diskette ?? the root
filesystem is loaded into a ramdisk, which is RAM accessed by the system as
if it were a disk. RAM is several orders of magnitude faster than a floppy
disk, so system operation is fast from a ramdisk. Also, the kernel can load a
compressed filesystem from the floppy and uncompress it onto the ramdisk,
allowing many more files to be squeezed onto the diskette.

Once the root filesystem is loaded and mounted, you see a message like:
|        VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.                      |

Once the system has loaded a root filesystem successfully, it tries to
execute the init program (in /bin or /sbin). init reads its configuration
file /etc/inittab, looks for a line designated sysinit, and executes the
named script. The sysinit script is usually something like /etc/rc or /etc/
init.d/boot. This script is a set of shell commands that set up basic system
services, such as running fsck on hard disks, loading necessary kernel
modules, initializing swapping, initializing the network, and mounting disks
mentioned in /etc/fstab.

This script often invokes various other scripts to do modular initialization.
For example, in the common SysVinit structure, the directory /etc/rc.d/
contains a complex structure of subdirectories whose files specify how to
enable and shut down most system services. However, on a bootdisk the sysinit
script is often very simple.

When the sysinit script finishes control returns to init, which then enters
the default runlevel, specified in inittab with the initdefault keyword. The
runlevel line usually specifies a program like getty, which is responsible
for handling commununications through the console and ttys. It is the getty
program which prints the familiar ``login:'' prompt. The getty program in
turn invokes the login program to handle login validation and to set up user

3.2. Disk types

Having reviewed the basic boot process, we can now define various kinds of
disks involved. We classify disks into four types. The discussion here and
throughout this document uses the term ``disk'' to refer to floppy diskettes
unless otherwise specified, though most of the discussion could apply equally
well to hard disks.

    A disk containing a kernel which can be booted. The disk can be used to
    boot the kernel, which then may load a root file system on another disk.
    The kernel on a bootdisk usually must be told where to find its root
    Often a bootdisk loads a root filesystem from another diskette, but it is
    possible for a bootdisk to be set up to load a hard disk's root
    filesystem instead. This is commonly done when testing a new kernel (in
    fact, ``make zdisk'' will create such a bootdisk automatically from the
    kernel source code).
    A disk with a filesystem containing files required to run a Linux system.
    Such a disk does not necessarily contain either a kernel or a boot
    A root disk can be used to run the system independently of any other
    disks, once the kernel has been booted. Usually the root disk is
    automatically copied to a ramdisk. This makes root disk accesses much
    faster, and frees up the disk drive for a utility disk.
    A disk which contains both the kernel and a root filesystem. In other
    words, it contains everything necessary to boot and run a Linux system
    without a hard disk. The advantage of this type of disk is that is it
    compact ?? everything required is on a single disk. However, the
    gradually increasing size of everything means that it is increasingly
    difficult to fit everything on a single diskette, even with compression.
    A disk which contains a filesystem, but is not intended to be mounted as
    a root file system. It is an additional data disk. You would use this
    type of disk to carry additional utilities where you have too much to fit
    on your root disk. 

In general, when we talk about ``building a bootdisk'' we mean creating both
the boot (kernel) and root (files) portions. They may be either together (a
single boot/root disk) or separate (boot + root disks). The most flexible
approach for rescue diskettes is probably to use separate boot and root
diskettes, and one or more utility diskettes to handle the overflow.

4. Building a root filesystem

Creating the root filesystem involves selecting files necessary for the
system to run. In this section we describe how to build a compressed root
filesystem. A less common option is to build an uncompressed filesystem on a
diskette that is directly mounted as root; this alternative is described in 
Section 9.1.

4.1. Overview

A root filesystem must contain everything needed to support a full Linux
system. To be able to do this, the disk must include the minimum requirements
for a Linux system:


��*�The basic file system structure,
��*� Minimum set of directories: /dev, /proc, /bin, /etc, /lib, /usr, /tmp,
��*�Basic set of utilities: sh, ls, cp, mv, etc.,
��*�Minimum set of config files: rc, inittab, fstab, etc.,
��*�Devices: /dev/hd*, /dev/tty*, /dev/fd0, etc.,
��*�Runtime library to provide basic functions used by utilities.


Of course, any system only becomes useful when you can run something on it,
and a root diskette usually only becomes useful when you can do something


��*� Check a file system on another drive, for example to check your root
    file system on your hard drive, you need to be able to boot Linux from
    another drive, as you can with a root diskette system. Then you can run 
    fsck on your original root drive while it is not mounted. 
��*�Restore all or part of your original root drive from backup using archive
    and compression utilities such as cpio, tar, gzip and ftape. 


 We describe how to build a compressed filesystem, so called because it is
compressed on disk and, when booted, is uncompressed onto a ramdisk. With a
compressed filesystem you can fit many files (approximately six megabytes)
onto a standard 1440K diskette. Because the filesystem is much larger than a
diskette, it cannot be built on the diskette. We have to build it elsewhere,
compress it, then copy it to the diskette.

4.2. Creating the filesystem

In order to build such a root filesystem, you need a spare device that is
large enough to hold all the files before compression. You will need a device
capable of holding about four megabytes. There are several choices:


��*�Use a ramdisk (DEVICE = /dev/ram0). In this case, memory is used to
    simulate a disk drive. The ramdisk must be large enough to hold a
    filesystem of the appropriate size. If you use LILO, check your
    configuration file (/etc/lilo.conf) for a line like RAMDISK = nnn which
    determines the maximum RAM that can be allocated to a ramdisk. The
    default is 4096K, which should be sufficient. You should probably not try
    to use such a ramdisk on a machine with less than 8MB of RAM. Check to
    make sure you have a device like /dev/ram0, /dev/ram or /dev/ramdisk. If
    not, create /dev/ram0 with mknod (major number 1, minor 0). 
��*�If you have an unused hard disk partition that is large enough (several
    megabytes), this is acceptable. 
��*�Use a loopback device, which allows a disk file to be treated as a
    device. Using a loopback device you can create a three megabyte file on
    your hard disk and build the filesystem on it.
    Type man losetup for instructions on using loopback devices. If you don't
    have losetup, you can get it along with compatible versions of mount and 
    unmount from the util-linux package in the directory
    If you do not have a loop device (/dev/loop0, /dev/loop1, etc.) on your
    system, you will have to create one with ``mknod /dev/loop0 b 7 0''. Once
    you've installed these special mount and umount binaries, create a
    temporary file on a hard disk with enough capacity (eg, /tmp/fsfile). You
    can use a command like:
    |        dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/fsfile bs=1k count=nnn         |
    to create an nnn-block file.
    Use the file name in place of DEVICE below. When you issue a mount
    command you must include the option -o loop to tell mount to use a
    loopback device.  

After you've chosen one of these options, prepare the DEVICE with:
|        dd if=/dev/zero of=DEVICE bs=1k count=4096                         |

This command zeroes out the device.

Important Zeroing the device is critical because the filesystem will be      
          compressed later, so all unused portions should be filled with     
          zeroes to achieve maximum compression. Keep this in mind whenever  
          you move or delete files on the filesystem. The filesystem will    
          correctly de-allocate the blocks, but it will not zero them out    
          again. If you do a lot of deletions and copying, your compressed   
          filesystem may end up much larger than necessary.                  

  Next, create the filesystem. The Linux kernel recognizes two file system
types for root disks to be automatically copied to ramdisk. These are minix
and ext2, of which ext2 is preferred. If using ext2, you may find it useful
to use the -N option to specify more inodes than the default; -N 2000 is
suggested so that you don't run out of inodes. Alternatively, you can save on
inodes by removing lots of unnecessary /dev files. mke2fs will by default
create 360 inodes on a 1.44Mb diskette. I find that 120 inodes is ample on my
current rescue root diskette, but if you include all the devices in /dev you
will easily exceed 360. Using a compressed root filesystem allows a larger
filesystem, and hence more inodes by default, but you may still need to
either reduce the number of files or increase the number of inodes.

So the command you use will look like:
|        mke2fs -m 0 -N 2000 DEVICE                                         |

(If you're using a loopback device, the disk file you're using should be
supplied in place of this DEVICE.)

The mke2fs command will automatically detect the space available and
configure itself accordingly. The ``-m�0'' parameter prevents it from
reserving space for root, and hence provides more usable space on the disk.

Next, mount the device:
|        mount -t ext2 DEVICE /mnt                                          |
(You must create a mount point /mnt if it does not already exist.) In the
remaining sections, all destination directory names are assumed to be
relative to /mnt.

4.3. Populating the filesystem

Here is a reasonable minimum set of directories for your root filesystem [1]:

��*�/dev -- Device files, required to perform I/O
��*�/proc -- Directory stub required by the proc filesystem
��*�/etc -- System configuration files
��*�/sbin -- Critical system binaries
��*�/bin -- Essential binaries considered part of the system
��*�/lib -- Shared libraries to provide run-time support
��*�/mnt -- A mount point for maintenance on other disks
��*�/usr -- Additional utilities and applications

Three of these directories will be empty on the root filesystem, so they only
need to be created with mkdir. The /proc directory is basically a stub under
which the proc filesystem is placed. The directories /mnt and /usr are only
mount points for use after the boot/root system is running. Hence again,
these directories only need to be created.

The remaining four directories are described in the following sections.

4.3.1. /dev

A /dev directory containing a special file for all devices to be used by the
system is mandatory for any Linux system. The directory itself is a normal
directory, and can be created with mkdir in the normal way. The device
special files, however, must be created in a special way, using the mknod

There is a shortcut, though ?? copy devices files from your existing hard
disk /dev directory. The only requirement is that you copy the device special
files using -R option. This will copy the directory without attempting to
copy the contents of the files. Be sure to use an upper case R. For example:
|        cp -dpR /dev/fd[01]* /mnt/dev                                      |
|        cp -dpR /dev/tty[0-6] /mnt/dev                                     |
assuming that the diskette is mounted at /mnt. The dp switches ensure that
symbolic links are copied as links, rather than using the target file, and
that the original file attributes are preserved, thus preserving ownership

If you want to do it the hard way, use ls -l to display the major and minor
device numbers for the devices you want, and create them on the diskette
using mknod.

However the devices files are created, check that any special devices you
need have been placed on the rescue diskette. For example, ftape uses tape
devices, so you will need to copy all of these if you intend to access your
floppy tape drive from the bootdisk.

Note that one inode is required for each device special file, and inodes can
at times be a scarce resource, especially on diskette filesystems. You'll
need to be selective about the device files you include. For example, if you
do not have SCSI disks you can safely ignore /dev/sd*; if you don't intend to
use serial ports you can ignore /dev/ttyS*.

If, in building your root filesystem, you get the error No space left on
device but a df command shows space still available, you have probably run
out of inodes. A df -i will display inode usage.

Important Be sure to include the following files from this directory:        
          console, kmem, mem, null, ram0 and tty1.                           

4.3.2. /etc

The /etc directory contains configuration files. What it should contain
depends on what programs you intend to run. On most systems, these can be
divided into three groups:

 1. Required at all times, e.g. rc, fstab, passwd.
 2. May be required, but no one is too sure.
 3. Junk that crept in.

Files which are not essential can usually be identified with the command:
|        ls -ltru                                                           |
This lists files in reverse order of date last accessed, so if any files are
not being accessed, they can be omitted from a root diskette.

On my root diskettes, I have the number of config files down to 15. This
reduces my work to dealing with three sets of files:

 1. The ones I must configure for a boot/root system:
     a. rc.d/* -- system startup and run level change scripts
     b. fstab -- list of file systems to be mounted
     c. inittab -- parameters for the init process, the first process started
        at boot time.
     d. gettydefs -- parameters for the init process, the first process
        started at boot time.
 2. The ones I should tidy up for a boot/root system:
     a. passwd -- Critical list of users, home directories, etc.
     b. group -- user groups.  
     c. shadow -- passwords of users. You may not have this. 
     d. termcap -- the terminal capability database.
    If security is important, passwd and shadow should be pruned to avoid
    copying user passwords off the system, and so that unwanted logins are
    rejected when you boot from diskette.
      Be sure that passwd contains at least root. If you intend other users
    to login, be sure their home directories and shells exist.
    termcap, the terminal database, is typically several hundred kilobytes.
    The version on your boot/root diskette should be pruned down to contain
    only the terminal(s) you use, which is usually just the linux or
    linux-console entry.
 3. The rest. They work at the moment, so I leave them alone.

Out of this, I only really have to configure two files, and what they should
contain is surprisingly small.

��*�rc should contain:
            /bin/mount -av                                           
            /bin/hostname Kangaroo                                   
    Be sure it is executable, be sure it has a "#!" line at the top, and be
    sure any absolute filenames are correct. You don't really need to run 
    hostname ?? it just looks nicer if you do. 
��*�fstab should contain at least:
            /dev/ram0       /               ext2    defaults         
            /dev/fd0        /               ext2    defaults         
            /proc           /proc           proc    defaults         
    You can copy entries from your existing fstab, but you should not
    automatically mount any of your hard disk partitions; use the noauto
    keyword with them. Your hard disk may be damaged or dead when the
    bootdisk is used.

Your inittab should be changed so that its sysinit line runs rc or whatever
basic boot script will be used. Also, if you want to ensure that users on
serial ports cannot login, comment out all the entries for getty which
include a ttys or ttyS device at the end of the line. Leave in the tty ports
so that you can login at the console.

A minimal inittab file looks like this:
        1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 9600 tty1                                 
        2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 9600 tty2                                   
The inittab file defines what the system will run in various states including
startup, move to multi-user mode, etc. Check carefully the filenames
mentioned in inittab; if init cannot find the program mentioned the bootdisk
will hang, and you may not even get an error message.

Note that some programs cannot be moved elsewhere because other programs have
hardcoded their locations. For example, on my system, /etc/shutdown has
hardcoded in it /etc/reboot. If I move reboot to /bin/reboot, and then issue
a shutdown command, it will fail because it cannot find the reboot file.

For the rest, just copy all the text files in your /etc directory, plus all
the executables in your /etc directory that you cannot be sure you do not
need. As a guide, consult the sample listing in Appendix C. Probably it will
suffice to copy only those files, but systems differ a great deal, so you
cannot be sure that the same set of files on your system is equivalent to the
files in the list. The only sure method is to start with inittab and work out
what is required.

Most systems now use an /etc/rc.d/ directory containing shell scripts for
different run levels. The minimum is a single rc script, but it may be
simpler just to copy inittab and the /etc/rc.d directory from your existing
system, and prune the shell scripts in the rc.d directory to remove
processing not relevent to a diskette system environment.

4.3.3. /bin and /sbin

 The /bin directory is a convenient place for extra utilities you need to
perform basic operations, utilities such as ls, mv, cat and dd. See Appendix
C for an example list of files that go in a /bin and /sbin directories. It
does not include any of the utilities required to restore from backup, such
as cpio, tar and gzip. That is because I place these on a separate utility
diskette, to save space on the boot/root diskette. Once the boot/root
diskette is booted, it is copied to the ramdisk leaving the diskette drive
free to mount another diskette, the utility diskette. I usually mount this as

Creation of a utility diskette is described below in Section 9.2. It is
probably desirable to maintain a copy of the same version of backup utilities
used to write the backups so you don't waste time trying to install versions
that cannot read your backup tapes.

Important Be sure to include the following programs: init, getty or          
          equivalent, login, mount, some shell capable of running your rc    
          scripts, a link from sh to the shell.                              

4.3.4. /lib

In /lib you place necessary shared libraries and loaders. If the necessary
libraries are not found in your /lib directory then the system will be unable
to boot. If you're lucky you may see an error message telling you why.

 Nearly every program requires at least the libc library,, where N
is the current version number. Check your /lib directory. The file
is usually a symlink to a filename with a complete version number:

|% ls -l /lib/libc*                                                                |
|-rwxr-xr-x   1 root     root      4016683 Apr 16 18:48*             |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           13 Apr 10 12:25 ->*|

In this case, you want To find other libraries you should go
through all the binaries you plan to include and check their dependencies
with ldd. For example:
|        % ldd /sbin/mke2fs                                                 |
| => /lib/ (0x40014000)                 |
| => /lib/ (0x40026000)               |
| => /lib/ (0x40028000)                     |
| => /lib/ (0x4002c000)                           |
|        /lib/ => /lib/ (0x40000000)              |
Each file on the right-hand side is required. The file may be a symbolic

Note that some libraries are quite large and will not fit easily on your root
filesystem. For example, the listed above is about 4 meg. You will
probably need to strip libraries when copying them to your root filesystem.
See Section 8 for instructions.

In /lib you must also include a loader for the libraries. The loader will be
either (for A.OUT libraries, which are no longer common) or
(for ELF libraries). Newer versions of ldd tell you exactly which loader is
needed, as in the example above, but older versions may not. If you're unsure
which you need, run the file command on the library. For example:
|% file /lib/ /lib/ /lib/                      |
|/lib/ Linux/i386 demand-paged executable (QMAGIC), stripped             |
|/lib/ ELF 32-bit LSB shared object, Intel 80386, version 1, stripped   |
|/lib/ ELF 32-bit LSB shared object, Intel 80386, version 1, not stripped|
The QMAGIC indicates that 4.7.2 is for A.OUT libraries, and ELF indicates
that 5.4.33 and 2.1.1 are for ELF.  

Copy the specific loader(s) you need to the root filesystem you're building.
Libraries and loaders should be checked carefully against the included
binaries. If the kernel cannot load a necessary library, the kernel may hang
with no error message.

4.4. Providing for PAM and NSS

Your system may require dynamically loaded libraries that are not visible to
ldd. If you don't provide for these, you may have trouble logging in or using
your bootdisk.

4.4.1. PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules)

If your system uses PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules), you must make
some provision for it on your bootdisk. Briefly, PAM is a sophisticated
modular method for authenticating users and controlling their access to
services. An easy way to determine if your system uses PAM is run ldd on your
login executable; if the output includes, you need PAM.

Fortunately, security is usually of no concern with bootdisks since anyone
who has physical access to a machine can usually do anything they want
anyway. Therefore, you can effectively disable PAM by creating a simple /etc/
pam.conf file in your root filesystem that looks like this:
OTHER   auth       optional     /lib/security/                  
OTHER   account    optional     /lib/security/                  
OTHER   password   optional     /lib/security/                  
OTHER   session    optional     /lib/security/                  
Also copy the file /lib/security/ to your root filesystem. This
library is only about 8K so it imposes minimal overhead.

This configuration allows anyone complete access to the files and services on
your machine. If you care about security on your bootdisk for some reason,
you'll have to copy some or all of your hard disk's PAM setup to your root
filesystem. Be sure to read the PAM documentation carefully, and copy any
libraries needed in /lib/security onto your root filesystem.

You must also include /lib/ on your bootdisk. But you already know
this since you ran ldd on /bin/login, which showed this dependency.

4.4.2. NSS (Name Service Switch)

If you are using glibc (aka libc6), you will have to make provisions for name
services or you will not be able to login. The file /etc/nsswitch.conf
controls database lookups for various servies. If you don't plan to access
services from the network (eg, DNS or NIS lookups), you need only prepare a
simple nsswitch.conf file that looks like this:
     passwd:     files                                                       
     shadow:     files                                                       
     group:      files                                                       
     hosts:      files                                                       
     services:   files                                                       
     networks:   files                                                       
     protocols:  files                                                       
     rpc:        files                                                       
     ethers:     files                                                       
     netmasks:   files                                                       
     bootparams: files                                                       
     automount:  files                                                       
     aliases:    files                                                       
     netgroup:   files                                                       
     publickey:  files                                                       
This specifies that every service be provided only by local files. You will
also need to include /lib/, where X is 1 for glibc 2.0 and 2
for glibc 2.1. This library will be loaded dynamically to handle the file

If you plan to access the network from your bootdisk, you may want to create
a more elaborate nsswitch.conf file. See the nsswitch man page for details.
You must include a file /lib/ for each service you

4.5. Modules

If you have a modular kernel, you must consider which modules you may want to
load from your bootdisk after booting. You might want to include ftape and 
zftape modules if your backup tapes are on floppy tape, modules for SCSI
devices if you have them, and possibly modules for PPP or SLIP support if you
want to access the net in an emergency.

These modules may be placed in /lib/modules. You should also include insmod, 
rmmod and lsmod. Depending on whether you want to load modules automatically,
you might also include modprobe, depmod and swapout. If you use kerneld,
include it along with /etc/conf.modules.

However, the main advantage to using modules is that you can move
non-critical modules to a utility disk and load them when needed, thus using
less space on your root disk. If you may have to deal with many different
devices, this approach is preferable to building one huge kernel with many
drivers built in.

Important In order to boot a compressed ext2 filesystem, you must have       
          ramdisk and ext2 support built-in. They cannot be supplied as      

4.6. Some final details

Some system programs, such as login, complain if the file /var/run/utmp and
the directory /var/log do not exist. So:
|        mkdir -p /mnt/var/{log,run}                                        |
|        touch /mnt/var/run/utmp                                            |

Finally, after you have set up all the libraries you need, run ldconfig to
remake /etc/ on the root filesystem. The cache tells the loader
where to find the libraries. You can do this with:
|        ldconfig -r /mnt                                                   |

4.7. Wrapping it up

When you have finished constructing the root filesystem, unmount it, copy it
to a file and compress it:
|        umount /mnt                                                        |
|        dd if=DEVICE bs=1k | gzip -v9 > rootfs.gz                          |
When this finishes you will have a file rootfs.gz. This is your compressed
root filesystem. You should check its size to make sure it will fit on a
diskette; if it doesn't you'll have to go back and remove some files. Some
suggestions for reducing root filesystem size appear in Section 8.

5. Choosing a kernel

At this point you have a complete compressed root filesystem. The next step
is to build or select a kernel. In most cases it would be possible to copy
your current kernel and boot the diskette from that. However, there may be
cases where you wish to build a separate one.

One reason is size. If you are building a single boot/root diskette, the
kernel will be one of the largest files on the diskette so you will have to
reduce the size of the kernel as much as possible. To reduce kernel size,
build it with the minumum set of facilities necessary to support the desired
system. This means leaving out everything you don't need. Networking is a
good thing to leave out, as well as support for any disk drives and other
devices which you don't need when running your boot/root system. As stated
before, your kernel must have ramdisk and ext2 support built into it.

Having worked out a minimum set of facilities to include in a kernel, you
then need to work out what to add back in. Probably the most common uses for
a boot/root diskette system would be to examine and restore a corrupted root
file system, and to do this you may need kernel support. For example, if your
backups are all held on tape using Ftape to access your tape drive, then, if
you lose your current root drive and drives containing Ftape, then you will
not be able to restore from your backup tapes. You will have to reinstall
Linux, download and reinstall ftape, and then try to read your backups.

The point here is that, whatever I/O support you have added to your kernel to
support backups should also be added into your boot/root kernel.

The procedure for actually building the kernel is described in the
documentation that comes with the kernel. It is quite easy to follow, so
start by looking in /usr/src/linux. If you have trouble building a kernel,
you should probably not attempt to build boot/root systems anyway. Remember
to compress the kernel with ``make zImage''.

6. Putting them together: Making the diskette(s)

At this point you have a kernel and a compressed root filesystem. If you are
making a boot/root disk, check their sizes to make sure they will both fit on
one disk. If you are making a two disk boot+root set, check the root
filesystem to make sure it will fit on a single diskette.

You should decide whether to use LILO to boot the bootdisk kernel. The
alternative is to copy the kernel directly to the diskette and boot without
LILO. The advantage of using LILO is that it enables you to supply some
parameters to the kernel which may be necessary to initialize your hardware
(Check the file /etc/lilo.conf on your system. If it exists and has a line
like ``append=...'', you probably need this feature). The disadvantage of
using LILO is that building the bootdisk is more complicated and takes
slightly more space. You will have to set up a small separate filesystem,
which we shall call the kernel filesystem, where you transfer the kernel and
a few other files that LILO needs.

If you are going to use LILO, read on; if you are going to transfer the
kernel directly, skip ahead to Section 6.2.

6.1. Transferring the kernel with LILO

First, make sure you have a recent version of LILO.

You must create a small configuration file for LILO. It should look like
        boot      =/dev/fd0                                                  
        install   =/boot/boot.b                                              
        map       =/boot/map                                                 
        backup    =/dev/null                                                 
        image     = KERNEL                                                   
        label     = Bootdisk                                                 
        root      =/dev/fd0                                                  
For an explanation of these parameters, see LILO's user documentation. You
will probably also want to add an append=... line to this file from your hard
disk's /etc/lilo.conf file.

Save this file as bdlilo.conf.

You now have to create a small filesystem, which we shall call a kernel
filesystem, to distinguish it from the root filesystem.

First, figure out how large the filesystem should be. Take the size of your
kernel in blocks (the size shown by ``ls -s KERNEL'') and add 50. Fifty
blocks is approximately the space needed for inodes plus other files. You can
calculate this number exactly if you want to, or just use 50. If you're
creating a two-disk set, you may as well overestimate the space since the
first disk is only used for the kernel anyway. Call this number

Put a floppy diskette in the drive (for simplicity we'll assume /dev/fd0) and
create an ext2 kernel filesystem on it:
|        mke2fs -N 24 -m 0 /dev/fd0 KERNEL_BLOCKS                           |
The ``-N 24'' specifies 24 inodes, which is all you should need for this
filesystem. Next, mount the filesystem, remove the lost+found directory, and
create dev and boot directories for LILO:
|        mount -o dev /dev/fd0 /mnt                                         |
|        rm -rf /mnt/lost+found                                             |
|        mkdir /mnt/{boot,dev}                                              |

Next, create devices /dev/null and /dev/fd0. Instead of looking up the device
numbers, you can just copy them from your hard disk using -R:
|        cp -R /dev/{null,fd0} /mnt/dev                                     |
LILO needs a copy of its boot loader, boot.b, which you can take from your
hard disk. It is usually kept in the /boot directory.
|        cp /boot/boot.b /mnt/boot                                          |
Finally, copy in the LILO configuration file you created in the last section,
along with your kernel. Both can be put in the root directory:
|        cp bdlilo.conf KERNEL /mnt                                         |
Everything LILO needs is now on the kernel filesystem, so you are ready to
run it. LILO's -r flag is used for installing the boot loader on some other
|        lilo -v -C bdlilo.conf -r /mnt                                     |
LILO should run without error, after which the kernel filesystem should look
something like this:
|total 361                                                                      |
|  1 ??rw??r????r????   1 root     root          176 Jan 10 07:22 bdlilo.conf   |
|  1 drwxr??xr??x   2 root     root         1024 Jan 10 07:23 boot/             |
|  1 drwxr??xr??x   2 root     root         1024 Jan 10 07:22 dev/              |
|358 ??rw??r????r????   1 root     root       362707 Jan 10 07:23 vmlinuz       |
|boot:                                                                          |
|total 8                                                                        |
|  4 ??rw??r????r????   1 root     root         3708 Jan 10 07:22 boot.b        |
|  4 ??rw??????????????   1 root     root         3584 Jan 10 07:23 map         |
|dev:                                                                           |
|total 0                                                                        |
|  0 brw??r??????????   1 root     root       2,   0 Jan 10 07:22 fd0           |
|  0 crw??r????r????   1 root     root       1,   3 Jan 10 07:22 null           |

Do not worry if the file sizes are slightly different from yours.

Now leave the diskette in the drive and go to Section 6.3.

6.2. Transferring the kernel without LILO

If you are not using LILO, transfer the kernel to the bootdisk with dd:
|        % dd if=KERNEL of=/dev/fd0 bs=1k                                   |
|        353+1 records in                                                   |
|        353+1 records out                                                  |
In this example, dd wrote 353 complete records + 1 partial record, so the
kernel occupies the first 354 blocks of the diskette. Call this number
KERNEL_BLOCKS and remember it for use in the next section.

Finally, set the root device to be the diskette itself, then set the root to
be loaded read/write:
|        rdev /dev/fd0 /dev/fd0                                             |
|        rdev -R /dev/fd0 0                                                 |
Be careful to use a capital -R in the second rdev command.

6.3. Setting the ramdisk word

Inside the kernel image is the ramdisk word that specifies where the root
filesystem is to be found, along with other options. The word can be accessed
and set via the rdev command, and its contents are interpreted as follows:

|  Bit field|Description                                    |
|       0-10|Offset to start of ramdisk, in 1024 byte blocks|
|      11-13|unused                                         |
|         14|Flag indicating that ramdisk is to be loaded   |
|         15|Flag indicating to prompt before loading rootfs|

If bit 15 is set, on boot-up you will be prompted to place a new floppy
diskette in the drive. This is necessary for a two-disk boot set.

There are two cases, depending on whether you are building a single boot/root
diskette or a double ``boot+root'' diskette set.

 1. If you are building a single disk, the compressed root filesystem will be
    placed right after the kernel, so the offset will be the first free block
    (which should be the same as KERNEL_BLOCKS). Bit 14 will be set to 1, and
    bit 15 will be zero. For example, say you're building a single disk and
    the root filesystem will begin at block 253 (decimal). The ramdisk word
    value should be 253 (decimal) with bit 14 set to 1 and bit 15 set to 0.
    To calculate the value you can simply add the decimal values. 253 + (2^
    14) = 253 + 16384 = 16637. If you don't quite understand where this
    number comes from, plug it into a scientific calculator and convert it to
 2. If you are building a two-disk set, the root filesystem will begin at
    block zero of the second disk, so the offset will be zero. Bit 14 will be
    set to 1 and bit 15 will be 1. The decimal value will be 2^14 + 2^15 =
    49152 in this case.

After carefully calculating the value for the ramdisk word, set it with rdev
-r. Be sure to use the decimal value. If you used LILO, the argument to rdev
here should be the mounted kernel path, e.g. /mnt/vmlinuz; if you copied the
kernel with dd, instead use the floppy device name (e.g., /dev/fd0).
|        rdev -r KERNEL_OR_FLOPPY_DRIVE  VALUE                              |

If you used LILO, unmount the diskette now.

Important Do not believe what the rdev/ramsize manpage says about ramdisk    
          size. The manpage is obsolete. As of kernel 2.0 or so, the ramdisk 
          word no longer determines the ramdisk size; the word is instead    
          interpreted according to the table at the beginning of section     
          Section 6.3. For a detailed explanation, see the documentation file
          [file:/usr/src/linux/Documentation/ramdisk.txt] ramdisk.txt or     
          [] http://  

6.4. Transferring the root filesystem

The last step is to transfer the root filesystem.


��*�If the root filesystem will be placed on the same disk as the kernel,
    transfer it using dd with the seek option, which specifies how many
    blocks to skip:
    |        dd if=rootfs.gz of=/dev/fd0 bs=1k seek=KERNEL_BLOCKS   |
��*�If the root filesystem will be placed on a second disk, remove the first
    diskette, put the second diskette in the drive, then transfer the root
    filesystem to it:
    |        dd if=rootfs.gz of=/dev/fd0 bs=1k                      |


Congratulations, you are done!

Important You should always test a bootdisk before putting it aside for an   
          emergency. If it fails to boot, read on.                           

7. Troubleshooting, or The Agony of Defeat

When building bootdisks, the first few tries often will not boot. The general
approach to building a root disk is to assemble components from your existing
system, and try and get the diskette-based system to the point where it
displays messages on the console. Once it starts talking to you, the battle
is half over because you can see what it is complaining about, and you can
fix individual problems until the system works smoothly. If the system just
hangs with no explanation, finding the cause can be difficult. The
recommended procedure for investigating the problem where the system will not
talk to you is as follows:


��*�You may see a message like this:
    |Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on XX:YY            |
    This is a common problem and it has only a few causes. First, check the
    device XX:YY against the list of device codes in /usr/src/linux/
    Documentation/devices.txt. If it is incorrect, you probably didn't do an 
    rdev -R, or you did it on the wrong image. If the device code is correct,
    then check carefully the device drivers compiled into your kernel. Make
    sure it has floppy disk, ramdisk and ext2 filesystem support built-in.
��*�If you see many errors like:
    |end_request: I/O error, dev 01:00 (ramdisk), sector NNN        |
    This is an I/O error from the ramdisk driver, usually because the kernel
    is trying to write beyond the end of the device. The ramdisk is too small
    to hold the root filesystem. Check your bootdisk kernel's initialization
    messages for a line like:
    |        Ramdisk driver initialized : 16 ramdisks of 4096K size |
    Check this size against the uncompressed size of the root filesystem. If
    the ramdisks aren't large enough, make them larger.
��*�Check that the root disk actually contains the directories you think it
    does. It is easy to copy at the wrong level so that you end up with
    something like /rootdisk/bin instead of /bin on your root diskette. 
��*�Check that there is a /lib/ with the same link that appears in
    your /lib directory on your hard disk. 
��*�Check that any symbolic links in your /dev directory in your existing
    system also exist on your root diskette filesystem, where those links are
    to devices which you have included in your root diskette. In particular,
    /dev/console links are essential in many cases.
��*�Check that you have included /dev/tty1, /dev/null, /dev/zero, /dev/mem, /
    dev/ram and /dev/kmem files. 
��*�Check your kernel configuration -- support for all resources required up
    to login point must be built in, not modules. So ramdisk and ext2 support
    must be built-in. 
��*�Check that your kernel root device and ramdisk settings are correct.

Once these general aspects have been covered, here are some more specific
files to check:

 1. Make sure init is included as /sbin/init or /bin/init. Make sure it is
 2. Run ldd init to check init's libraries. Usually this is just, but
    check anyway. Make sure you included the necessary libraries and loaders.
 3. Make sure you have the right loader for your libraries -- for a.out
    or for ELF. 
 4. Check the /etc/inittab on your bootdisk filesystem for the calls to getty
    (or some getty-like program, such as agetty, mgetty or getty_ps).
    Double-check these against your hard disk inittab. Check the man pages of
    the program you use to make sure these make sense. inittab is possibly
    the trickiest part because its syntax and content depend on the init
    program used and the nature of the system. The only way to tackle it is
    to read the man pages for init and inittab and work out exactly what your
    existing system is doing when it boots. Check to make sure /etc/inittab
    has a system initialisation entry. This should contain a command to
    execute the system initialization script, which must exist. 
 5. As with init, run ldd on your getty to see what it needs, and make sure
    the necessary library files and loaders were included in your root
 6. Be sure you have included a shell program (e.g., bash or ash) capable of
    running all of your rc scripts. 
 7. If you have a /etc/ file on your rescue disk, remake it.


If init starts, but you get a message like:
|        Id xxx respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes                 |
it is coming from init, usually indicating that getty or login is dying as
soon as it starts up. Check the getty and login executables and the libraries
they depend upon. Make sure the invocations in /etc/inittab are correct. If
you get strange messages from getty, it may mean the calling form in /etc/
inittab is wrong.

If you get a login prompt, and you enter a valid login name but the system
prompts you for another login name immediately, the problem may be with PAM
or NSS. See Section 4.4. The problem may also be that you use shadow
passwords and didn't copy /etc/shadow to your bootdisk.

If you try to run some executable, such as df, which is on your rescue disk
but you yields a message like: df: not found, check two things: (1) Make sure
the directory containing the binary is in your PATH, and (2) make sure you
have libraries (and loaders) the program needs.

8. Reducing root filesystem size

 One of the main problems with building bootdisks is getting everything to
fit into one (or even two) diskettes. Even when files are compressed this can
be very difficult, because Linux system components keep growing. Here are
some common techniques used to make everything fit.

8.1. Increase the diskette density

By default, floppy diskettes are formatted at 1440K, but higher density
formats are possible. Whether you can boot from higher density disks depends
mostly on your BIOS. fdformat will format disks for the following sizes:
1600K, 1680K, 1722K, 1743K, 1760K, 1840K, and 1920K. See the fdformat man
page and /usr/src/linux/Documentation/devices.txt.

But what diskette densities/geometries will your machine support? Here are
some (lightly edited) answers from Alain Knaff, the author of fdutils.

    This is more an issue of the BIOS rather than the physical format of the
    disk. If the BIOS decides that any sector number greater than 18 is bad,
    then there is not much we can do. Indeed, short of disassembling the
    BIOS, trial and error seems to be the only way to find out. However, if
    the BIOS supports ED disks (extra density: 36 sectors/track and 2.88MB),
    there's a chance that 1722K disks are supported as well.
    Superformatted disks with more than 21 sectors/track are likely not
    bootable: indeed, those use sectors of non-standard sizes (1024 bytes in
    a sector instead of 512, for example), and are likely not bootable. It
    should however be possible to write a special bootsector program to work
    around this. If I remember correctly, the DOS 2m utility has such a
    beast, as does OS/2's XDF utilities.
    Some BIOSes artificially claim that any sector number greater than 18
    must be in error. As 1722K disks use sector numbers up to 21, these would
    not be bootable. The best way to test would be to format a test DOS or
    syslinus disk as 1722K and make it bootable. If you use LILO, don't use
    the option linear (or else LILO would assume that the disk is the default
    18 sectors/track, and the disk will fail to boot even if supported by the
8.2. Replace common utilities with BusyBox

Much root filesystem space is consumed by common GNU system utilities such as
cat, chmod, cp, dd, df, etc. The BusyBox project was designed to provide
minimal replacements for these common system utilities. BusyBox supplies one
single monolithic executable file, /bin/busybox, about 150K, which implements
the functions of these utilities. You then create symlinks from different
utilities to this executable; busybox sees how it was called and invokes the
correct code. BusyBox even includes a basic shell. BusyBox is available in
binary packages for many distributions, and source code is available from the
BusyBox site.  

8.3. Use an alternate shell

Some of the popular shells for Linux, such as bash and tcsh, are large and
require many libraries. If you don't use the BusyBox shell, you should still
consider replacing your shell anyway. Some light-weight alternatives are ash,
lsh, kiss and smash, which are much smaller and require few (or no)
libraries. Most of these replacement shells are available from http:// Make sure any shell you use is
capable of running commands in all the rc files you include on your bootdisk.

8.4. Strip libraries and binaries

Many libraries and binaries are distributed with debugging information.
Running file on these files will tell you ``not stripped'' if so. When
copying binaries to your root filesystem, it is good practice to use:
|      objcopy --strip-all FROM TO                                          |

Important When copying libraries, be sure to use strip-debug instead of      

8.5. Move files to a utility disk

If some of your binaries are not needed immediately to boot or login, you can
move them to a utility disk. See Section 9.2 for details. You may also
consider moving modules to a utility disk as well.  

9. Miscellaneous topics

9.1. Non-ramdisk root filesystems

Section 4 gave instructions for building a compressed root filesystem which
is loaded to ramdisk when the system boots. This method has many advantages
so it is commonly used. However, some systems with little memory cannot
afford the RAM needed for this, and they must use root filesystems mounted
directly from the diskette.

Such filesystems are actually easier to build than compressed root
filesystems because they can be built on a diskette rather than on some other
device, and they do not have to be compressed. We will outline the procedure
as it differs from the instructions above. If you choose to do this, keep in
mind that you will have much less space available.


 1. Calculate how much space you will have available for root files. If you
    are building a single boot/root disk, you must fit all blocks for the
    kernel plus all blocks for the root filesystem on the one disk. 
 2. Using mke2fs, create a root filesystem on a diskette of the appropriate
 3. Populate the filesystem as described above.  
 4. When done, unmount the filesystem and transfer it to a disk file but do
    not compress it. 
 5. Transfer the kernel to a floppy diskette, as described above. When
    calculating the ramdisk word, set bit 14 to zero, to indicate that the
    root filesystem is not to be loaded to ramdisk. Run the rdev's as
 6. Transfer the root filesystem as before. 


There are several shortcuts you can take. If you are building a two-disk set,
you can build the complete root filesystem directly on the second disk and
you need not transfer it to a hard disk file and then back. Also, if you are
building a single boot/root disk and using LILO, you can build a single
filesystem on the entire disk, containing the kernel, LILO files and root
files, and simply run LILO as the last step.

9.2. Building a utility disk

Building a utility disk is relatively easy -- simply create a filesystem on a
formatted disk and copy files to it. To use it with a bootdisk, mount it
manually after the system is booted.

In the instructions above, we mentioned that the utility disk could be
mounted as /usr. In this case, binaries could be placed into a /bin directory
on your utility disk, so that placing /usr/bin in your path will access them.
Additional libraries needed by the binaries are placed in /lib on the utility

There are several important points to keep in mind when designing a utility


 1. Do not place critical system binaries or libraries onto the utility disk,
    since it will not be mountable until after the system has booted. 
 2. You cannot access a floppy diskette and a floppy tape drive
    simultaneously. This means that if you have a floppy tape drive, you will
    not be able to access it while your utility disk is mounted. 
 3. Access to files on the utility disk will be slow. 


Appendix D shows a sample of files on a utility disk. Here are some ideas for
files you may find useful: programs for examining and manipulating disks (
format, fdisk) and filesystems (mke2fs, fsck, debugfs, isofs.o), a
lightweight text editor (elvis, jove), compression and archive utilities (
gzip, bzip, tar, cpio, afio), tape utilities (mt, ftmt, tob, taper),
communications utilities (ppp.o, slip.o, minicom) and utilities for devices (
setserial, mknod).

10. How the pros do it

You may notice that the bootdisks used by major distributions such as
Slackware, RedHat or Debian seem more sophisticated than what is described in
this document. Professional distribution bootdisks are based on the same
principles outlined here, but employ various tricks because their bootdisks
have additional requirements. First, they must be able to work with a wide
variety of hardware, so they must be able to interact with the user and load
various device drivers. Second, they must be prepared to work with many
different installation options, with varying degrees of automation. Finally,
distribution bootdisks usually combine installation and rescue capabilities.

Some bootdisks use a feature called initrd (initial ramdisk). This feature
was introduced around 2.0.x and allows a kernel to boot in two phases. When
the kernel first boots, it loads an initial ramdisk image from the boot disk.
This initial ramdisk is a root filesystem containing a program that runs
before the real root fs is loaded. This program usually inspects the
environment and/or asks the user to select various boot options, such as the
device from which to load the real rootdisk. It typically loads additional
modules not built in to the kernel. When this initial program exits, the
kernel loads the real root image and booting continues normally. For further
information on initrd, see your local file /usr/src/linux/Documentation/
initrd.txt and

The following are summaries of how each distribution's installation disks
seem to work, based on inspecting their filesystems and/or source code. We do
not guarantee that this information is completely accurate, or that they have
not changed since the versions noted.

Slackware (v.3.1) uses a straightforward LILO boot similar to what is
described in Section 6.1. The Slackware bootdisk prints a bootup message (??
Welcome to the Slackware Linux bootkernel disk!??) using LILO's message
parameter. This instructs the user to enter a boot parameter line if
necessary. After booting, a root filesystem is loaded from a second disk. The
user invokes a setup script which starts the installation. Instead of using a
modular kernel, Slackware provides many different kernels and depends upon
the user to select the one matching his or her hardware requirements.

RedHat (v.4.0) also uses a LILO boot. It loads a compressed ramdisk on the
first disk, which runs a custom init program. This program queries for
drivers then loads additional files from a supplemental disk if necessary.

Debian (v.1.3) is probably the most sophisticated of the installation disk
sets. It uses the SYSLINUX loader to arrange various load options, then uses
an initrd image to guide the user through installation. It appears to use
both a customized init and a customized shell.

11. Creating bootable CD-ROMs

Note This section was contributed by Rizwan Mohammed Darwe (rizwan AT        
     clovertechnologies dot com)                                             

This section assumes that you are familiar with the process and workings of
writing CDs in linux. Consider this to be a quick reference to include the
ability to boot the CD which you will burn. The CD-Writing-HOWTO should give
you an in-depth reference.

11.1. What is El Torito?

For the x86 platform, many BIOS's have begun to support bootable CDs. The
patches for mkisofs is based on the standard called "El Torito". Simply put,
El Torito is a specification that says how a cdrom should be formatted such
that you can directly boot from it.

The "El Torito" spec says that any cdrom drive should work (SCSI or EIDE) as
long as the BIOS supports El Torito. So far this has only been tested with
EIDE drives because none of the SCSI controllers that has been tested so far
appears to support El Torito. The motherboard definately has to support El
Torito. How do you know if your motherboard supports "El Torito"? Well, the
ones that support it let you choose booting from hard disk, Floppy, Network

11.2. How it Works

The El Torito standard works by making the CD drive appear, through BIOS
calls, to be a normal floppy drive. This way you simply put any floppy size
image (exactly 1440k for a 1.44 meg floppy) somewhere in the ISO filesystem.
In the headers of the ISO fs you place a pointer to this image. The BIOS will
then grab this image from the CD and for all purposes it acts as if it were
booting from the floppy drive. This allows a working LILO boot disk, for
example, to simply be used as is.

Roughly speaking, the first 1.44 (or 2.88 if supported) Mbytes of the CD-ROM
contains a floppy-disk image supplied by you. This image is treated like a
floppy by the BIOS and booted from. (As a consequence, while booting from
this virtual floppy, your original drive A: (/dev/fd0) may not be accessible,
but you can try with /dev/fd1).

11.3. How to make it work

First create a file, say "boot.img", which is an exact image of the bootable
floppy-disk which you want to boot via the CD-ROM. This must be an 1.44 MB
bootable floppy-disk. The command below will do this
|        dd if=/dev/fd0 of=boot.img bs=10k count=144                        |
assuming the floppy is in the A: drive.

Place this image somewhere in the hierarchy which will be the source for the
iso9660 filesystem. It is a good idea to put all boot related files in their
own directory ("boot/" under the root of the iso9660 fs, for example).

One caveat -- Your boot floppy must load any initial ramdisk via LILO, not
the kernel ramdisk driver! This is because once the linux kernel starts up,
the BIOS emulation of the CD as a floppy disk is circumvented and will fail.
LILO will load the initial ramdisk using BIOS disk calls, so the emulation
works as designed.

The El Torito specification requires a "boot catalog" to be created as well.
This is a 2048 byte file which is of no interest except it is required. The
patchwork done by the author of mkisofs will cause it to automatically create
the boot catalog, but you must specify where the boot catalog will go in the
iso9660 filesystem. Usually it is a good idea to put it in the same place as
the boot image, and a name like boot.catalog seems appropriate.

So we have our boot image in the file boot.img, and we are going to put it in
the directory boot/ under the root of the iso9660 filesystem. We will have
the boot catalog go in the same directory with the name boot.catalog. The
command to create the iso9660 fs in the file bootcd.iso is then:
|mkisofs -r -b boot/boot.img -c boot/boot.catalog -o bootcd.iso .           |
The -b option specifies the boot image to be used (note the path is relative
to the root of the iso9660 disk), and the -c option is for the boot catalog
file. The -r option will make approptiate file ownerships and modes (see the
mkisofs manpage). The "." in the end says to take the source from the current

Now burn the CD with the usual cdrecord command and it is ready to boot.

11.4. Create Win9x Bootable CD-Roms

The first step is to get hold of the bootable image used by the source CD.
But you cannot simply mount the CD under linux and dd the first 1440k to a
floppy disk or to a file like boot.img. Instead you simply boot with the
source CD-ROM.

When you boot the Win98 CD you are dropped to A: prompt which is the actual
ramdisk. And D: or Z: is where all the installables are residing. By using
the diskcopy command of dos copy the A: image into the actual floppy drive
which is now B: The command below will do this.
|diskcopy A: B:                                                             |
It works just like dd. You can try booting from this newly created disk to
test if the booting process is similar to that of the source CD. Then the
usual dd of this floppy to a file like boot.img and then rest is as usual.

12. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list

Q: I boot from my boot/root disks and nothing happens. What do I do?
Q: How does the Slackware/Debian/RedHat bootdisk work?
Q: How do I use higher-density (> 1440K) diskettes? How do I figure out which
    densities will work with my diskette drive?
Q: How do I increase the size of my ramdisks?
Q: How do I make bootable CD-ROMs?
Q: How do I make bootable LS-120 disks?
Q: How can I make a boot disk with a XYZ driver?
Q: How do I update my root diskette with new files?
Q: How do I remove LILO so that I can use DOS to boot again?
Q: How can I boot if I've lost my kernel and my boot disk?
Q: How can I make extra copies of boot/root diskettes?
Q: How can I boot without typing in ??ahaxxxx=nn,nn,nn?? every time?
Q: At boot time, I get error ??A: cannot execute B??. Why?
Q: My kernel has ramdisk support, but initializes ramdisks of 0K. Why?

Q: I boot from my boot/root disks and nothing happens. What do I do?

A: See Section 7, above.

Q: How does the Slackware/Debian/RedHat bootdisk work?

A: See Section 10, above.

Q: How do I use higher-density (> 1440K) diskettes? How do I figure out which
densities will work with my diskette drive?

A: See Section Section 8, above, for the comments by Alain Knaff on this
subject. His is the most authoritative answer I know of.

Q: How do I increase the size of my ramdisks?

A: This probably should be explained better in the text, but I'll put an
answer here for the time being.

First, do not attempt to use the rdev or ramsize commands to do this, no
matter what their documentation says. The ramdisk word no longer determines
the size of ramdisks.

Second, keep in mind that ramdisks are actually dynamic; when you set a
ramdisk size you aren't allocating any memory, you're just setting the limit
of how large it can grow. Don't be afraid to set these fairly large (eg, 8 or
even 16 meg). The RAM space is not actually consumed until you need it. You
can set these limits in one of several ways.

 1. Use the ramdisk_size=NNN command line parameter. You can either enter
    this manually or use a command like append="ramdisk_size=NNN" with LILO.
 2. If you're using LILO, you can use a kernel option like ramdisk=8192K in
    the lilo.conf file.
 3. Change the kernel configuration option CONFIG_BLK_DEV_RAM_SIZE and
    recompile your kernel.

Q: How do I make bootable CD-ROMs?

A: See section Section 11.

Q: How do I make bootable LS-120 disks?

A: Since I don't have an LS-120 drive, the following information is
summarized from information provided by Dave Cinege from the Linux Router

 The LS-120 is an IDE floppy drive. It is compatible with both standard 3.5"
disks and the new 120MB disks. As of Linux v2.0.31 there is full support. To
be able to boot from these you must have a BIOS that specifically allows the
LS-120 to be treated as drive 0 (whereas IDE devices normally start at 80).
If you do not have BIOS support, you can purchase a small IDE FloppyMAX card
from Promise Technologies to overcome this deficiency.

 The kernel boot loader does not like the LS-120, and instantly dies. Also 2m
disks do not like it and will not boot. 1.44MB through 1.74MB disks will work
fine. SYSLINUX works with the 120MB disks as of v1.32. You would better off
partitioning the disk and using ext2 or minix, instead of SYSLINUX unless you
need MS-DOS compatibility.

LILO does work fine with 120MB disks. Here is a sample lilo.conf:
|        boot=/dev/hda                                                      |
|        compact                                                            |
|        disk=/dev/hda bios=0                                               |
|        install=/floppy/boot.b                                             |
|        map=/floppy/map                                                    |
|        image=/floppy/linux                                                |
|        label=Linux                                                        |
|        append="load_ramdisk=1"                                            |
|        initrd=/floppy/root.bin                                            |
|        ramdisk=8192                                                       |
The line "disk=/dev/hda bios=0" is what does the trick to make it boot the

Q: How can I make a boot disk with a XYZ driver?

A: The easiest way is to obtain a Slackware kernel from your nearest
Slackware mirror site. Slackware kernels are generic kernels which atttempt
to include drivers for as many devices as possible, so if you have a SCSI or
IDE controller, chances are that a driver for it is included in the Slackware

Go to the a1 directory and select either IDE or SCSI kernel depending on the
type of controller you have. Check the xxxxkern.cfg file for the selected
kernel to see the drivers which have been included in that kernel. If the
device you want is in that list, then the corresponding kernel should boot
your computer. Download the xxxxkern.tgz file and copy it to your boot
diskette as described above in the section on making boot disks.

You must then check the root device in the kernel, using the command rdev
zImage. If this is not the same as the root device you want, use rdev to
change it. For example, the kernel I tried was set to /dev/sda2, but my root
SCSI partition is /dev/sda8. To use a root diskette, you would have to use
the command rdev zImage /dev/fd0.

If you want to know how to set up a Slackware root disk as well, that's
outside the scope of this HOWTO, so I suggest you check the Linux Install
Guide or get the Slackware distribution. See the section in this HOWTO titled

Q: How do I update my root diskette with new files?

A: The easiest way is to copy the filesystem from the rootdisk back to the 
DEVICE you used (from Section 4.2, above). Then mount the filesystem and make
the changes. You have to remember where your root filesystem started and how
many blocks it occupied:
|        dd if=/dev/fd0 bs=1k skip=ROOTBEGIN count=BLOCKS | gunzip > DEVICE |
|        mount -t ext2 DEVICE /mnt                                          |
After making the changes, proceed as before (in Section 4.7) and transfer the
root filesystem back to the disk. You should not have to re-transfer the
kernel or re-compute the ramdisk word if you do not change the starting
position of the new root filesystem.

Q: How do I remove LILO so that I can use DOS to boot again?

A: This is not really a Bootdisk topic, but it is asked often. Within Linux,
you can run:
|        /sbin/lilo -u                                                      |

You can also use the dd command to copy the backup saved by LILO to the boot
sector. Refer to the LILO documentation if you wish to do this.

Within DOS and Windows you can use the DOS command:
|        FDISK /MBR                                                         |
MBR stands for Master Boot Record. This command replaces the boot sector with
a clean DOS one, without affecting the partition table. Some purists disagree
with this, but even the author of LILO, Werner Almesberger, suggests it. It
is easy, and it works.

Q: How can I boot if I've lost my kernel and my boot disk?

A: If you don't have a boot disk standing by, probably the easiest method is
to obtain a Slackware kernel for your disk controller type (IDE or SCSI) as
described above for ``How do I make a boot disk with a XXX driver?''. You can
then boot your computer using this kernel, then repair whatever damage there

The kernel you get may not have the root device set to the disk type and
partition you want. For example, Slackware's generic SCSI kernel has the root
device set to /dev/sda2, whereas my root Linux partition happens to be /dev/
sda8. In this case the root device in the kernel will have to be changed.

You can still change the root device and ramdisk settings in the kernel even
if all you have is a kernel, and some other operating system, such as DOS.

rdev changes kernel settings by changing the values at fixed offsets in the
kernel file, so you can do the same if you have a hex editor available on
whatever systems you do still have running -- for example, Norton Utilities
Disk Editor under DOS. You then need to check and if necessary change the
values in the kernel at the following offsets:
|HEX     DEC  DESCRIPTION                                                   |
|0x01F8  504  Low byte of RAMDISK word                                      |
|0x01F9  505  High byte of RAMDISK word                                     |
|0x01FC  508  Root minor device number - see below                          |
|0X01FD  509  Root major device number - see below                          |

The interpretation of the ramdisk word was described in Section 6.3, above.

The major and minor device numbers must be set to the device you want to
mount your root filesystem on. Some useful values to select from are:
|DEVICE          MAJOR MINOR                                                |
|/dev/fd0            2     0   1st floppy drive                             |
|/dev/hda1           3     1   partition 1 on 1st IDE drive                 |
|/dev/sda1           8     1   partition 1 on 1st SCSI drive                |
|/dev/sda8           8     8   partition 8 on 1st SCSI drive                |
Once you have set these values then you can write the file to a diskette
using either Norton Utilities Disk Editor, or a program called rawrite.exe.
This program is included in all distributions. It is a DOS program which
writes a file to the ``raw'' disk, starting at the boot sector, instead of
writing it to the file system. If you use Norton Utilities you must write the
file to a physical disk starting at the beginning of the disk.

Q: How can I make extra copies of boot/root diskettes?

A: Because magnetic media may deteriorate over time, you should keep several
copies of your rescue disk, in case the original is unreadable.

The easiest way of making copies of any diskettes, including bootable and
utility diskettes, is to use the dd command to copy the contents of the
original diskette to a file on your hard drive, and then use the same command
to copy the file back to a new diskette. Note that you do not need to, and
should not, mount the diskettes, because dd uses the raw device interface.

To copy the original, enter the command:
|        dd if=DEVICENAME of=FILENAME                                       |
where DEVICENAME is the device name of the diskette drive and FILENAME is the
name of the (hard-disk) output file. Omitting the count parameter causes dd
to copy the whole diskette (2880 blocks if high-density).

To copy the resulting file back to a new diskette, insert the new diskette
and enter the reverse command:
|        dd if=FILENAME of=DEVICENAME                                       |

Note that the above discussion assumes that you have only one diskette drive.
If you have two of the same type, you can copy diskettes using a command
|        dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/dev/fd1                                         |

Q: How can I boot without typing in ??ahaxxxx=nn,nn,nn?? every time?

A: Where a disk device cannot be autodetected it is necessary to supply the
kernel with a command device parameter string, such as:
|        aha152x=0x340,11,3,1                                               |
This parameter string can be supplied in several ways using LILO:

��*�By entering it on the command line every time the system is booted via
    LILO. This is boring, though.
��*�By using LILO's lock keyword to make it store the command line as the
    default command line, so that LILO will use the same options every time
    it boots.
��*�By using the append= statement in the LILO config file. Note that the
    parameter string must be enclosed in quotes.

For example, a sample command line using the above parameter string would be:
|        zImage  aha152x=0x340,11,3,1 root=/dev/sda1 lock                   |

This would pass the device parameter string through, and also ask the kernel
to set the root device to /dev/sda1 and save the whole command line and reuse
it for all future boots.

A sample APPEND statement is:
|        APPEND = ??aha152x=0x340,11,3,1??                                  |

Note that the parameter string must not be enclosed in quotes on the command
line, but it must be enclosed in quotes in the APPEND statement.

Note also that for the parameter string to be acted on, the kernel must
contain the driver for that disk type. If it does not, then there is nothing
listening for the parameter string, and you will have to rebuild the kernel
to include the required driver. For details on rebuilding the kernel, go to /
usr/src/linux and read the README, and read the Linux FAQ and Installation
HOWTO. Alternatively you could obtain a generic kernel for the disk type and
install that.

Readers are strongly urged to read the LILO documentation before
experimenting with LILO installation. Incautious use of the BOOT statement
can damage partitions.

Q: At boot time, I get error ??A: cannot execute B??. Why?

A: There are several cases of program names being hardcoded in various
utilities. These cases do not occur everywhere, but they may explain why an
executable apparently cannot be found on your system even though you can see
that it is there. You can find out if a given program has the name of another
hardcoded by using the strings command and piping the output through grep.

Known examples of hardcoding are:

��*�shutdown in some versions has /etc/reboot hardcoded, so reboot must be
    placed in the /etc directory.
��*�init has caused problems for at least one person, with the kernel being
    unable to find init.

To fix these problems, either move the programs to the correct directory, or
change configuration files (e.g. inittab) to point to the correct directory.
If in doubt, put programs in the same directories as they are on your hard
disk, and use the same inittab and /etc/rc.d files as they appear on your
hard disk.

Q: My kernel has ramdisk support, but initializes ramdisks of 0K. Why?

A: Where this occurs, a kernel message like this will appear as the kernel is
|        Ramdisk driver initialized : 16 ramdisks of 0K size                |

This is probably because the size has been set to 0 by kernel parameters at
boot time. This could possibly be because of an overlooked LILO configuration
file parameter:
|    ramdisk= 0                                                             |

This was included in sample LILO configuration files in some older
distributions, and was put there to override any previous kernel setting. If
you have such a line, remove it.

Note that if you attempt to use a ramdisk of 0 size, the behaviour can be
unpredictable, and can result in kernel panics.

A. Resources and pointers

When retrieving a package, always get the latest version unless you have good
reasons for not doing so.

A.1. Pre-made Bootdisks

These are sources for distribution bootdisks. Please use one of the mirror
sites to reduce the load on these machines.

    /] Slackware bootdisks, [
    distributions/slackware/rootdsks/] rootdisks and [http://] Slackware mirror sites
��*�[] RedHat
    bootdisks and [] Red Hat mirror sites 
    Debian bootdisks and []
    Debian mirror sites 
��*�Mandrake downloads


 In addition to the distribution bootdisks, the following rescue disk images
are available. Unless otherwise specified, these are available in the


��*�RIP is a boot/rescue system which comes in several versions: one that
    fits on a 1.44M floppy diskette and one that fits on a CD-ROM. It has
    large file support and many utility programs for disk maintenance and
    rescue. It has support for ext2, ext3, iso9660, msdos, ntfs, reiserfs,
    ufs and vfat. RIP is available from [
��*�tomsrtbt, by Tom Oehser, is a single-disk boot/root disk based on kernel
    2.0, with a large set of features and support programs. It supports IDE,
    SCSI, tape, network adaptors, PCMCIA and more. About 100 utility programs
    and tools are included for fixing and restoring disks. The package also
    includes scripts for disassembling and reconstructing the images so that
    new material can be added if necessary.
��*�rescue02, by John Comyns, is a rescue disk based on kernel 1.3.84, with
    support for IDE and Adaptec 1542 and NCR53C7,8xx. It uses ELF binaries
    but it has enough commands so that it can be used on any system. There
    are modules that can be loaded after booting for all other SCSI cards. It
    probably won't work on systems with 4 mb of ram since it uses a 3 mb ram
��*�resque_disk-2.0.22, by Sergei Viznyuk, is a full-featured boot/root disk
    based on kernel 2.0.22 with built-in support for IDE, many difference
    SCSI controllers, and ELF/AOUT. Also includes many modules and useful
    utilities for repairing and restoring a hard disk.
��*�cramdisk images, based on the 2.0.23 kernel, available for 4 meg and 8
    meg machines. They include math emulation and networking (PPP and dialin
    script, NE2000, 3C509), or support for the parallel port ZIP drive. These
    diskette images will boot on a 386 with 4MB RAM. MSDOS support is
    included so you can download from the net to a DOS partition.


A.2. Rescue packages

Several packages for creating rescue disks are available on
With these packages you specify a set of files for inclusion and the software
automates (to varying degrees) the creation of a bootdisk. See http://!INDEX.html for more information. 
Check the file dates carefully. Some of these packages have not been updated
in several years and will not support the creation of a compressed root
filesystem loaded into ramdisk. To the best of our knowledge, [http://] Yard is the only package that

A.3. LILO -- the Linux loader

Written by Werner Almesberger. Excellent boot loader, and the documentation
includes information on the boot sector contents and the early stages of the
boot process.

Ftp from []
/pub/linux/packages/lilo/. It is also available on Metalab and mirrors.

A.4. Ramdisk usage

An excellent description of the how the ramdisk code works may be found with
the documentation supplied with the Linux kernel. See /usr/src/linux/
Documentation/ramdisk.txt. It is written by Paul Gortmaker and includes a
section on creating a compressed ramdisk.

A.5. The Linux boot process

For more detail on the Linux boot process, here are some pointers:

��*�The Linux System Administrators' Guide has a section on booting.
��*�The []
    LILO ``Technical overview'' has the definitive technical, low-level
    description of the boot process, up to where the kernel is started.
��*�The source code is the ultimate guide. Below are some kernel files
    related to the boot process. If you have the Linux kernel source code,
    you can find these under /usr/src/linux on your machine; alternatively,
    Shigio Yamaguchi (shigio at has a very nice hypertext kernel
    browser for reading kernel source files. Here are some relevant files to
    look at:
    arch/i386/boot/bootsect.S and setup.S
        Contain assembly code for the bootsector itself.
        Contains code for uncompressing the kernel.
        Directory containing kernel initialization code. setup.c defines the
        ramdisk word.
        Contains the ramdisk driver. The procedures rd_load and rd_load_image
        load blocks from a device into a ramdisk. The procedure 
        identify_ramdisk_image determines what kind of filesystem is found
        and whether it is compressed.


B. LILO boot error codes

Questions about these codes are asked so often on Usenet that we include them
here as a public service. This summary is excerpted from Werner Almsberger's
[] LILO User

When LILO loads itself, it displays the word LILO. Each letter is printed
before or after performing some specific action. If LILO fails at some point,
the letters printed so far can be used to identify the problem.

|Output     |Problem                                                        |
|(nothing)  |No part of LILO has been loaded. LILO either isn't installed or|
|           |the partition on which its boot sector is located isn't active.|
|L          |The first stage boot loader has been loaded and started, but it|
|           |can't load the second stage boot loader. The two-digit error   |
|           |codes indicate the type of problem. (See also section ``Disk   |
|           |error codes''.) This condition usually indicates a media       |
|           |failure or a geometry mismatch (e.g. bad disk parameters).     |
|LI         |The first stage boot loader was able to load the second stage  |
|           |boot loader, but has failed to execute it. This can either be  |
|           |caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without|
|           |running the map installer.                                     |
|LIL        |The second stage boot loader has been started, but it can't    |
|           |load the descriptor table from the map file. This is typically |
|           |caused by a media failure or by a geometry mismatch.           |
|LIL?       |The second stage boot loader has been loaded at an incorrect   |
|           |address. This is typically caused by a subtle geometry mismatch|
|           |or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.   |
|LIL-       |The descriptor table is corrupt. This can either be caused by a|
|           |geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/map without running the   |
|           |map installer.                                                 |
|LILO       |All parts of LILO have been successfully loaded.               |

If the BIOS signals an error when LILO is trying to load a boot image, the
respective error code is displayed. These codes range from 0x00 through 0xbb.
See the LILO User Guide for an explanation of these.

C. Sample root filesystem listings

|/:                                                                                                  |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 bin                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         4096 Nov  1 15:39 dev                                      |
|drwx????x????x   3 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 etc                                      |
|drwx????x????x   4 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 lib                                      |
|drwx????x????x   5 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 mnt                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 proc                                     |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 root                                     |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 sbin                                     |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 tmp                                      |
|drwx????x????x   7 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 usr                                      |
|drwx????x????x   5 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 var                                      |
|                                                                                                    |
|/bin:                                                                                               |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        62660 Nov  1 15:39 ash                                      |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         9032 Nov  1 15:39 cat                                      |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        10276 Nov  1 15:39 chmod                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         9592 Nov  1 15:39 chown                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        23124 Nov  1 15:39 cp                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        23028 Nov  1 15:39 date                                     |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        14052 Nov  1 15:39 dd                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        14144 Nov  1 15:39 df                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        69444 Nov  1 15:39 egrep                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root          395 Nov  1 15:39 false                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        69444 Nov  1 15:39 fgrep                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        69444 Nov  1 15:39 grep                                     |
|-rwx????x????x   3 root     root        45436 Nov  1 15:39 gunzip                                   |
|-rwx????x????x   3 root     root        45436 Nov  1 15:39 gzip                                     |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         8008 Nov  1 15:39 hostname                                 |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        12736 Nov  1 15:39 ln                                       |
|-rws????x????x   1 root     root        15284 Nov  1 15:39 login                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        29308 Nov  1 15:39 ls                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         8268 Nov  1 15:39 mkdir                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         8920 Nov  1 15:39 mknod                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        24836 Nov  1 15:39 more                                     |
|-rws????x????x   1 root     root        37640 Nov  1 15:39 mount                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        12240 Nov  1 15:39 mt                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        12932 Nov  1 15:39 mv                                       |
|-r-x????x????x   1 root     root        12324 Nov  1 15:39 ps                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         5388 Nov  1 15:39 pwd                                      |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        10092 Nov  1 15:39 rm                                       |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            3 Nov  1 15:39 sh -> ash                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        25296 Nov  1 15:39 stty                                     |
|-rws????x????x   1 root     root        12648 Nov  1 15:39 su                                       |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         4444 Nov  1 15:39 sync                                     |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root        19712 Nov  1 15:39 touch                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root          395 Nov  1 15:39 true                                     |
|-rws????x????x   1 root     root        19084 Nov  1 15:39 umount                                   |
|-rwx????x????x   1 root     root         5368 Nov  1 15:39 uname                                    |
|-rwx????x????x   3 root     root        45436 Nov  1 15:39 zcat                                     |
|                                                                                                    |
|/dev:                                                                                               |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            6 Nov  1 15:39 cdrom -> cdu31a                              |
|brw??rw??r????   1 root     root      15,   0 May  5  1998 cdu31a                                   |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   0 Nov  1 15:29 console                               |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     uucp       5,  64 Sep  9 19:46 cua0                                      |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     uucp       5,  65 May  5  1998 cua1                                      |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     uucp       5,  66 May  5  1998 cua2                                      |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     uucp       5,  67 May  5  1998 cua3                                      |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,   0 Aug  8 13:54 fd0                                     |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  36 Aug  8 13:54 fd0CompaQ                               |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  84 Aug  8 13:55 fd0D1040                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  88 Aug  8 13:55 fd0D1120                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  12 Aug  8 13:54 fd0D360                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  16 Aug  8 13:54 fd0D720                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 120 Aug  8 13:55 fd0D800                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  32 Aug  8 13:54 fd0E2880                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 104 Aug  8 13:55 fd0E3200                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 108 Aug  8 13:55 fd0E3520                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 112 Aug  8 13:55 fd0E3840                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  28 Aug  8 13:54 fd0H1440                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 124 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1600                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  44 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1680                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  60 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1722                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  76 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1743                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  96 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1760                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 116 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1840                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2, 100 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H1920                                |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            7 Nov  1 15:39 fd0H360 ??> fd0D360                          |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            7 Nov  1 15:39 fd0H720 ??> fd0D720                          |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  52 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H820                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  68 Aug  8 13:55 fd0H830                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,   4 Aug  8 13:54 fd0d360                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,   8 Aug  8 13:54 fd0h1200                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  40 Aug  8 13:54 fd0h1440                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  56 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h1476                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  72 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h1494                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  92 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h1600                                |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  20 Aug  8 13:54 fd0h360                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  48 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h410                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  64 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h420                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  24 Aug  8 13:54 fd0h720                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     floppy     2,  80 Aug  8 13:55 fd0h880                                 |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   0 May  5  1998 hda                                     |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   1 May  5  1998 hda1                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   2 May  5  1998 hda2                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   3 May  5  1998 hda3                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   4 May  5  1998 hda4                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   5 May  5  1998 hda5                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,   6 May  5  1998 hda6                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  64 May  5  1998 hdb                                     |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  65 May  5  1998 hdb1                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  66 May  5  1998 hdb2                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  67 May  5  1998 hdb3                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  68 May  5  1998 hdb4                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  69 May  5  1998 hdb5                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       3,  70 May  5  1998 hdb6                                    |
|crw??r??????????   1 root     kmem       1,   2 May  5  1998 kmem                                   |
|crw??r??????????   1 root     kmem       1,   1 May  5  1998 mem                                    |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           12 Nov  1 15:39 modem ??> ttyS1                              |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           12 Nov  1 15:39 mouse ??> psaux                              |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     root       1,   3 May  5  1998 null                                      |
|crwxrwxrwx   1 root     root      10,   1 Oct  5 20:22 psaux                                        |
|brw??r??????????   1 root     disk       1,   1 May  5  1998 ram                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   0 May  5  1998 ram0                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   1 May  5  1998 ram1                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   2 May  5  1998 ram2                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   3 May  5  1998 ram3                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   4 May  5  1998 ram4                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   5 May  5  1998 ram5                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   6 May  5  1998 ram6                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   7 May  5  1998 ram7                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   8 May  5  1998 ram8                                    |
|brw??rw????????   1 root     disk       1,   9 May  5  1998 ram9                                    |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            4 Nov  1 15:39 ramdisk ??> ram0                             |
|***  I have only included devices for the IDE partitions I use.                                     |
|***  If you use SCSI, then use the /dev/sdXX devices instead.                                       |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   0 May  5  1998 tty0                                  |
|crw??w??????????   1 root     tty        4,   1 Nov  1 15:39 tty1                                   |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   2 Nov  1 15:29 tty2                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   3 Nov  1 15:29 tty3                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   4 Nov  1 15:29 tty4                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   5 Nov  1 15:29 tty5                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   6 Nov  1 15:29 tty6                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     root       4,   7 May  5  1998 tty7                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     tty        4,   8 May  5  1998 tty8                                  |
|crw??????????????   1 root     tty        4,   9 May  8 12:57 tty9                                  |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     root       4,  65 Nov  1 12:17 ttyS1                                     |
|crw??rw??rw??   1 root     root       1,   5 May  5  1998 zero                                      |
|                                                                                                    |
|/etc:                                                                                               |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          164 Nov  1 15:39 conf.modules                         |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          668 Nov  1 15:39 fstab                                |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root           71 Nov  1 15:39 gettydefs                            |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          389 Nov  1 15:39 group                                |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          413 Nov  1 15:39 inittab                              |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root           65 Nov  1 15:39 issue                                |
|??rw??r????r????   1 root     root          746 Nov  1 15:39                            |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root           32 Nov  1 15:39 motd                                 |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          949 Nov  1 15:39 nsswitch.conf                        |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 pam.d                                    |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          139 Nov  1 15:39 passwd                               |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          516 Nov  1 15:39 profile                              |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root          387 Nov  1 15:39 rc                                      |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root           55 Nov  1 15:39 shells                               |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          774 Nov  1 15:39 termcap                              |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root           78 Nov  1 15:39 ttytype                              |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           15 Nov  1 15:39 utmp ??> ../var/run/utmp                     |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           15 Nov  1 15:39 wtmp ??> ../var/log/wtmp                     |
|                                                                                                    |
|/etc/pam.d:                                                                                         |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          356 Nov  1 15:39 other                                |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib:                                                                                               |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        45415 Nov  1 15:39 ld??                              |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           11 Nov  1 15:39 ld?? ??> ld??              |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root       731548 Nov  1 15:39 libc??                            |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           13 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libc??                 |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           17 Nov  1 15:39 ??>        |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root         6209 Nov  1 15:39                         |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root       153881 Nov  1 15:39 libcrypt??                        |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           17 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libcrypt??         |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        12962 Nov  1 15:39 libdl??                           |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           14 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libdl??               |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           16 Nov  1 15:39 ??>          |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        81382 Nov  1 15:39                          |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        25222 Nov  1 15:39 libnsl??                          |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           15 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libnsl??             |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root       178336 Nov  1 15:39 libnss_files??                  |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           21 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libnss_files?? |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           14 Nov  1 15:39 ??>               |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        26906 Nov  1 15:39                            |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           19 Nov  1 15:39 ??>     |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root         7086 Nov  1 15:39                       |
|??r??xr??xr??x   1 root     root        35615 Nov  1 15:39                         |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           15 Nov  1 15:39 ??>             |
|??rw??r??r??????   1 root     root       121899 Nov  1 15:39                        |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           19 Nov  1 15:39 ??>      |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        12041 Nov  1 15:39                       |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        12874 Nov  1 15:39 libutil??                         |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           16 Nov  1 15:39 ??> libutil??           |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           14 Nov  1 15:39 ??>              |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root         8039 Nov  1 15:39                            |
|drwx????x????x   3 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 modules                                  |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 security                                 |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib/modules:                                                                                       |
|drwx????x????x   4 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 2.0.35                                   |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib/modules/2.0.35:                                                                                |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 block                                    |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 cdrom                                    |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib/modules/2.0.35/block:                                                                          |
|drwx????????????   1 root     root         7156 Nov  1 15:39 loop.o                                 |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib/modules/2.0.35/cdrom:                                                                          |
|drwx????????????   1 root     root        24108 Nov  1 15:39 cdu31a.o                               |
|                                                                                                    |
|/lib/security:                                                                                      |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         8771 Nov  1 15:39                           |
|                                                                                                    |
|***  Directory stubs for mounting                                                                   |
|/mnt:                                                                                               |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 cdrom                                    |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 floppy                                   |
|                                                                                                    |
|/proc:                                                                                              |
|                                                                                                    |
|/root:                                                                                              |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          176 Nov  1 15:39 .bashrc                              |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root          182 Nov  1 15:39 .cshrc                               |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root          455 Nov  1 15:39 .profile                                |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root         4014 Nov  1 15:39 .tcshrc                              |
|                                                                                                    |
|/sbin:                                                                                              |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        23976 Nov  1 15:39 depmod                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   2 root     root       274600 Nov  1 15:39 e2fsck                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        41268 Nov  1 15:39 fdisk                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         9396 Nov  1 15:39 fsck                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   2 root     root       274600 Nov  1 15:39 fsck.ext2                               |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        29556 Nov  1 15:39 getty                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         6620 Nov  1 15:39 halt                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        23116 Nov  1 15:39 init                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        25612 Nov  1 15:39 insmod                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        10368 Nov  1 15:39 kerneld                                 |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root       110400 Nov  1 15:39 ldconfig                                |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         6108 Nov  1 15:39 lsmod                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   2 root     root        17400 Nov  1 15:39 mke2fs                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         4072 Nov  1 15:39 mkfs                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   2 root     root        17400 Nov  1 15:39 mkfs.ext2                               |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         5664 Nov  1 15:39 mkswap                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        22032 Nov  1 15:39 modprobe                                |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            4 Nov  1 15:39 reboot ??> halt                              |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         7492 Nov  1 15:39 rmmod                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        12932 Nov  1 15:39 shutdown                                |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            6 Nov  1 15:39 swapoff ??> swapon                           |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         5124 Nov  1 15:39 swapon                                  |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            4 Nov  1 15:39 telinit ??> init                             |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         6944 Nov  1 15:39 update                                  |
|                                                                                                    |
|/tmp:                                                                                               |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr:                                                                                               |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 bin                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 lib                                      |
|drwx????x????x   3 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 man                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 sbin                                     |
|drwx????x????x   3 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 share                                    |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           10 Nov  1 15:39 tmp ??> ../var/tmp                           |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/bin:                                                                                           |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        37164 Nov  1 15:39 afio                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         5044 Nov  1 15:39 chroot                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        10656 Nov  1 15:39 cut                                     |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        63652 Nov  1 15:39 diff                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        12972 Nov  1 15:39 du                                      |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        56552 Nov  1 15:39 find                                    |
|??r??x????x????x   1 root     root         6280 Nov  1 15:39 free                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         7680 Nov  1 15:39 head                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         8504 Nov  1 15:39 id                                      |
|??r??sr??xr??x   1 root     bin          4200 Nov  1 15:39 passwd                                   |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        14856 Nov  1 15:39 tail                                    |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root        19008 Nov  1 15:39 tr                                      |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         7160 Nov  1 15:39 wc                                      |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         4412 Nov  1 15:39 whoami                                  |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/lib:                                                                                           |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           17 Nov  1 15:39 ??>        |
|??rw??r??r??????   1 root     root       260474 Nov  1 15:39                      |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/sbin:                                                                                          |
|??r??x????x????x   1 root     root        13684 Nov  1 15:39 fuser                                  |
|??rwx????x????x   1 root     root         3876 Nov  1 15:39 mklost+found                            |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/share:                                                                                         |
|drwx????x????x   4 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 terminfo                                 |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/share/terminfo:                                                                                |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 l                                        |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 v                                        |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/share/terminfo/l:                                                                              |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root         1552 Nov  1 15:39 linux                                |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root         1516 Nov  1 15:39 linux??m                             |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root         1583 Nov  1 15:39 linux??nic                           |
|                                                                                                    |
|/usr/share/terminfo/v:                                                                              |
|??rw??????????????   2 root     root         1143 Nov  1 15:39 vt100                                |
|??rw??????????????   2 root     root         1143 Nov  1 15:39 vt100??am                            |
|                                                                                                    |
|/var:                                                                                               |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 log                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 run                                      |
|drwx????x????x   2 root     root         1024 Nov  1 15:39 tmp                                      |
|                                                                                                    |
|/var/log:                                                                                           |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root            0 Nov  1 15:39 wtmp                                 |
|                                                                                                    |
|/var/run:                                                                                           |
|??rw??????????????   1 root     root            0 Nov  1 15:39 utmp                                 |
|                                                                                                    |
|/var/tmp:                                                                                           |

D. Sample utility disk directory listing

|total 579                                                                  |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        42333 Jul 28 19:05 cpio             |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        32844 Aug 28 19:50 debugfs          |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root       103560 Jul 29 21:31 elvis            |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        29536 Jul 28 19:04 fdisk            |
|??rw??r??r??????   1 root     root       128254 Jul 28 19:03 ftape.o       |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        17564 Jul 25 03:21 ftmt             |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        64161 Jul 29 20:47 grep             |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        45309 Jul 29 20:48 gzip             |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root        23560 Jul 28 19:04 insmod           |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root          118 Jul 28 19:04 lsmod            |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            5 Jul 28 19:04 mt ??> mt??st       |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root         9573 Jul 28 19:03 mt??st           |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            6 Jul 28 19:05 rmmod ??> insmod    |
|??rwxr??xr??x   1 root     root       104085 Jul 28 19:05 tar              |
|lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            5 Jul 29 21:35 vi ??> elvis        |


[1]  The directory structure presented here is for root diskette use only.   
     Real Linux systems have a more complex and disciplined set of policies, 
     called the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, for determining where files   
     should go.)                                                             

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