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  1. #1

    Linux bootdisk howto

    Why have so many distributions removed the rawrite, rawrite2 and the bootdisk creation files from their releases?

    Where can I find a generic Linux floppy bootdisk that works with all distributions despite the current kernel?

    What are the instructions to build Linux boot floppies via a Microsoft Windows computer?

    What are the exact files needed for the Linux boot floppy via FTP/HTTP if they do not exist on the distributioin CD itself?

    Why can't those who decide what belongs on the next release put the utilities and the floppy files back?

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    B'ham Alabama
    Q 1: You can all ways just download rawrite and keep it some place.
    Q 2: Not going to find a generic floppy. To make a floppy depends on the ldr (grub,lilo or other) used.
    Q 3: Use rawrite or some thing like, copy the boot.img's or as the instructions tell you.
    Q 4: They could but good luck. The problem is the kernel is to big now for the floppy. You can still do it but you might have to play around a while.
    This is a good place to start
    another good look is

  3. #3
    For the Linux distributions that have files too big to fit on one floppy is there a 'span' command syntax or utility to spread the file across multiple floppies like you can do with DOS?

    Is someone working on multiple boot floppies for these new 'leave the users with floppy drives behind Linux distribution' releases we are now seeing?

    Does or will each Linux release from whomever have a 'Rescue Disk' option like RedHat 9 did for the new 2.6.x kernel?

    I found a download link for rawrite2.exe

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Also through my research for anyone who happens upon this thread is the following utility: Smart Boot Manager

    Smart Boot Manager (SBM) is an OS independent and full-featured boot manager with an easy-to-use user interface. There are some screen shots available.

    The main goals of SBM are Absolutely OS independent, Flexable and Full-Featured. It has all of the features needed to boot a variety of OSes from several kinds of media, while keeping its size no more than 30K bytes. In another words, SBM does not touch any of your partitions, it totally fits into the first track (the hidden track) of your harddisk!

    SBM now supports booting from floppy, harddisk and CD-ROM. ZIP and LS-120 are planned to be supported recently.

    Smart BootManager is totally FREE!

  6. #5
    Linux Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Windsor, CO
    It doesn't support background images like GRUB does...
    Plus I always get really suspicious when they mention FREE in capital letters, although this one seems to be genuine.
    Emotions are the key to the soul.
    Registered Linux User #375050

  7. #6
    To install Slackware and Gentoo from boot floppies

    Download bare.i, adaptec.s, color.gz & rawrite.exe from:

    To create a bootdisk for IDE:
    - from Windows: rawrite2 -f bare.i -d a:
    - from Linux: dd if=bare.i of=/dev/fd0

    To create a bootdisk for SCSI:
    - from Windows: rawrite2 -f adaptec.s -d a:
    - from Linux: dd if=adaptec.s of=/dev/fd0

    To create a rootdisk:
    - from Windows: rawrite2 -f color.gz -d a:
    - from Linux: dd if=color.gz of=/dev/fd0

    * Note: IF you have a controller that's not an Adaptec, check Slackware's page for a complete list of the files necessary for your SCSI controller.

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