[svlug] RAMDisk Blues

Ivan Passos lists at cyclades.com
Mon Jul 16 18:49:02 PDT 2001


Hello,

I'm trying to boot a Linux system that has the following configuration:
- 32MB of Flash (IDE Flash Drive), where a kernel image and a compressed
  root filesystem image are stored.
- 256MB of RAM, 128MB of which will be used as a RAMDisk (believe me, this
  is cheaper than 128MB Flash + 128MB RAM ... :).

After looking for information on how to do that on the 'Net and in the
Documentation/ directory of the kernel src, I've been able make the Flash
Drive bootable. Unfortunately, it's bootable, but it doesn't boot
successfully ... :(

What I tried:
- Compressed the image I used to boot the system from a regular IDE HD to
  a file called rd_image.gz (~20MB compressed), and copied it to the IDE
  Flash Drive.
- Compiled a 2.4.6 kernel with RAMDisk and initrd support built-in, and
  then copied it to the IDE Flash Drive.
- Ran LILO with the following config. file (based on the doc. I found so
  far):

	boot=/dev/hda		# The FlashDrive device
	install=/boot/boot.b
	map=/boot/map
	append="ramdisk_size=131072 initrd=rd_image.gz"
	vga=normal
	default=Linux
	delay=5
	image=/boot/vmlinuz
		initrd=/boot/rd_image.gz
		root=/dev/ram0
		label=Linux
		read-only

LILO completes the operation without problems (no errors). However, when I
boot the system from the FlashDrive, this is the output I get:

LILO Loading Linux ......................................................
..............................................

That's it!! The system hangs at this point (it really hangs, to the point
that the "soft" power on/off doesn't work anymore, and I have to turn off
the system from the back in order to reboot it).

What am I doing wrong?? Is my RAMDisk image too big (I thought there was
no limit, as long as you had enough RAM ...)?? Does anyone here know a
good resource on the 'Net where I can find more detailed information about
creating a RAMDisk-based Linux system that boots from a device other than
a floppy disk?? Most of the docs I found were related to boot / rescue /
utility floppies, so I don't know whether this is the right way to do it
or not ...

Any help would be appreciated.

Later,
Ivan





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