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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) HAL91 (Floppy Based Linux Distribution)

From twager on Wed, 05 May 1999

(?) Hi..

I am trying to get hal91 going...I have the bootdisk running ok but cannot get the data disk to load. with the init.disk2 command..It tell me it cannot find and ext2 file system on /dev/fd0 ...I got the system off a cheapbytes cdrom I thought this might be faulty so I downloaded the file using lynx from the author's site but the same result occurred...I then mounted a floppy and cp'd the data file across This time the floppy was seen but it told me it could not find usr.tar.gz I mv'd the file to usr.tar.gz and it mounted but all that was there was Lost+Found...

(!) Did you really 'cp' the second image unto a mounted filesystem on the floppy?
I have no experience with HAL91, although I've heard that it is one of several floppy based mini-distributions) like Tom's Root/Boot, MuLinux, MiniLinux, LOAF (Linux On A Floppy), etc.
It looks like the canonical home page for HAL91 is at:
I found that by following one of the many related links at the bottom of Tom Oehser's page (Tom's Root/Boot) at:
Images for most of these would be written to the raw floppy device using dd rather than copied onto some filesystem that you've put thereon. In other words normally you wouldn't use the 'cp' command to create boot floppies for any mini-distribution. Usually you'd use a command like:
dd bs=18k if=image.dat of=/dev/fd0
(while there is no MOUNTED fs residing on that flopppy drive!).
It's also possible to use a command like:
dd < image.dat > /dev/fd0
... though it is more efficient and reliable to set dd's block size (18K is size of one one track on a 1.44 Mb diskette: 1440 blocks of 1K each is 1474560 bytes, as is 18K * 80 --- and most HD floppies support 80 tracks). The use of dd's if= and of= parameters vs. the redirection operators is relatively inconsequential.
The HAL91 pages don't explicitly say how you should create the "datadisk" (supplemental diskette --- which can be unpacked to a second RAM disk under /usr to provide some additional programs and utilities). I presume that it is supposed to be be written to the raw floppy device in the same way that the boot diskette is prepared.

(?) I have done a strings on the file and looked through that but there is not mention of either of the readouts I got.....I have written to the author but no reply..I have written to all the linux lists but no reply.... I would like to get this running as I am giving a talk on Linux to the local ham radio club and would like to take this prog as well as Mandrake and RedHat as I am hoping it might get a few interested..If you have any tips or help where else I could look a cc reply would be greatly appreciated.....I struggled with Stampede from the cdrom but this has me beat :>(

(!) Why have you selected HAL91 for this case? There are several other choices (look at the bottom of Tom Oehser's page, as listed above, for a few of them).
I'm not saying that HAL91 is "the wrong choice" --- what I'm suggesting is that you try a couple of these so that you can form a basis for comparison. So far my personal favorite is Tom's Root/Boot --- though like Trinux for other work.
As for you ham radio group: consider looking at the Linux Speaker's Bureau web site at:
You might find someone in your area (or someone who will be in your area on other business) who can give a slick presentation about Linux and can help people during an installfest.

(?) Regards.
Beware of geeks bearing gifs

(!) Be even more wary of geeks wearing GIFs!

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 42 June 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Techinical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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