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Linux Journal: Booting Your Business Card: Linux-BBC 2.1

May 22, 2003, 11:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glenn Stone)

"I have to admit, I have a bit of a fascination with small Linuxes. So when my usual troll of Freshmeat revealed that Linux-BBC released a new version, naturally I had to try it. Now, small is a relative term; at 48MB, Linux-BBC actually is medium-sized amongst small distributions. The spectrum of the category ranges from miniwoody, at 180MB, to any of the various things that fit on a single 1.44MB floppy.

"That said, there's a lot here; Linux-BBC is a combination system administrator's triage disc and portable workstation-on-a-CD. At bootup, the first thing I noticed was a copy of Memtest86 3.0. It boots straight from ISOLINUX and is a handy way to see if the boot crash you're getting is due to bad memory. I was happy to see they're using V3.0; not only does this version not have the 2GB RAM limit, it also handily tells you what chipset is on the motherboard. The latter attribute can make things a little less mysterious when you're dealing with a machine for the first time.

"Rebooting into character mode, I started poking around. The hard drive partitions are mounted automatically at bootup as read-only under the /mnt/discs directory. Unlike Red Hat's system administration disc, Linux-BBC doesn't make any assumptions about what partitions go where. It simply mounts everything as /mnt/discs/discN/partM, where N and M are the logical disc number and partition number, respectively. It may be mildly annoying to remount everything into a tree on a simple system, but for an überhacker's multiboot, shared-partition box, this works..."

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