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Booting Linux With the New EXTLINUX

Aug 10, 2010, 19:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Juliet Kemp)

"If you've ever run a Linux LiveCD (or LiveUSB), or booted from a rescue disk, you've probably used a version of SYSLINUX, even if you didn't know it at the time. SYSLINUX, the work of H. Peter Anvin, is a bootloader for Linux which can boot from an MS-DOS FAT filesystem or create a bootable floppy (very old-school!); its close cousin ISOLINUX handles booting from CDs and similar media. SYSLINUX has always been enormously useful for first-time installs, when you're often booting from a machine that is currently running Windows, but until fairly recently, you had to switch to another bootloader post-install, since SYSLINUX doesn't handle ext* filesystems. However, EXTLINUX, a fairly recent addition to the Syslinux Project, does handle these filesystems (see below), giving another boot option besides GRUB and LILO for Linux systems. Boot disks with SYSLINUX and ISOLINUX

"To use SYSLINUX to create a bootable floppy disk is straightforward: just give it the device name.

syslinux /dev/fd0

"You can then set up the configuration by editing the syslinux.cfg..."

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