[Chugalug] Small /boot partitions must go!

Dan Lyke danlyke at flutterby.com
Mon Nov 11 23:49:49 UTC 2013

On Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM, Dave Brockman <dave at brockmans.com> wrote:
> Wasn't there some reason we had to have a /boot of 1MB or less... way
> back in the day?  Not an Intel thing.... seems like some of the old
> AXP boxen and old kernels needed something like that....

I remember that there was various drive controller hardware,
particularly SCSI stuff, that sometimes made booting really hinky. I
remember putting the kernel on a floppy, and I also remember a SCSI
RAID controller where I ended up booting into DOS and then using
LOADLIN.EXE to boot Linux. That machine (I think it was a 90MHz
Pentium) ran Flutterby.com for many years. But damn, remote kernel
upgrades (especially since they were compiled from scratch because of
that RAID controller) were nerve-wracking.

So there were weird hardware situations where one might need to do
those sorts of shenanigans, though I don't particularly remember 1MB
as a relevant size.

I know there was a time where we agonized over trying to fit it on a
720k floppy, and I remember working with some weird flash memory
configurations just a few years ago where I was juggling compilation
options to get the kernel and enough filesystem drivers running in
some miniscule amount of built-in flash that I could mount the root
filesystem on the relatively spacious SD card we were using for
primary storage, because there weren't bootloader drivers for the SD


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