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7. Resources and Pointers

In this section, vvv is used in package names in place of the version, to avoid referring here to specific versions. When retrieving a package, always get the latest version unless you have good reasons for not doing so.

7.1 Distribution bootdisks

These are the primary sources for distribution bootdisks.

Please use one of the mirror sites to reduce the load on these machines.

7.2 LILO - Linux Loader

Written by Werner Almesberger. Excellent boot loader, and the documentation includes information on the boot sector contents and the early stages of the boot process.

Ftp from: /pub/linux/packages/lilo/lilo.vvv.tar.gz also on sunsite and mirror sites.

7.3 Linux FAQ and HOWTOs

These are available from many sources. Look at the usenet newsgroups news.answers and comp.os.linux.announce.

Ftp from:

For WWW, start at the Linux documentation home page:

If desperate, send mail to:

with the word "help" in the message, then follow the mailed instructions.

Note: if you haven't read the Linux FAQ and related documents such as the Linux Installation HOWTO and the Linux Install Guide, then you should not be trying to build boot diskettes.

7.4 Ramdisk Usage

An excellent description of the how the new ramdisk code works may be found with the documentation supplied with the Linux kernel. See /usr/src/linux/Documentation/ramdisk.txt. It is written by Paul Gortmaker and includes a section on creating a compressed ramdisk, similar to Section Advanced Bootdisk Creation of this HOWTO.

7.5 Rescue Packages


Written by Scott Burkett. Bootkit provides a flexible menu-driven framework for managing rescue disk creation and contents. It uses the Dialog package to provide nice menus, and a straight-forward directory tree to contain definitions of rescue disk contents. The package includes samples of the main files needed. The package aims to provide only the framework; it is up to the user to work out what to put on the disks and set up the config files accordingly. For those users who don't mind doing this, it is a good choice.

Ftp from: /pub/Linux/system/Recovery/Bootkit-vvv.tar.gz


Written by Oleg Kibirev. This package concentrates on saving space on the rescue diskettes by extensive use of compression, and by implementing executables as shells scripts. The doco includes some tips on what to do in various disaster situations.

Ftp from:

Rescue Shell Scripts

Written by Thomas Heiling. This contains shell scripts to produce boot and boot/root diskettes. It has some dependencies on specific versions of other software such as LILO, and so might need some effort to convert to your system, but it might be useful as a starting point if you wanted more comprehensive shell scripts than are provided in this document.

Ftp from:

SAR - Search and Rescue

Written by Karel Kubat. SAR produces a rescue diskette, using several techniques to minimize the space required on the diskette. The manual includes a description of the Linux boot/login process.

Ftp from:

The manual is available via WWW from:


Written by Tom Fawcett. Yard produces customized rescue diskettes using the compressed ramdisk option of more recent kernels (1.3.48+). Yard was designed to automate most of the instructions in Section Advanced Bootdisk Creation, above. In addition, Yard checks your file selections (loaders and libraries, and /etc/fstab, rc, /etc/passwd) to make sure you've included everything needed to make a bootable rescue disk. Yard needs Perl 5 and kernel version 1.3.48 or later.

The Yard homepage is at, which should always have the latest version, plus notices of any recent bugs. Yard may also be downloaded from

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