Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4

(A Scratch for The Road, part 3, kernels 1)

Kernels

It would be very boring to use only one kernel. So, I decided to test some of them. There are some needs for kernels:

  1. We want to play with it, which means that we should be able to do that. And it is possible only with free software kernels.
  2. Kernel should be usable. Even I like to play with other kind of kernels, it is not rational to try to make a bootdisk with a kernel which only may to perform booting.
  3. Kernel should be reasonably easy to install. It is not so fun to spend a month in trying to realize why it is not possible to install GCC on some kernel.
  4. More useful kernel is priority (more supported architectures, more supported file systems, more supported software etc.).

The first article for reading is Kernel.

Two most important documents for the beginning of this drive are List of operating systems and Comparison of kernels. The first article will be used to find as much as possible useful kernels; the second article is useful for finding which kernel is most useful.

It is very easy to realize that Linux kernel is the most useful kernel. It may have a number of disadvantages, but it supports the most of everything which we need. So, it will be the basic kernel, but we should try some other kernels, too.

Testing operating systems/kernels with QEMU

Now, we need to make initial tests for kernels. As it is mentioned before, we will use QEMU as a virtualization machine. In the future, we will analyze QEMU usage more in depth, but now we need it just to test kernels by installing operating systems. Because of that, I’ll give now just a quick tips for QEMU.

I assume that you are using some contemporary operating system. This means that your operating system should support (or be supported by) the most of contemporary software, like QEMU is. It is possible to install QEMU on the next operating systems: Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and OpenSolaris, but it is possible to that QEMU may be ported on all POSIX-compatible operating systems.

If you are using GNU/Linux distributions like Debian, OpenSuse, Fedora, Ubuntu etc. are — just find QEMU in your package manager and install it: aptitude or Synaptic if you are using Debian or Ubuntu (or any other Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution, YaST if you are using OpenSuse and YUM if you are using Fedora, Red Hat or any other distribution based on Fedora or Red Hat.

If you are using some other supported operating system (like Windows, Mac OS X or OpenSolaris are), just go to the QEMU download page and follow relevant link.

If you are using some other operating system/distribution, first test do you have a standard binaries in your package manager and if there is no QEMU, use QEMU download page to find source which you will compile.

For every operating system which we are testing now, there is a simple standard procedure:

  1. Download relevant ISO image (first, we want to try a live distribution if it is possible, then we want to install it, too). (Of course, I’ll give to you all relevant links for downloading.)
  2. Make an QEMU “hard disk” image by typing: qemu-img create -f qcow hard_disk.img 1G.
    • Note that you should make this procedure whenever you test new operating system. It is possible to use old one, but I think that there is no sense to that because different operating systems needs different image size.
    • As it is mentioned before, different operating systems needs different image size. If you want to test some live distribution, almost for sure you will not need any hard disk. If you want to test some old operating system or operating system dedicated for older hardware, it is possible that big “hard disk” will be disadvantage because it is possible that a lot of time is needed for formatting partitions.
    • Of course “1G” will not make a file of one gigabyte size. It will just generate informations necessary to fake one gigabyte hard disk.
  3. Start operating system with the command: qemu -cdrom os.iso -hda hard_disk.img -no-kqemu -m 256 -boot d.


Collaboration

You may join the discussion group (which is still not active), as well as you may contact me (millosh@gmail.com).


Contents:

  1. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 1 (The Beginning of The Road)
  2. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 2 (A Scratch for The Road, part 1)
  3. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 3 (A Scratch for The Road, part 2)
  4. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4 (A Scratch for The Road, part 3: kernels 1)
  5. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 5 (A Scratch for The Road, part 4: kernels 2)
  6. Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 6 (Making a GRUB rescue disk)

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~ by millosh on September 8, 2007.

4 Responses to “Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4”

  1. […] Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4 (A Scratch for The Road, part 3, kernels 1) […]

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  3. […] Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4 (A Scratch for The Road, part 3: kernels 1) […]

  4. […] Toward The New Bootdisk Howto, part 4 (A Scratch for The Road, part 3: kernels 1) […]

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