Three Approaches to Making Linux Rescue Diskettes or CD-ROM

This is an outline for a talk given on December 9, 1999, at the San Gabriel Valley Linux Users' Group Meeting. Additional notes have been added since then regarding writing bootable CD's and using initial ramdisks.

The normal way to make a boot diskette set is to use the facilities supplied with the RedHat, SuSE, etc. distribution you have installed. Read the manual, insert the diskette(s) and follow directions. For many people, this is adequate.

For the inquiring mind or power user, that procedure is inadequate. It shields the user from really understanding what is on the diskettes and how they work. The aim here is to explain the boot process and to walk you through rolling your own boot diskettes. In the long run, understanding how something works often takes less time and is less error-prone than blindly following a procedure. This description, however, is no substitute for reading and understanding the relevant ample documentation, but should make that task easier.

Craig Van Degrift / / content last revised February 27, 2000

  1. Kernel image placed on a diskette without any filesystem

  2. Lilo and kernel on boot diskette with a minimal root filesystem on a second diskette

  3. Lilo, kernel, and root filesystem on CD-ROM

Last updated: April 8, 2006

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