Linux on Zenith Mastersport 386SX

Disk 60 MB

This laptop has been in my car trunk for about four years. I brought it in to an install fest. Slackware's boot floppy would not boot, got a not enough memory kind of error. Ditto with the low memory boot floppy (lowmem.i). Small Linux uses a boot floppy to boot a kernel followed by a root floppy that mounts a minimal root filesystem. The boot floppy would boot but then the root floppy dies when init tries to run. On another system I made a small (290KB zImage) 2.2.18 kernel, removing support for luxuries like SCSI, network, DOS, serial and parallel, modules, PCI, and compiling for a 386 (a 586-compiled kernel won't run on a 386). I even tried to remove math emulation thinking since I wasn't going to be doing anything with the system anyway I didn't need floating point emulation, but that won't boot. Replaced Small Linux's kernel with this one. That booted and init ran and I got a login prompt but it died when I tried to login. I then used fips to partition the hard disk into 10, 45, 6 MB partitions for DOS, Linux native, and Linux swap (triple the RAM size). Edited /etc/rc.S to mkswap /dev/hda3 and swapon and then could boot, mount root, and login and do things. [I should have tried adding swap before making the new kernel]. Takes 15 seconds or more for any command to be read off floppy. I copied the root filesytem files and directories from floppy to hda2, the Linux native partition, after mke2fs'ing it. Copied the kernel too after rdev'ing it to tell it would be booting from hda2. Configured LILO to boot hda2. 2.89 BogoMips. Neat. Now back to the trunk I suppose.