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Booting ZipSlack
There are many ways to boot a ZipSlack installation. The easiest two are described below.


Loadlin is a DOS program designed to load the Linux kernel and boot it. In the \LINUX directory you'll find these files:

LOADLIN.EXE   The loadlin loader executable.
LINUX.BAT   A simple DOS batch file to boot Linux using LOADLIN.EXE.
vmlinuz   A Linux kernel, with support for SCSI and IDE devices.

You can use the provided vmlinuz kernel (a generic kernel with support for many devices that will work for most machines), or you can use another Linux kernel of your choosing by copying it to \LINUX\vmlinuz over the existing file. Slackware includes a large collection of precompiled kernels in its \kernels directory, any of which will work.

To boot the system, you'll need to edit the LINUX.BAT file, and make sure the root=/dev/XXXX statement on the loadlin line (the one that's not commented out with 'rem') is set up to use the partition where you unzipped ZIPSLACK.ZIP, such as /dev/sda4. If you're not sure which partition to use, just go ahead and guess. If you get it wrong, you'll still be able to use scrollback (right shift key and PageUp) when the kernel halts to go back and look at your partitions, noting the names Linux gives them. With this information, you should be able to edit the LINUX.BAT file correctly.

Once LINUX.BAT is edited, you can try to boot the system by entering LINUX on a prompt while in the \LINUX directory. IMPORTANT: You'll need to be in DOS mode for the boot to work. A DOS prompt running under Windows 95 will not work! What you need to do if you use Windows 95 is shut the machine down, selecting the Restart in MS-DOS Mode selection. Then, you'll be able to use Loadlin. You can also make a Windows 95 Startup disk and boot from that, then run LINUX from the \LINUX directory.

If it doesn't work, the problem could be DOS memory management. Sometimes both HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE are needed to get LOADLIN to load a large kernel. If you are having problems, try adding these two programs to your CONFIG.SYS file.

You can also run LOADLIN directly. Here is a sample boot command used to boot Linux on /dev/sda4 in read-write mode using the kernel file vmlinuz:

loadlin vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4 rw

Using a Boot Floppy

The boot disk provided with ZipSlack (bootdisk.img) uses the same generic kernel that LOADLIN uses by default. You are free to use any of the boot disks included with the Slackware Linux distribution.

To write the image to a floppy disk under DOS, use the RAWRITE.EXE program:

rawrite bootdisk.img a:

To boot a Linux system in read-write mode on /dev/sda4, boot the bootdisk. On the 'boot:' prompt, you'd enter this command:

mount root=/dev/sda4 rw
Slackware™ is a trademark of Patrick Volkerding.