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Learning Red Hat Linux by Bill McCarty

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Boot Disks

Even if you don’t want to boot Linux from a floppy diskette, you should create and keep on hand a Linux boot floppy. If something goes wrong with your system, preventing you from booting in the normal way, you may be able to boot your system by using the floppy diskette. Then, you can diagnose and repair the problem and get back to business as usual.

Creating a Boot Disk

The Red Hat install program gives you the option of creating a boot diskette when you install Linux. You should exercise this option each time you install Linux, so that you have a fresh boot disk containing software consistent with that stored on your hard drive.

However, you can easily create a boot diskette after the installation is complete. To do so, insert a blank floppy diskette into your system’s floppy drive. Log on as root and issue the following command:

/sbin/mkbootdisk version

For version, supply the version number of your kernel. If you don’t recall the version, simply access an unused virtual console. There you’ll see the default Red Hat log in prompt, which includes the version number of the kernel; for example, 2.0.36.

The mkbootdisk command creates a boot disk that uses the same kernel running when the command is issued. It also configures the boot diskette to load any necessary SCSI modules, so that your SCSI drives will be accessible after booting from the floppy.

Using a Boot Disk

Insert the boot disk into your system’s floppy drive. If your system is turned off, power up your system. ...

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