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Hurd Traffic #42 For 5�Apr�2000

By Zack Brown

Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?
Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on an OS you can try to modify for your needs?
Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working?
Then this post might be just for you :-)

-- Linus Torvalds, 1991

Table Of Contents

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 29 posts in 82K.

There were 14 different contributors. 6 posted more than once. 8 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

1. Partial 'Grub' Tutorial

28�Mar�2000 (3 posts) Archive Link: "installation"

Topics: Bootloaders, FS: ext2

People: Neal H Walfield

In the course of discussion, Neal H Walfield gave some tips on using 'Grub':

In grub, the best way to verify that what you are doing is correct is to use the tab key a lot. Ie:

grub> root (hd0,<tab>

Possible partitions are:
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x82
Partition num: 1, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
Partition num: 2, Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

Here I see that my first file system on hd0 is linux swap then the next two are ext2.

grub> root (hd0,1)

Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> kernel /<tab>

Possible files are: lost+found usr home boot vmlinuz lib bin sbin etc var floppy dev cdrom initrd mnt proc root tmp vmlinuz-old


Grub 0.94 also has a nice find feature:

grub> find /boot/vmlinuz


Yup that is correct, (hd0,1) is my linux root.

Also, you may want to try out the new setup command, it automates the install process, very nice:

grub> help setup

Set up the installation of GRUB automatically. This command uses the more flexible command "install" in the backend and installs GRUB into the device INSTALL_DEVICE. If IMAGE_DEVICE is specified, then find the GRUB images in the device IMAGE_DEVICE, otherwise use the current "root device", which can be set by the command "root".

grub> setup (hd0)

Run "install ...

Note that Run actually means that it is running the commands that is is printing.

A final note, using the user land grub versus the boot grub can result in huge differences in order of the devices and installability. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, you should use the boot grub. It is trivial to create a boot disk, just info grub for the full or:

# cd /boot/grub
# dd if=stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
# dd if=stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1

Assuming that the grub files are there (they may be in /usr/local/share/grub in which case, if you plan to install grub on the hdd, you need to copy them to /boot/grub).

By the way, the manual is very well done and an easy read.

This ended the (brief) thread.

2. 'shadowfs'; Translator Layering

31�Mar�2000�-�1�Apr�2000 (6 posts) Archive Link: "fs questions"

People: Neal H Walfield,�Zsombor Gergely

Zsombor Gergely asked how to use shadowfs under the Hurd, and Neal H Walfield explained that it had not yet been implemented. In reply to a private query, he gave links to Hurd Papers and the Hurd Reference Manual and added, "This is code waiting to be written. If you have ideas, and some ambition to get it done, feel free to hack some code out. If you do, talk to Thomas."

Zsomber had also asked about translator layering, saying, "if I already settransed a blockdevice to /mnt and I want to set - say - a gzip translator on top of it, what will be the "source" and the "destination" for such a settrans?" Neal recommended reading 'info hurd', but also explained, "The block device is the source for the store and the store is the source for gzip. This is called dereferencing, by default, settrans replaces existing translators, however, using the -L (--dereference) flag allows translator stacking."

3. New GNU Site In India; URLs For Newcomers

31�Mar�2000�-�1�Apr�2000 (3 posts) Archive Link: " under construction"

People: Neal H Walfield,�Jim Franklin

Someone gave a pointer to GNU India, saying that it was hosted by TurboLinux, and would focus almost exclusively on the Hurd. Neal H Walfield and Jim Franklin welcomed the poster aboard, and Jim added a bunch of links to get started: OSKit: Mach: Grub: General OS Books: comp.os.research FAQ:

Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.0.