FreeDOS and Linux dual boot floppy


This post on freedos-devel seemed so interesting, I thought I'd share it here. If you have a need to dual-boot FreeDOS and Linux, this is a good solution. (If you run Linux, also look at using DOSEmu to boot FreeDOS within its own VM inside Linux.)

Hi, here are the instructions for make FreeDOS and Linux Dualboot in a floppy.

  1. Create a freedos distro that fits on 1.44M
  2. Dump the floppy image with a program
  3. Now gzip (or zip) the floppy image and verify if is less than 512KBs If is less than 512KBs you can do this:
    1. Format a floppy with FORMAT (mkdosfs on linux...)
    2. Install SYSLINUX on the floppy
    3. Copy memdisk on the floppy
    4. Now add to syslinux.cfg these lines (to edit):
      label freedos
         kernel memdisk
         append initrd=freedos.gz
    5. Now install linux on the floppy. Add these lines (to edit):
      label linux
         kernel vmlinuz
         append initrd=initrd.gz root=/dev/ram
    6. Now copy the linux kernel (vmlinuz), linux's initrd (initrd.gz) and the gzipped (or zipped) fdos floppy image (freedos.gz) on the floppy.
    7. You have a fully functional Linux and FreeDOS dualboot on a floppy! [Simply at the prompt write freedos and press enter for boot FreeDOS, in the case you want to boot Linux write linux]

Caution!This method uses initial ramdisk and use RAM and not make a dreaming that this can run on a 1MB system!