Serving Two Masters
If you are willing to boot DOS in order to boot Linux, you can use the LOADLIN program. In some cases, this is actually the best way to boot Linux. In particular, some sound cards will work under Linux only if they are first initialized under DOS.
Some people who were using LOADLIN to start up Linux from the DOS prompt have discovered that after installing Windows 95, they can't bring up a DOS command prompt window and boot Linux from there—and it is no fun to reboot into DOS in order to finally get into Linux. Perhaps you are one of those people.
As you have discovered, LOADLIN has some limitations. For example, you can't use it to boot Linux while you are running Windows. Even if you aren't running Windows, if you are using an extended memory manager, it must support VCPI in order for LOADLIN to work. However, these constraints don't cause problems if you run it from a CONFIG.SYS menu item. If menu support hasn't been added, your entire CONFIG.SYS file might look something like this:
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE FILES=40 DOS=HIGH,UMB
Let's call that your DOS section. You will also need a LINUX section, and you will need to be able to choose between them. In order to cause DOS to allow you to choose between them while booting, you will need a MENU section. The result looks like this:
[MENU] MENUITEM=DOS, Boot DOS MENUITEM=LINUX, Boot Linux [DOS] DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE FILES=40 DOS=HIGH,UMB [LINUX] REM Here is where you would load a driver for REM a sound card that is not completely REM supported by Linux. SHELL=c:\LOADLIN\LOADLIN.exe @c:\LOADLIN\params
The @c:\LOADLIN\params means that the boot arguments for the kernel are kept in the file c:\LOADLIN\params. This file might look like:
The documentation that accompanies LOADLIN explains this in much more detail, but you are likely to find this explanation sufficient to start using LOADLIN under most circumstances.
Many distributions include a copy of LOADLIN. You can also ftp a copy of LOADLIN from tsx-11.mit.edu in the directory /pub/linux/dos_utils/ in the file LOADLIN15.tar.gz.
Michael K. Johnson is the editor of Linux Journal and has to boot Windows 95 in order to do OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert paper books into on-line ones. He entertains hopes that someday soon, he will no longer have the experience necessary to write an article like this...
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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