|Clyne 7b687fca34||11 months ago|
|busybox||1 year ago|
|floppy/boot||2 years ago|
|linux||2 years ago|
|preinit||2 years ago|
|.gitignore||2 years ago|
|LICENSE||2 years ago|
|README.md||11 months ago|
|build-busybox.sh||1 year ago|
|build-floppy.sh||2 years ago|
|build-linux.sh||1 year ago|
|build-modules.sh||2 years ago|
|build-toolchain.sh||2 years ago|
|config-5.17.2tiny||2 years ago|
|config-buildroot-2022.02.1||2 years ago|
|config-busybox-1.20.0||2 years ago|
|config-uclibc||2 years ago|
This repo provides the files necessary to build a modern Linux-based "operating system" for old i486 systems with at least 8MB of RAM. Build scripts for all components of the system are provided. An i486-linux toolchain is also built, enabling you to compile other programs for use with the system.
The generated boot floppy disk provides you with a Busybox system that is kept entirely in memory. uClibc's shared library files are also loaded into memory, allowing other programs to save on memory (as opposed to using static binaries).
A second floppy containing additional kernel modules can also be generated. Both floppies are ext2 formatted.
- building tools (make, gcc, linux kernel's requirements, etc.)
- tar, xz, bzip2
- Around 6GB of available disk space
Run the build scripts in this order:
build-toolchain.sh(after this script, add ~/i486-linux/bin to your PATH)
On my machine (Ryzen 1700x, 16GB RAM), building the toolchain takes around ten minutes; building Linux takes around a minute, and the remaining steps take less than a minute each.
After successful execution of all scripts, you should have
floppy.img (boot image) and
modules.img (modules). These can be
dd'd to a 1.44M 3.5" floppy disk.
Booting the system
The system requires an i486 or better processor, a 3.5" floppy drive, and at least 8MB of RAM (8320K for QEMU).
- Current Linux is v5.17.2. Older Linux (v2.x) uses less RAM for the kernel, and may be added later as a build option. Newer Linux (v6.x) appears to require well over 8MB of RAM to boot, so targeting newer kernels will be unlikely.
- Once the system is booted, the boot floppy can be removed.
- root's password is
- Mount the modules floppy to
/lib/modules; then, use
modprobefor loading and unloading.