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1 The Syslinux Project 2 3 A suite of bootloaders for Linux 4 5 Copyright 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin and contributors 6 7This program is provided under the terms of the GNU General Public 8License, version 2 or, at your option, any later version. There is no 9warranty, neither expressed nor implied, to the function of this 10program. Please see the included file COPYING for details. 11 12---------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 14 Syslinux now has a home page at http://syslinux.zytor.com/ 15 16---------------------------------------------------------------------- 17 18The Syslinux suite contains the following boot loaders 19("derivatives"), for their respective boot media: 20 21 SYSLINUX - MS-DOS/Windows FAT filesystem 22 PXELINUX - PXE network booting 23 ISOLINUX - ISO9660 CD-ROM 24 EXTLINUX - Linux ext2/ext3 filesystem 25 26For historical reasons, some of the sections in this document applies 27to the FAT loader (SYSLINUX) only; see pxelinux.txt, isolinux.txt and 28extlinux.txt for what differs in these versions. The all-caps term 29"SYSLINUX" generally refers to the FAT loader, whereas "Syslinux" 30refers to the project as a whole. 31 32Help with cleaning up the docs would be greatly appreciated. 33 34 35 ++++ Options ++++ 36 37These are the options common to all versions of Syslinux: 38 39 -s Safe, slow, stupid; uses simpler code that boots better 40 -f Force installing 41 -r Raid mode. If boot fails, tell the BIOS to boot the next 42 device in the boot sequence (usually the next hard disk) 43 instead of stopping with an error message. 44 This is useful for RAID-1 booting. 45 46These are only in the Windows version: 47 48 -m Mbr; install a bootable MBR sector to the beginning of the 49 drive. 50 -a Active; marks the partition used active (=bootable) 51 52 53 ++++ CREATING A BOOTABLE LINUX FLOPPY +++ 54 55In order to create a bootable Linux floppy using SYSLINUX, prepare a 56normal MS-DOS formatted floppy. Copy one or more Linux kernel files to 57it, then execute the DOS command: 58 59 syslinux [-sfrma][-d directory] a: [bootsecfile] 60 61(or whichever drive letter is appropriate; the  meaning optional.) 62 63Use "syslinux.com" (in the dos subdirectory of the distribution) for 64plain DOS (MS-DOS, DR-DOS, PC-DOS, FreeDOS...) or Win9x/ME. 65 66Use "syslinux.exe" (in the win32 subdirectory of the distribution) for 67WinNT/2000/XP. 68 69Under Linux, execute the command: 70 71 syslinux [-sfr][-d directory][-o offset] /dev/fd0 72 73(or, again, whichever device is the correct one.) 74 75This will alter the boot sector on the disk and copy a file named 76LDLINUX.SYS into its root directory (or a subdirectory, if the -d 77option is specified.) 78 79The -s option, if given, will install a "safe, slow and stupid" 80version of SYSLINUX. This version may work on some very buggy BIOSes 81on which SYSLINUX would otherwise fail. If you find a machine on 82which the -s option is required to make it boot reliably, please send 83as much info about your machine as you can, and include the failure 84mode. 85 86The -o option is used with a disk image file and specifies the byte 87offset of the filesystem image in the file. 88 89For the DOS and Windows installers, the -m and -a options can be used 90on hard drives to write a Master Boot Record (MBR), and to mark the 91specific partition active. 92 93If the Shift or Alt keys are held down during boot, or the Caps or Scroll 94locks are set, Syslinux will display a LILO-style "boot:" prompt. The 95user can then type a kernel file name followed by any kernel parameters. 96The Syslinux loader does not need to know about the kernel file in 97advance; all that is required is that it is a file located in the root 98directory on the disk. 99 100There are two versions of the Linux installer; one in the "mtools" 101directory which requires no special privilege (other than write 102permission to the device where you are installing) but requires the 103mtools program suite to be available, and one in the "unix" directory 104which requires root privilege. 105 106 107 ++++ CONFIGURATION FILE ++++ 108 109All options here apply to PXELINUX, ISOLINUX and EXTLINUX as well as 110SYSLINUX unless otherwise noted. See the respective .txt files. 111 112All the configurable defaults in SYSLINUX can be changed by putting a 113file called "syslinux.cfg" in the root directory of the boot disk. 114 115Starting with version 3.35, the configuration file can also be in 116either the /boot/syslinux or /syslinux directories (searched in that 117order.) If that is the case, then all filenames are assumed to be 118relative to that same directory, unless preceded with a slash or 119backslash. 120 121The configuration file is a text file in either UNIX or DOS format, 122containing one or more of the following items, each on its own line with 123optional leading whitespace. Case is insensitive for keywords; upper 124case is used here to indicate that a word should be typed verbatim. 125 126#comment 127 A comment line. 128 129INCLUDE filename 130 Inserts the contents of another file at this point in the 131 configuration file. Files can currently be nested up to 16 132 levels deep, but it is not guaranteed that more than 8 levels 133 will be supported in the future. 134 135DEFAULT kernel options... 136 Sets the default command line. If Syslinux boots automatically, 137 it will act just as if the entries after DEFAULT had been typed 138 in at the "boot:" prompt. 139 140 If no configuration file is present, or no DEFAULT entry is 141 present in the config file, an error message is displayed and 142 the boot: prompt is shown. 143 144UI module options... 145 Selects a specific user interface module (typically menu.c32 146 or vesamenu.c32). The command-line interface treats this as a 147 directive that overrides the DEFAULT and PROMPT directives. 148 149APPEND options... 150 Add one or more options to the kernel command line. These are 151 added both for automatic and manual boots. The options are 152 added at the very beginning of the kernel command line, 153 usually permitting explicitly entered kernel options to override 154 them. This is the equivalent of the LILO "append" option. 155 156IPAPPEND flag_val [PXELINUX only] 157 The IPAPPEND option is available only on PXELINUX. The 158 flag_val is an OR of the following options: 159 160 1: indicates that an option of the following format 161 should be generated and added to the kernel command line: 162 163 ip=<client-ip>:<boot-server-ip>:<gw-ip>:<netmask> 164 165 ... based on the input from the DHCP/BOOTP or PXE boot server. 166 167 NOTE: The use of this option is no substitute for running a 168 DHCP client in the booted system. Without regular renewals, 169 the lease acquired by the PXE BIOS will expire, making the 170 IP address available for reuse by the DHCP server. 171 172 2: indicates that an option of the following format 173 should be generated and added to the kernel command line: 174 175 BOOTIF=<hardware-address-of-boot-interface> 176 177 ... in dash-separated hexadecimal with leading hardware type 178 (same as for the configuration file; see pxelinux.txt.) 179 180 This allows an initrd program to determine from which 181 interface the system booted. 182 183 4: indicates that an option of the following format 184 should be generated and added to the kernel command line: 185 186 SYSUUID=<system uuid> 187 188 ... in lower case hexadecimal in the format normally used for 189 UUIDs (same as for the configuration file; see pxelinux.txt.) 190 191LABEL label 192 KERNEL image 193 APPEND options... 194 IPAPPEND flag_val [PXELINUX only] 195 Indicates that if "label" is entered as the kernel to boot, 196 Syslinux should instead boot "image", and the specified APPEND 197 and IPAPPEND options should be used instead of the ones 198 specified in the global section of the file (before the first 199 LABEL command.) The default for "image" is the same as 200 "label", and if no APPEND is given the default is to use the 201 global entry (if any). 202 203 Starting with version 3.62, the number of LABEL statements is 204 virtually unlimited. 205 206 Note that LILO uses the syntax: 207 image = mykernel 208 label = mylabel 209 append = "myoptions" 210 211 ... whereas Syslinux uses the syntax: 212 label mylabel 213 kernel mykernel 214 append myoptions 215 216 Note: The "kernel" doesn't have to be a Linux kernel; it can 217 be a boot sector or a COMBOOT file (see below.) 218 219 Since version 3.32 label names are no longer mangled into DOS 220 format (for SYSLINUX.) 221 222 The following commands are available after a LABEL statement: 223 224 LINUX image - Linux kernel image (default) 225 BOOT image - Bootstrap program (.bs, .bin) 226 BSS image - BSS image (.bss) 227 PXE image - PXE Network Bootstrap Program (.0) 228 FDIMAGE image - Floppy disk image (.img) 229 COMBOOT image - COMBOOT program (.com, .cbt) 230 COM32 image - COM32 program (.c32) 231 CONFIG image - New configuration file 232 Using one of these keywords instead of KERNEL forces the 233 filetype, regardless of the filename. 234 235 CONFIG means restart the boot loader using a different 236 configuration file. 237 238 APPEND - 239 Append nothing. APPEND with a single hyphen as argument in a 240 LABEL section can be used to override a global APPEND. 241 242 LOCALBOOT type [ISOLINUX, PXELINUX] 243 On PXELINUX, specifying "LOCALBOOT 0" instead of a "KERNEL" 244 option means invoking this particular label will cause a local 245 disk boot instead of booting a kernel. 246 247 The argument 0 means perform a normal boot. The argument 4 248 will perform a local boot with the Universal Network Driver 249 Interface (UNDI) driver still resident in memory. Finally, 250 the argument 5 will perform a local boot with the entire PXE 251 stack, including the UNDI driver, still resident in memory. 252 All other values are undefined. If you don't know what the 253 UNDI or PXE stacks are, don't worry -- you don't want them, 254 just specify 0. 255 256 On ISOLINUX, the "type" specifies the local drive number to 257 boot from; 0x00 is the primary floppy drive and 0x80 is the 258 primary hard drive. The special value -1 causes ISOLINUX to 259 report failure to the BIOS, which, on recent BIOSes, should 260 mean that the next boot device in the boot sequence should be 261 activated. 262 263 INITRD initrd_file 264 Starting with version 3.71, an initrd can be specified in a 265 separate statement (INITRD) instead of as part of the APPEND 266 statement; this functionally appends "initrd=initrd_file" to 267 the kernel command line. 268 269 It supports multiple filenames separated by commas. 270 This is mostly useful for initramfs, which can be composed of 271 multiple separate cpio or cpio.gz archives. 272 Note: all files except the last one are zero-padded to a 273 4K page boundary. This should not affect initramfs. 274 275IMPLICIT flag_val 276 If flag_val is 0, do not load a kernel image unless it has been 277 explicitly named in a LABEL statement. The default is 1. 278 279ALLOWOPTIONS flag_val 280 If flag_val is 0, the user is not allowed to specify any 281 arguments on the kernel command line. The only options 282 recognized are those specified in an APPEND statement. The 283 default is 1. 284 285TIMEOUT timeout 286 Indicates how long to wait at the boot: prompt until booting 287 automatically, in units of 1/10 s. The timeout is cancelled as 288 soon as the user types anything on the keyboard, the assumption 289 being that the user will complete the command line already 290 begun. A timeout of zero will disable the timeout completely, 291 this is also the default. 292 293TOTALTIMEOUT timeout 294 Indicates how long to wait until booting automatically, in 295 units of 1/10 s. This timeout is *not* cancelled by user 296 input, and can thus be used to deal with serial port glitches 297 or "the user walked away" type situations. A timeout of zero 298 will disable the timeout completely, this is also the default. 299 300 Both TIMEOUT and TOTALTIMEOUT can be used together, for 301 example: 302 303 # Wait 5 seconds unless the user types something, but 304 # always boot after 15 minutes. 305 TIMEOUT 50 306 TOTALTIMEOUT 9000 307 308ONTIMEOUT kernel options... 309 Sets the command line invoked on a timeout. Normally this is 310 the same thing as invoked by "DEFAULT". If this is specified, 311 then "DEFAULT" is used only if the user presses <Enter> to 312 boot. 313 314ONERROR kernel options... 315 If a kernel image is not found (either due to it not existing, 316 or because IMPLICIT is set), run the specified command. The 317 faulty command line is appended to the specified options, so 318 if the ONERROR directive reads as: 319 320 ONERROR xyzzy plugh 321 322 ... and the command line as entered by the user is: 323 324 foo bar baz 325 326 ... Syslinux will execute the following as if entered by the 327 user: 328 329 xyzzy plugh foo bar baz 330 331SERIAL port [[baudrate] flowcontrol] 332 Enables a serial port to act as the console. "port" is a 333 number (0 = /dev/ttyS0 = COM1, etc.) or an I/O port address 334 (e.g. 0x3F8); if "baudrate" is omitted, the baud rate defaults 335 to 9600 bps. The serial parameters are hardcoded to be 8 336 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit. 337 338 "flowcontrol" is a combination of the following bits: 339 0x001 - Assert DTR 340 0x002 - Assert RTS 341 0x008 - Enable interrupts 342 0x010 - Wait for CTS assertion 343 0x020 - Wait for DSR assertion 344 0x040 - Wait for RI assertion 345 0x080 - Wait for DCD assertion 346 0x100 - Ignore input unless CTS asserted 347 0x200 - Ignore input unless DSR asserted 348 0x400 - Ignore input unless RI asserted 349 0x800 - Ignore input unless DCD asserted 350 351 All other bits are reserved. 352 353 Typical values are: 354 355 0 - No flow control (default) 356 0x303 - Null modem cable detect 357 0x013 - RTS/CTS flow control 358 0x813 - RTS/CTS flow control, modem input 359 0x023 - DTR/DSR flow control 360 0x083 - DTR/DCD flow control 361 362 For the SERIAL directive to be guaranteed to work properly, it 363 should be the first directive in the configuration file. 364 365 NOTE: "port" values from 0 to 3 means the first four serial 366 ports detected by the BIOS. They may or may not correspond to 367 the legacy port values 0x3F8, 0x2F8, 0x3E8, 0x2E8. 368 369 Enabling interrupts (setting the 0x008 bit) may give better 370 responsiveness without setting the NOHALT option, but could 371 potentially cause problems with buggy BIOSes. 372 373NOHALT flag_val 374 If flag_val is 1, don't halt the processor while idle. 375 Halting the processor while idle significantly reduces the 376 power consumption, but can cause poor responsiveness to the 377 serial console, especially when using scripts to drive the 378 serial console, as opposed to human interaction. 379 380CONSOLE flag_val 381 If flag_val is 0, disable output to the normal video console. 382 If flag_val is 1, enable output to the video console (this is 383 the default.) 384 385 Some BIOSes try to forward this to the serial console and 386 sometimes make a total mess thereof, so this option lets you 387 disable the video console on these systems. 388 389FONT filename 390 Load a font in .psf format before displaying any output 391 (except the copyright line, which is output as ldlinux.sys 392 itself is loaded.) Syslinux only loads the font onto the 393 video card; if the .psf file contains a Unicode table it is 394 ignored. This only works on EGA and VGA cards; hopefully it 395 should do nothing on others. 396 397KBDMAP keymap 398 Install a simple keyboard map. The keyboard remapper used is 399 *very* simplistic (it simply remaps the keycodes received from 400 the BIOS, which means that only the key combinations relevant 401 in the default layout -- usually U.S. English -- can be 402 mapped) but should at least help people with AZERTY keyboard 403 layout and the locations of = and , (two special characters 404 used heavily on the Linux kernel command line.) 405 406 The included program keytab-lilo.pl from the LILO distribution 407 can be used to create such keymaps. The file keytab-lilo.txt 408 contains the documentation for this program. 409 410DISPLAY filename 411 Displays the indicated file on the screen at boot time (before 412 the boot: prompt, if displayed). Please see the section below 413 on DISPLAY files. 414 415 NOTE: If the file is missing, this option is simply ignored. 416 417SAY message 418 Prints the message on the screen. 419 420PROMPT flag_val 421 If flag_val is 0, display the boot: prompt only if the Shift or Alt 422 key is pressed, or Caps Lock or Scroll lock is set (this is the 423 default). If flag_val is 1, always display the boot: prompt. 424 425NOESCAPE flag_val 426 If flag_val is set to 1, ignore the Shift/Alt/Caps Lock/Scroll 427 Lock escapes. Use this (together with PROMPT 0) to force the 428 default boot alternative. 429 430NOCOMPLETE flag_val 431 If flag_val is set to 1, the Tab key does not display labels 432 at the boot: prompt. 433 434F1 filename 435F2 filename 436 ...etc... 437F9 filename 438F10 filename 439F11 filename 440F12 filename 441 Displays the indicated file on the screen when a function key is 442 pressed at the boot: prompt. This can be used to implement 443 pre-boot online help (presumably for the kernel command line 444 options.) Please see the section below on DISPLAY files. 445 446 When using the serial console, press <Ctrl-F><digit> to get to 447 the help screens, e.g. <Ctrl-F><2> to get to the F2 screen. 448 For F10-F12, hit <Ctrl-F><A>, <Ctrl-F>B, <Ctrl-F>C. For 449 compatibility with earlier versions, F10 can also be entered as 450 <Ctrl-F>0. 451 452Blank lines are ignored. 453 454Note that the configuration file is not completely decoded. Syntax 455different from the one described above may still work correctly in this 456version of Syslinux, but may break in a future one. 457 458 459 ++++ DISPLAY FILE FORMAT ++++ 460 461DISPLAY and function-key help files are text files in either DOS or UNIX 462format (with or without <CR>). In addition, the following special codes 463are interpreted: 464 465<FF> <FF> = <Ctrl-L> = ASCII 12 466 Clear the screen, home the cursor. Note that the screen is 467 filled with the current display color. 468 469<SI><bg><fg> <SI> = <Ctrl-O> = ASCII 15 470 Set the display colors to the specified background and 471 foreground colors, where <bg> and <fg> are hex digits, 472 corresponding to the standard PC display attributes: 473 474 0 = black 8 = dark grey 475 1 = dark blue 9 = bright blue 476 2 = dark green a = bright green 477 3 = dark cyan b = bright cyan 478 4 = dark red c = bright red 479 5 = dark purple d = bright purple 480 6 = brown e = yellow 481 7 = light grey f = white 482 483 Picking a bright color (8-f) for the background results in the 484 corresponding dark color (0-7), with the foreground flashing. 485 486 Colors are not visible over the serial console. 487 488<CAN>filename<newline> <CAN> = <Ctrl-X> = ASCII 24 489 If a VGA display is present, enter graphics mode and display 490 the graphic included in the specified file. The file format 491 is an ad hoc format called LSS16; the included Perl program 492 "ppmtolss16" can be used to produce these images. This Perl 493 program also includes the file format specification. 494 495 The image is displayed in 640x480 16-color mode. Once in 496 graphics mode, the display attributes (set by <SI> code 497 sequences) work slightly differently: the background color is 498 ignored, and the foreground colors are the 16 colors specified 499 in the image file. For that reason, ppmtolss16 allows you to 500 specify that certain colors should be assigned to specific 501 color indicies. 502 503 Color indicies 0 and 7, in particular, should be chosen with 504 care: 0 is the background color, and 7 is the color used for 505 the text printed by Syslinux itself. 506 507<EM> <EM> = <Ctrl-Y> = ASCII 25 508 If we are currently in graphics mode, return to text mode. 509 510<DLE>..<ETB> <Ctrl-P>..<Ctrl-W> = ASCII 16-23 511 These codes can be used to select which modes to print a 512 certain part of the message file in. Each of these control 513 characters select a specific set of modes (text screen, 514 graphics screen, serial port) for which the output is actually 515 displayed: 516 517 Character Text Graph Serial 518 ------------------------------------------------------ 519 <DLE> = <Ctrl-P> = ASCII 16 No No No 520 <DC1> = <Ctrl-Q> = ASCII 17 Yes No No 521 <DC2> = <Ctrl-R> = ASCII 18 No Yes No 522 <DC3> = <Ctrl-S> = ASCII 19 Yes Yes No 523 <DC4> = <Ctrl-T> = ASCII 20 No No Yes 524 <NAK> = <Ctrl-U> = ASCII 21 Yes No Yes 525 <SYN> = <Ctrl-V> = ASCII 22 No Yes Yes 526 <ETB> = <Ctrl-W> = ASCII 23 Yes Yes Yes 527 528 For example: 529 530 <DC1>Text mode<DC2>Graphics mode<DC4>Serial port<ETB> 531 532 ... will actually print out which mode the console is in! 533 534<SUB> <SUB> = <Ctrl-Z> = ASCII 26 535 End of file (DOS convention). 536 537<BEL> <BEL> = <Ctrl-G> = ASCII 7 538 Beep the speaker. 539 540 541 ++++ COMMAND LINE KEYSTROKES ++++ 542 543The command line prompt supports the following keystrokes: 544 545<Enter> boot specified command line 546<BackSpace> erase one character 547<Ctrl-U> erase the whole line 548<Ctrl-V> display the current Syslinux version 549<Ctrl-W> erase one word 550<Ctrl-X> force text mode 551<Tab> list matching labels 552<F1>..<F12> help screens (if configured) 553<Ctrl-F><digit> equivalent to F1..F10 554<Ctrl-C> interrupt boot in progress 555<Esc> interrupt boot in progress 556<Ctrl-N> display network information (PXELINUX only) 557 558 559 ++++ COMBOOT IMAGES AND OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS ++++ 560 561This version of Syslinux supports chain loading of other operating 562systems (such as MS-DOS and its derivatives, including Windows 95/98), 563as well as COMBOOT-style standalone executables (a subset of DOS .COM 564files; see separate section below.) 565 566Chain loading requires the boot sector of the foreign operating system 567to be stored in a file in the root directory of the filesystem. 568Because neither Linux kernels, boot sector images, nor COMBOOT files 569have reliable magic numbers, Syslinux will look at the file extension. 570The following extensions are recognized (case insensitive): 571 572 none or other Linux kernel image 573 .0 PXE bootstrap program (NBP) [PXELINUX only] 574 .bin "CD boot sector" [ISOLINUX only] 575 .bs Boot sector [SYSLINUX only] 576 .bss Boot sector, DOS superblock will be patched in [SYSLINUX only] 577 .c32 COM32 image (32-bit COMBOOT) 578 .cbt COMBOOT image (not runnable from DOS) 579 .com COMBOOT image (runnable from DOS) 580 .img Disk image [ISOLINUX only] 581 582For filenames given on the command line, Syslinux will search for the 583file by adding extensions in the order listed above if the plain 584filename is not found. Filenames in KERNEL statements must be fully 585qualified. 586 587If this is specified with one of the keywords LINUX, BOOT, BSS, 588FDIMAGE, COMBOOT, COM32, or CONFIG instead of KERNEL, the filetype is 589considered to be the one specified regardless of the filename. 590 591 592 ++++ BOOTING DOS (OR OTHER SIMILAR OPERATING SYSTEMS) ++++ 593 594This section applies to SYSLINUX only, not to PXELINUX or ISOLINUX. 595See isolinux.txt for an equivalent procedure for ISOLINUX. 596 597This is the recommended procedure for creating a SYSLINUX disk that 598can boot either DOS or Linux. This example assumes the drive is A: in 599DOS and /dev/fd0 in Linux; for other drives, substitute the 600appropriate drive designator. 601 602 ---- Linux procedure ---- 603 6041. Make a DOS bootable disk. This can be done either by specifying 605 the /s option when formatting the disk in DOS, or by running the 606 DOS command SYS (this can be done under DOSEMU if DOSEMU has 607 direct device access to the relevant drive): 608 609 format a: /s 610 or 611 sys a: 612 6132. Boot Linux. Copy the DOS boot sector from the disk into a file: 614 615 dd if=/dev/fd0 of=dos.bss bs=512 count=1 616 6173. Run SYSLINUX on the disk: 618 619 syslinux /dev/fd0 620 6214. Mount the disk and copy the DOS boot sector file to it. The file 622 *must* have extension .bss: 623 624 mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt 625 cp dos.bss /mnt 626 6275. Copy the Linux kernel image(s), initrd(s), etc to the disk, and 628 create/edit syslinux.cfg and help files if desired: 629 630 cp vmlinux /mnt 631 cp initrd.gz /mnt 632 6336. Unmount the disk (if applicable.) 634 635 umount /mnt 636 637 ---- DOS/Windows procedure ---- 638 639To make this installation in DOS only, you need the utility copybs.com 640(included with Syslinux) as well as the syslinux.com installer. If 641you are on an WinNT-based system (WinNT, Win2k, WinXP or later), use 642syslinux.exe instead. 643 6441. Make a DOS bootable disk. This can be done either by specifying 645 the /s option when formatting the disk in DOS, or by running the 646 DOS command SYS: 647 648 format a: /s 649 or 650 sys a: 651 6522. Copy the DOS boot sector from the disk into a file. The file 653 *must* have extension .bss: 654 655 copybs a: a:dos.bss 656 6573. Run SYSLINUX on the disk: 658 659 syslinux a: 660 6614. Copy the Linux kernel image(s), initrd(s), etc to the disk, and 662 create/edit syslinux.cfg and help files if desired: 663 664 copy vmlinux a: 665 copy initrd.gz a: 666 667 668 ++++ COMBOOT EXECUTABLES ++++ 669 670Syslinux supports simple standalone programs, using a file format 671similar to DOS ".com" files. A 32-bit version, called COM32, is also 672provided. A simple API provides access to a limited set of filesystem 673and console functions. 674 675See the file comboot.txt for more information on COMBOOT and COM32 676programs. 677 678 679 ++++ NOVICE PROTECTION ++++ 680 681Syslinux will attempt to detect booting on a machine with too little 682memory, which means the Linux boot sequence cannot complete. If so, a 683message is displayed and the boot sequence aborted. Holding down the 684Ctrl key while booting disables this feature. 685 686Any file that SYSLINUX uses can be marked hidden, system or readonly 687if so is convenient; SYSLINUX ignores all file attributes. The 688SYSLINUX installed automatically sets the readonly/hidden/system 689attributes on LDLINUX.SYS. 690 691 692 ++++ NOTES ON BOOTABLE CD-ROMS ++++ 693 694SYSLINUX can be used to create bootdisk images for El 695Torito-compatible bootable CD-ROMs. However, it appears that many 696BIOSes are very buggy when it comes to booting CD-ROMs. Some users 697have reported that the following steps are helpful in making a CD-ROM 698that is bootable on the largest possible number of machines: 699 700 a) Use the -s (safe, slow and stupid) option to SYSLINUX; 701 b) Put the boot image as close to the beginning of the 702 ISO 9660 filesystem as possible. 703 704A CD-ROM is so much faster than a floppy that the -s option shouldn't 705matter from a speed perspective. 706 707Of course, you probably want to use ISOLINUX instead. See isolinux.txt. 708 709 710 ++++ BOOTING FROM A FAT FILESYSTEM PARTITION ON A HARD DISK ++++ 711 712SYSLINUX can boot from a FAT filesystem partition on a hard disk 713(including FAT32). The installation procedure is identical to the 714procedure for installing it on a floppy, and should work under either 715DOS or Linux. To boot from a partition, SYSLINUX needs to be launched 716from a Master Boot Record or another boot loader, just like DOS itself 717would. 718 719Under DOS, you can install a standard simple MBR on the primary hard 720disk by running the command: 721 722 FDISK /MBR 723 724Then use the FDISK command to mark the appropriate partition active. 725 726A simple MBR, roughly on par with the one installed by DOS (but 727unencumbered), is included in the SYSLINUX distribution. To install 728it under Linux, simply type: 729 730 cat mbr.bin > /dev/XXX 731 732... where /dev/XXX is the device you wish to install it on. 733 734Under DOS or Win32, you can install the SYSLINUX MBR with the -m 735option to the SYSLINUX installer, and use the -a option to mark the 736current partition active: 737 738 syslinux -ma c: 739 740Note that this will also install SYSLINUX on the specified partition. 741 742 743 ++++ HARDWARE INFORMATION +++ 744 745I have started to maintain a web page of hardware with known 746problems. There are, unfortunately, lots of broken hardware out 747there; especially early PXE stacks (for PXELINUX) have lots of 748problems. 749 750A list of problems, and workarounds (if known), is maintained at: 751 752 http://syslinux.zytor.com/hardware.php 753 754 755 ++++ BOOT LOADER IDS USED ++++ 756 757The Linux boot protocol supports a "boot loader ID", a single byte 758where the upper nybble specifies a boot loader family (3 = Syslinux) 759and the lower nybble is version or, in the case of Syslinux, media: 760 761 0x31 (49) = SYSLINUX 762 0x32 (50) = PXELINUX 763 0x33 (51) = ISOLINUX 764 0x34 (52) = EXTLINUX 765 766In recent versions of Linux, this ID is available as 767/proc/sys/kernel/bootloader_type. 768 769 770 ++++ BUG REPORTS ++++ 771 772I would appreciate hearing of any problems you have with Syslinux. I 773would also like to hear from you if you have successfully used Syslinux, 774*especially* if you are using it for a distribution. 775 776If you are reporting problems, please include all possible information 777about your system and your BIOS; the vast majority of all problems 778reported turn out to be BIOS or hardware bugs, and I need as much 779information as possible in order to diagnose the problems. 780 781There is a mailing list for discussion among Syslinux users and for 782announcements of new and test versions. To join, or to browse the 783archive, go to: 784 785 http://www.zytor.com/mailman/listinfo/syslinux 786 787Please DO NOT send HTML messages or attachments to the mailing list 788(including multipart/alternative or similar.) All such messages will 789be bounced.