[sf-lug] A ROM bootable OS

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Mon May 29 14:20:15 PDT 2006

Andrew Stanton wrote:
> Hi folks:
> How about a linux that boots in ROM?  Nothing to configure for a minimal
> setup. 
> I think a ROM OS with essential software would really be revolutionary. 
> Of course the trick is defining what "essential" is.
> Note: This is similar but not the same as booting from a Knoppix CD.  
> The closest thing to what i'm suggesting would be putting the OS on a 
> flash CF card and making it bootable. (the key difference is that the 
> CF card can be erased, but ROM cannot - but in both cases the OS 
> resides in a permanent form of
> solid state memory)
> What do you all think?
> I don't know about you all, but I'm fairly tired of having to configure
> an OS for a new computer (whether it be Windoze, the mac OS, or a
> linux variant - let's be honest - they are all nuisance to set up). 
> - Andy S.
Pebble Linux uses such an approach. It is not a Desktop Linux type OS. 
Its Debian based, and is designed to run wireless and wired routers. The 
image sits on a CF card or can be flashed to onboard flash. At boot 
time, it partitions the RAM into a temporary filesystem and unloads the 
/var into it. Runs as read-only from there, with all the read-write 
happening in the /var partition in the RAM.



Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

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