Multibooting pendrive

Any off topic discussions should go in this forum. Post count is not increased by posting here.
FTP Access status is required to post in this forum. Find out how to get it
Forum rules
Any off topic discussions should go in this forum. Post count is not increased by posting here.
FTP Access status is required to post in this forum. Find out how to get it
Locked
empireum
Donator
Posts: 3557
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:00 pm

Multibooting pendrive

Post by empireum »

Seeing my 2GB USB pendrive lying around gave me the idea to make it bootable. And since multi-boot configurations are one of my favourites, I decided to play a bit with the poor pendrive This is what I've got so far, almost all of the OSes worked without modification, some needed minor tweaking. Only downside is my testing box doesn't support booting from USB HDDs, only FDDs, so I can't test it there. It does, however, work on my Intel Mac and in Qemu. Updated versions of this might be created, containing updated versions of the distros or new ones...

Version 0.1 – 2007-07-14
Screenshots of the boot menu
Image
Image


Screenshots of various systems:

MenuetOS
QNX Demodisk
Space Invaders multi-boot compliant game
Olive

For those of you wanting to say I'm crazy, feel free to do so.
Last edited by empireum on Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sp4rkbr
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: Multibooting pendrive

Post by sp4rkbr »

empireum wrote:For those of you wanting to say I'm crazy, feel free to do so.
You're crazy!

Just kidding hehe

Cool idea

hounsell

Post by hounsell »

Wow, that looks amazing...

(Clears 2Gb Flash Drive for multi-booting... )

blahsucks-two
FTP Access
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:21 am

Post by blahsucks-two »

Just think -- If we can do all this with a 2GB flash drive, imagine the devices you could build with QNX realtime technology.

empireum
Donator
Posts: 3557
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:00 pm

Post by empireum »

blahsucks-two wrote:Just think -- If we can do all this with a 2GB flash drive, imagine the devices you could build with QNX realtime technology.
That's why I included the awesome QNX demo disk.

Jeff
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: USA

Post by Jeff »

Would there be any way you could upload the files you use on your flash drive? I would love to try it out for myself...
-Jeff

compact-mac
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 560
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:55 pm
Location: /bin/bash
Contact:

Post by compact-mac »

that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!
CM's Old Website
Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
Forget DNS/HTTPS or DNS/TLS, the future is DNS over Avian.

ppc_digger
Donator
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:25 am
Location: Israel

Post by ppc_digger »

My USB key has DSL and DOS for backup purposes (nothing too fancy, it's just for emergencies).

empireum
Donator
Posts: 3557
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:00 pm

Post by empireum »

ppc_digger wrote:My USB key has DSL and DOS for backup purposes (nothing too fancy, it's just for emergencies).
My pendrive is for emergencies as well, that's why I included some DOS boot disks and distros like DSL and Mpentoo, but it's also a toy to check how many I can get on there.
Compact-mac wrote:that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!
I hope/plan to include some one-floppy versions of Windows and a minimal Windows 95/98 running from a RAM drive in one of the next versions.

moonlit
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:02 pm

Post by moonlit »

Compact-mac wrote:that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!
I planned some time ago to install all Windows OSs on 1 device and have them multiboot, but that proved to have a lot of issues... it shouldn't be difficult to install a bunch of versions from each class of Windows though (as in DOS + Win1, 2, 3, then a seperate menu for 9x, then another for NT).

Vista Ultimate R2
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 2393
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:06 pm

Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

That would be really cool! Though I'm not sure that it's possible to boot 1.0x or 2.x on a modern PC, and 3.x and even 9x (if you had too much Ram) would be difficult these days. Not really sure how you'd set up your bootloader either - if you installed all of the older versions first and then the NTs, the NT loader can boot 98 etc but I don't know about the really old ones like 3.x.
Image

empireum
Donator
Posts: 3557
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:00 pm

Post by empireum »

Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:That would be really cool! Though I'm not sure that it's possible to boot 1.0x or 2.x on a modern PC, and 3.x and even 9x (if you had too much Ram) would be difficult these days. Not really sure how you'd set up your bootloader either - if you installed all of the older versions first and then the NTs, the NT loader can boot 98 etc but I don't know about the really old ones like 3.x.
You can load Windows 1.x, 2.x and 3.x on modern PCs, you might just need an older version of MS-DOS and the help of setver.exe. As for having too much RAM, you can limit 9x/ME to avoid problems (actually, I'm running 98SE right now on a system with 1024MB of RAM and have it limited to 800MB because giving it access to more RAM prevents it from booting). About the bootloader, that's not much of a problem, use the "almightly" GRUB and the necessary number if primary partitions and chainload the other bootloaders, and you're set. It's even possible to dual-boot 95 and 98 on the same partition, although you need to manually change the boot files and the boot sector accordingly.

blahsucks-two
FTP Access
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:21 am

Post by blahsucks-two »

Things like this have been done before with DVDs, AFAIK... I would be really interested in something like this, except with all the OSes running on a hypervisor or in VMs atop a minimal Linux system. Easy comparison between OSes, no boot setup needed (just use disk images..)/modern hardware hacks. Not sure if there's software that can be distributed that way (Xen?), but it would be a neat thing to see in action.

moonlit
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:02 pm

Post by moonlit »

Well I've seen the AIO install DVDs, I've not seen AIO bootable DVDs with the OSs preinstalled... One of the problems with running them from DVd is that you have nowhere to write perminant data to, though you could run the actual OS from a RAM drive providing it doesn't puke on different hardware every time.

It is possible to read/write USB thumbdrives in MSDOS though, so that could be one way to store data if you're actually using the OSs to work in.

I started thinking about working on this a little tonight, see if I actually do it this time... One thing I'm debating though is whether to emulate them or boot natively...

Emulation is good because:
- The OS always sees the same hardware.
- It's easier to move around since it's in its on HDD image.
- The underlying OS controls the drivers for different host machine configurations.

It's bad because:
- It's slow. Very slow.
- It requires an OS beneath the emulator.
- The OS beneath the emulator needs a lotta diffferent drivers if you wanna use it on multiple machines.

blahsucks-two
FTP Access
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:21 am

Post by blahsucks-two »

You're confusing emulation with virtualization. Both have overhead, but virtualization is significantly faster, because it runs as much code as possible directly instead of through an emulation layer. Bochs and co are emulation, while VPC/VMware is virtualization. Even XP can run at a decent speed in a virtualizer. With OSes as old as these, it shouldn
't be a problem.

moonlit
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:02 pm

Post by moonlit »

Well yeah, I get that bit, but the reason I said emulation is because I'm still debating what to base the whole thing on... I could also virtualise, which as you say is quicker. Now I come to think about it though, I'm not sure why I specifically noted emulation but I know I had a reason to choose that over virtualisation but I don't remember what it was... :/

Both are possible routes, as is just running natively (obviously the best option). It's probably better to have the thing self contained and bootable at the very least because you don't know what OS a particular system will have.

I'm a little scatterbrained this evening, you'll have to excuse my disjointed thoughts

While I'm here though, anyone know if there's any way to mount virtual disk images under MSDOS?


Update: Got MSDOS 5.00, Windows 1.04, 2.10, 3.10 and 95C coexisting atm, works well. Currently doing it in Virtual PC 2007 (guess I'm going for virtualisation after all lol) over 2 HDD images. Choosing could be a bit cleaner, but it works. Trying to add 98SE now.

If I'm hijacking the thread please do say, I'll move to another thread, seemed appropriate to start with but if it turns in to proper project here's probably not the place for it.

Locked