Win 9x and Linux
If you have a Windows 9x system, you need to be careful, especially if the system was
pre-installed. Many of these systems are installed using the newer FAT32, which allows you to create
larger filesystems. However, with older distributions (and therefore older kernels) you will not be
able to use lilo to boot
your Windows 9x system. Instead, you will need to configure loadlin to book
Linux from Windows 9x.
If you have a VFAT/FAT16 filesystem,
(or a newer distribution) then you will be able to configure
lilo to boot
your system, as we described before. However, it is also possible to get Windows 9x to
boot Linux for you. Both Windows 95
and Windows 95 can be configured to boot
Linux using loadlin
Linload is a DOS
executable which loads a kernel
image from a DOS HD (or floppy) and then boots the
rest of the Linux Operating System from an appropriate root partition.
You will find that with many distributions the Linux installation is done from Linux, which
has been booted off of the CD using loadlin. If your kernel
was small enough, you could even use loadlin to boot
from a floppy, pull your root filesystem
from the network
and run without a hard disk in the machine.
Keep in mind that you cannot start loadlin once either Windows 95
or Windows 98 has started.
Therefore, you need to stop Windows from booting while it is in DOS
mode. This can be done by
pressing the F8 as soon as you see the message. "Starting Windows 98...". You are presented with a
number of option and you need to select "Safe mode, command prompt only."
Once at the command line
you start loadlin, passing it the name of your kernel
and the root device.
Such as :
C:\BOOT> loadlin.exe zimage root=/dev/hdb1 ro"
For more details on multibooting, check out the DOS-Win-to-Linux HOWTO,
Linux+NT-Loader mini HOWTO and the NT OS Loader + Linux mini-HOWTO.