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11. Setting up Loadlin

Loadlin users still have a little work to do. First boot into Linux with the floppy. If you logged in graphically start a terminal emulator like xterm or some other. There are always a couple of these under the utilities menu. Type mkdir /mnt/dosc. This is the first step to make your Windows partition accessble to Linux and this is particularly important for Loadlin users as it is the easiest way to tranfer the Linux kernel to your Windows partition. Next start linuxconf from the system menu or the xterm and look for the filesystem menu. Expand accesss local drives and select add. Type /dev/hda1 in the partition field, vfat in the type field and /mnt/dosc/ in the mount point field and mount the partition. Alternatively you can directly edit the fstab file in /etc in a text editor (Gedit is a good choice) and add the following line exactly as shown.

/dev/hda1    /mnt/dosc    vfat    defaults    0  0

This should give you access to your Windows partition, it will be in /mnt/dosc/. Copy the linux kernel to your C directory and rename it to vmlinuz. You will find it in /boot and probably called vmlinuz followed by your kernel version number in my case vmlinuz-2.2.14-5.0. Do not copy the vmlinuz with an arrow in it, its a symbolic link. Reboot into windows, get the loadlin package from the Linux cd – it will be in the /dostools/utils subdirectory. Unzip it and place Loadlin.exe in the C directory. Loadlin and the kernel can be anywhere on your windows partition but for the time being we will leave it in root directory of Windows. Now its up to you how you want to boot into Linux. Read the loadlin documentation for the details. The roundabout way is to restart the system in DOS mode and type:

C:> loadlin vmlinuz root=/dev/hda7 ro

This will boot you into Linux. The easier way is to make a .bat file with the same information and placing it on your desktop. Open notepad type c:\loadlin c:\vmlinuz root=/dev/hda7 ro and save the file as linux.bat, right click the file, select advanced, and check the msdos mode and warn settings. Make a shortcut to this file and put it on your desktop. The next time you want to boot into Linux just double click this file and you will be in – talk about convenience.

If you want to be prompted to boot into linux before Windows boots like the Lilo guys you have to make another .bat file and call it from your autoexec.bat file. It's very simple and the details are available in the Loadlin documentation. The file looks a bit like this.

       @echo off
        cls
        echo.
        echo.
        echo.
        echo.
        choice /t:n,5 "Do you wish to boot Linux?"
        if errorlevel 2 goto End
        c:\loadlin c:\vmlinuz  root=/dev/hda6  ro
        End
      
(This little script has been filched from the Loadlin documentation which you would know if you did the sensible thing and read the documentation)

Save this text as linux.bat or if there already is a linux.bat in your Windows root directory you can place it in another directory or give it another name. Add the following line to your autoexec.bat file c:\linux '(or whatever you have named the .bat file). The main thing if you are using a .bat file is to tell Loadlin where to find the kernel image file (vmlinuz). The above .bat file gives you the option to boot into Linux before Windows loads by typing y (for Linux) or n (for Windows) within five seconds at which point it boots Windows. Enjoy.