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3. Umsdos as your root partition

3.1 The pseudo-root concept.

With Umsdos, Linux can be installed in a standard DOS partition. Linux is then installed as a second (or third) OS in the partition. To avoid name collision (there is maybe a bin or tmp directory in the drive C: already), Umsdos use a smart trick: The pseudo-root.

All Linux files are installed in a DOS subdirectory called linux, generally C: LINUX. The normal Linux/Unix directory structure goes there. So you get


When the Umsdos boot, it probes for the directory linux and then /linux/etc. If it exist, it activates the pseudo-root mode.

Mostly, the pseudo-root mode switch the root of the partition to C:\\LINUX giving the conventional Unix directory layout

  • /bin
  • /etc
  • /lib
  • /root
  • /sbin
  • /tmp
  • /usr
  • /var

To this list, it adds a new one called DOS. This one is a virtual directory.

3.2 Things to know about the pseudo-root

  • This mode can only be triggered at boot time. There is no way to activate this by a mount command.
  • This mechanism is purely a different view of a normal Umsdos file-system. This means that a partition normally used as a root partition can be normally mounted. There won't be any pseudo-root effect. For example, if you boot linux with a maintenance floppy and mount your normal root partition in /mnt, you will find all your linux directory in /mnt/linux/bin, /mnt/linux/etc and so on.

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