Re: booting Linux from a dos box in win3.1

Eric W. Biederman (
03 Sep 1996 09:08:47 -0500

>>>>> "SK" == Simon Karpen <> writes:

SK> okay, this is a touch offtopic for this list, but if anybody knows how to
SK> do the following they're probably on the list. basically, i need to know
SK> if it's at all possible to boot Linux from a Windows 3.1 DOS box without
SK> exiting Windows. if there's something that's alpha-test of
SK> semi-functional out there, please let me know. if not, is there any code
SK> to get started? does anybody know what would actually have to be done?
SK> i'd possibly be able to adapt existing code, but i've done a decent bit
SK> of C for user level code but basically no kernel or bootloader
SK> programming. i'm currently taking courses to better my knowledge of
SK> programming (i'm at a university, after all). even some pointers would be
SK> appreciated.

With dosemu (the linux dos box) you can boot windows (winos2 actually)
from linux which is probably a better solution if you want to run them
both simultaneously.

With bochs it's at least possible to run minix-386 so with some work
it may be possible to run linux or any other 386 operating system

SK> Another thing that would work (though this is really off-topic) would be
SK> a program runnable from a DOS box that would kick the computer back to
SK> DOS, in a stable enough state to use LOADLIN.

SK> Thanks in advance for any info. I realize that this is a bit offtopic,
SK> but if it doesn't exist i'm going to try to write it.

This a seriously nontrivial problem! Windows in my opinion is much,
much too unstable. Going the other way almost works.

Actually there is one way to do this. Find linux-8086 and run that in
your dos box.


To get this conversation a little more back on topic, I'll ask a
stupid question.

Is it possible to have the native linux interrupt not be caught by
linux in a linux process? (quite possibly I've missed something.)
[also useful for those days when you want really tight security :)]

Is it possible to fool instructions like LAR so we could convince a
program in user mode that it was running in kernel mode?

Just imagining running Linux in a Linux dos box. Or more useful VSTA,
Windows NT, etc.