Hi Chris,

>> I'll link to the 1.0 boot floppy image, under the "FreeDOS 1.0" section.
>> http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/distributions/1.0/fdboot.img

That is a bit old so I am still preferring Ruffidea ;-)
Also because it is easier to delete than to add stuff,
for the latter you have to download things first. On
the other hand, I think Jeremy once had some sort of
automated builds with always fresh kernels online? For
people like Georg who need just a minimal bootable DOS
this would be a good source of boot floppy images.

> Kernel on that image uses 386+ instructions... and it seems as if it
> does that without (properly) checking for the presence of a 386.

That is correct, as a kernel cannot be both optimized
for 386 and compatible with 8086 at the same time. We
had some specifically PC-XT compatible boot floppies
mentioned on the list in the past, e.g. by somebody
who made a virtual PC-XT in Java if I remember right?

> That it's a 386+ kernel is just an oversight (or should be documented for  
> the image), but if 386+ kernels really do not abort with an appropriate  
> message on non-386 CPUs, that's a bug.

I disagree here. Without a kernel, you cannot do any
useful DOS stuff. However, I once made some tools for
Bernd to have a boot disk which automatically picks
boot files depending on your available CPU, as far as
I remember also related to MEMDISK detection? You CAN
make a NON minimal boot disk which automatically can
fall back to 8086 that way. However it is VERY rare
to find pre-386 hardware today, so I would really say
that it is better to have separate downloads: Normal
boot floppy for 386+ and special 8086 compatible boot
floppy for people with really ancient hardware (or a
virtual ancient computer, as the one mentioned above).

Of course it is a different story for EMM386, HIMEM,
USB drivers and similar: THOSE can automatically say
that they cannot load on incompatible hardware, then
return to DOS. Users can still use DOS then and sure
it is nice to not crash on old hardware but show some
message. But a kernel? It cannot skip itself and jump
to a command prompt with only the 8086 part loaded ;-)

> The file kernel.asm (SVN r1705) is this one:  
> http://freedos.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/freedos/kernel/trunk/kernel/kernel.asm?revision=1705&view=markup
> 
> Note lines 194 to 196, where precisely in this latest r1705, Kenneth added  
> the comment "TODO display error if built for 386 running on 8086 etc".

Well if it really makes you happy... Note that also a
number of boot loaders only work with 386 anyway now.

Regards, Eric



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