How to Build MC-Link

These steps should allow you to rebuild MC-Link, so that you can make your own modified versions. My own process was more evolutionary -- I had a partly working system and kept tweaking it. If you cannot successfully follow these instructions please email me ( and I will help you and fix the instructions.

These steps were all done on a computer running Slackware 8.1. That is important because some libraries are copied directly from the Slackware system.

The Kernel

I used the 2.4.20 linux kernel. I know of no reason why other kernels should not work, in fact kernels from the 2.2 or 2.0 series might be smaller leaving you more software to put on the floppy. However I had a great deal of difficulty getting any plip connection at all to work, and after seeing entries in the kernel changelog that said "fixed plip" I waited til the next version came out and tried it.

I tried to configure the kernel to be as small as possible and still do the task. I wanted it to moount both ext2 (linux) and FAT (DOS) filesystems. One of the obvious ways to modify MC-Link is to make it read the filesytems you need, or to use SCSI disks. (Eventually I would like to have versions that can use a crossover ethernet cable or a serial cable.)

This is the .config file.

Before running the "make bzIamge" command, edit the Makefile to replace "-O2" with "-Os". This causes gcc (the compiler used to build the kernel) to optimize for size of executable instead of speed.

To rebuild the kernel file I have, do this:

  1. Download the 2.4.20 kernel source from here.
  2. Unpack it into your working directory with the command "tar xjvf linux-2.4.20.tar.bz2".
  3. Download my .config file, and place it in the linux-2.4.20 directory.
  4. Edit the makefile in that linux-2.4.20 directory to have -Os instead of -O2, or just copy my makefile into that directory.
  5. Type the command "make dep; make bzImage"
  6. After a while (a half hour is normal on a 600 MHz computer) your new kernel will be in linux-2.40.20/arch/i386/boot/bzImage.
  7. Copy this file to A:BZIMAGE of a 1.722 MB formatted dos disk. Do this with the commands:

The Ramdisk Image

I started with the ramdisk image that is part of PAUD. You can look at the instructions there for how it was created.

GNU C Library -- special note

I just copied the binary glibc library from PAUD. I believe that was copied from a version of the boot disk that accompanied the parted tool on the GNU page.



Build commands. Menu and option configurations. Starting it from .profile.


Robert G. Ristroph
Last modified: Tue Mar 25 18:15:25 CST 2003