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MONKEY LINUX
current version 06              @(õ õ)@
released 9/5/1997                 (Y)                       [ DESCRIPTION ]
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     So you've taken an interest in Monkey.  Terrific.  If you'd like to
bypass all the mumbo-jumbo and get straight to installing Monkey on your
machine then I suggest you jump ahead to the install page.  If you'd like
to learn a little bit about Monkey then stick around and read on.  In this
section I briefly describe:

     1. what Monkey is;
     2. Monkey pro's and con's;
     3. Monkey's history;
     4. the file systems compatible with Monkey;
     5. Monkey's file structure; and
     6. the files essential for operating Monkey.



MONKEY DESCRIBED

     Monkey Linux is a small Executable and Linking Format (ELF)
distribution based on Linux kernel 2.0.30 and Libc5.  The fact that it
uses the UMSDOS file system makes it an ideal semi-complete distribution
for GNU/Linux newbies, because no knowledge of (re)partitioning hard
drives is required for installation.  Monkey lives happily in its own
folder within MS-DOS or Windows 3.x/9x/Me.  Plus, it's the same Gnu/Linux
that works in all of the major distributions, so making the switch to a
different distribution won't be a difficult adjustment.  With Monkey,
machines considered to be obsolete (see minimum system requirements) are
given added value and can be put to both practical and educational use.

     The archived base distribution is less than 7MB in size and fits in
five floppies.  After installation, Monkey takes up less than 30MB of hard
drive space.  It doesn't stop there.  A few useful software packages have
been precompiled for Monkey and are ready for installation at your
disposal.  All of these files are listed and ready for download in the
download section.

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TO INSTALL, OR NOT TO INSTALL...

Three reasons to use Monkey Linux version 06:

     1) Put that obsolete hardware back to use.  Monkey runs on 4Mb of RAM
        and fits in 30Mb of disk space, both of which were considered
        plenty back in the early 90's.
     2) It's a terrific platform for learning how to navigate the Linux
        file system and utilize many GNU utilities.
     3) It's non-committal.  It works on top of DOS/Windows so there's no
        need to (re)partition the hard drive.  If you don't like it just
        delete it like any other file.

Three reasons to avoid Monkey Linux version 06:

     1) As is, it has enough to scrape by, but it will not turn your
        computer into a work horse.  Unless, of course, you're willing to
        put in the time to compile and install software.
     2) It's an obscure mini-distribution so there is hardly any support.
     3) It's based on an old kernel so it doesn't support newer hardware
        technologies, such as USB.

     Here's my outlook on the situation.  If you've got your hands on an
old machine and you're looking to install a distribution then give Monkey
Linux 06 a whirl.  Look into installing Mu Linux, Loop Linux, or Monkey
Linux 1.0 delta as well.  If you've got a more recent computer system with
at least 8Mb Ram, and you're looking for an introductory Linux mini-
distribution that fits in 150Mb to 500Mb of disk space, then try out
Peanut Linux, Dragon Linux, and/or Phat Linux.

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ONCE UPON A MONKEY

     In 1996, while a student in the Czech Republic, Milan Kerslager,
took upon the task of creating a small distribution of GNU/Linux for his
friends.

     When I drink some beer near our college I said, "MiniLinux?
     That's trivial."  This is a BIG mistake as I think now.

A year later he released Monkey Linux 06, a mini-distribution of GNU/Linux
that installs directly onto an existing DOS partition (FAT 12/16/32 or
VFAT).  There it lived happily ever after in it's very own DOS folder (or
Windows 3.x/9x/Me folder) that occupied a mere 30 MB of disk space.  Open
Milan's changes.txt document to view a time line of Monkey's development.

     My guess is that Kerslager trimmed down and modified Slackware
version 3.1.  Possibly even Slackware version 3.3.  The proof is in the
installation process and the configuration files.  In fact, Patrick
Volkerding's name shows up in a few of the configuration files.  For
those who don't know, Volkerding, created Slackware, which was one of
the first GNU/Linux distributions.  And now you know...baby, baby!

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COMPATIBLE FILE SYSTEMS

     "How can Monkey operate on top of DOS?" you ask.   By using the
UMSDOS file system to operate, that's how.  This allows Monkey to run on
DOS (or Windows 3.x/9x/Me) and eliminates the need to (re)partition the
hard drive.  With Monkey, you don't have to know anything about fdisk or
EXT2 to have a fully functional GNU/Linux on your machine.  The following
table lists the file systems that Monkey can cooperate with.

     File System  Description 
     -------------------------------------------------------------------
     DOS          DOS FAT12/16/32 file systems 
     EXT2         native GNU/Linux file system 
     ISO9960      CD-ROM file system 
     MINIX        older Unix-clone file system (currently for diskettes) 
     NCPFS        Novell file system for shared volumes 
     NFS          Sun Microsystems Network File System 
     UMSDOS       Root file system for Linux on DOS FAT 
     SMBFS        MS Windows network file system (only over TCP/IP) 
     VFAT         MS extension of DOS FAT for long file names 

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FILE STRUCTURE

     After installing Monkey Linux a new folder labeled "Linux" will be on
the hard drive.  (I've assumed that Monkey is installed in the c:\ drive.
If this isn't so then replace c:\ with the drive letter that it's
installed on.)  The Linux folder and it's contents form Monkey's file
structure.  View the ls-r.txt document for a detailed description of all
of the files that make Monkey.  The table that follows describes all of
the directories contained within the Linux directory.

     Directory  Description 
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     /linux     Pseudo-root.  The top directory that contains all other
                Monkey Linux directories.
     /bin       Small executable programs (binaries) such as shell
                commands.
     /cdrom     Mount point used to access contents of CD-ROM device.
     /dev       Files that allow programs and device drivers to
                communicate.
     /etc       System configuration files.
     /home      User specific directories, files, and option settings.
     /lib       System libraries.  Files shared by programs and GNU/Linux.
     /mnt       Generic mount point.  Device directory.
     /proc      "Virtual" files containing system information.
     /root      Super User's home directory.
     /sbin      Small executable programs (binaries).
     /tmp       System-wide temporary file or work file directory.
     /usr       User directory containing directories such as /usr/bin
                (holds programs related to users).
     /var       Place for files that vary a lot.
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     /dos       Virtual directory allowing Monkey to access the DOS file
                structure.  Only visible when in Monkey.
     /install   Directory created by Monkey Super User for installing
                software packages.
     /floppy    Create this directory to use as a mount point for the
                floppy device.

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ESSENTIAL FILES

     Certain files are needed in order to load Monkey; as well as, make it
possible for DOS and Monkey to co-exist and communicate.  They are located
in the Linux (pseudo-root) directory.  The following is a table that lists
and describes these files.

     File Name     Description 
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     linux.bat     DOS batch file that initiates the Monkey boot process. 
     loadlin.exe   Loads the compressed Linux kernel image into the
                   UMSDOS file system. 
     3mide.030     Compressed Linux kernel image.
     --linux-.---  Translates between the extended capabilities of UMSDOS
                   (long files names and ownership) and the limitation of
                   the DOS file system.  This file is in every Monkey
                   directory, but is invisible to Monkey.
     help          A help file, provided by Monkey's creator, accessible
                   by typing 'help' at a Monkey prompt.
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     swap.{_e      Swap file (virtual memory) created by Monkey during
                   installation if the system has, at most, 30MB of RAM.
                   This file is invisible to Monkey.

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Copyright (C) 2001, 2002 August Chaco