View Full Version : Floppy Operating System

08-08-2004, 12:10 AM

Me and my friend are very interested in making an operating sytem on a floppy disk. We are looking for someone experianced to help us since we really don't know what to do. I was able to modify an example OS download, but well, that doesn't really count.

I'm decent with C/C++. My friend's a beginner, but he said he'll help out however he can, even if it's not with programming.

This will be a project for fun/learning only - no profit. If the OS is good enough we'll release it under the GPL.

Here are my ideas right now....

It boots to a command line and you have several utilites. An editor, some text games, ect. The file system will be FAT so it's compatable with other OSs (you know, so you could take the files you write in our OS off the disk and use them on a "real" OS).

So, if anyone's interested let me know. Like I said I don't have much experiance or knowlage in this area, but I am deticated. I'll do my best to learn... Post if you want to help out. We'll set up a channel on my IRC server to discuss it.


08-08-2004, 04:14 AM
I dont belive you will make it.C-C++ file tend to be bigger in size.
I havent seen any C-C++ operating system to fit into a floppy.
I know MOS(MenuetOS) its made in FASM and it fit into a lfoppy.

08-08-2004, 04:25 AM
Linux on a Floppy (LOAF)

08-08-2004, 12:03 PM
I know MOS(MenuetOS) its made in FASM and it fit into a lfoppy.

But look what MenuetOS does.... http://www.menuetos.org/displays%5C070c.png. That's awesome, but I'm not talking about anything near that. Just a simple command line with a couple of utilities.

I have seen some examples in C, like the one I was playing with. Of course, not everything could be written in C though, some parts have to be assembly.


08-09-2004, 11:28 AM
heres an advice:
Make something original.
I really have been sick of seeing maybe a millions different linux distros...
Thats why i like MOS.
Originality is good.Think of something nice and shall it be happen!

08-12-2004, 03:40 AM
I think it will not work. But anyways, goodluck to you both. And I am willing to help if ever you have another project, without restrictions in file size.

Or my suggestion is, to study compression/decompression of files so that you can fit it in a floppy. Then your OS will load in the memory or swap file sort of when it is loaded.

Goodluck guys!

08-13-2004, 09:09 PM
A small kernel on a floppy with a bootloader is very possible using C (for the kernel, not the bootloader). If you are doing this from scratch you wont have access to a popular C library, you will have to rewrite a lot of this yourself. And a lot of inline ASM for your target hardware will be nessecary to save space and make it more efficient. There are hundreds of projects like this started that will show you how to boot a small 20 line kernel that prints hello world to the screen. Beyond that theres a lot to do. Check out Andrew Tanenbaums book "modern operating systems" to get an idea. Or try this link http://www.acm.uiuc.edu/sigops/roll_your_own/
for a beginners page on it

- ChrisR-

*edited because i worded some things wrong :)

08-14-2004, 04:48 AM
A small kernel on a floppy with a bootloader is very possible using C.
You cannot write a bootstrap in C. It must be in pure assembly. From there it will load the kernel which can be in C. But in C, loading the GDT, IDT, LDT, and other operations that need to be done are not supported directly in inline assembler. Of course you can emit the opcodes yourself, but it is just as east to use pure assembly for this.

If you want help go to www.flashdaddee.com (http://www.flashdaddee.com) (spam session sorry) and they have some good links to OS dev sites on their OS dev board.

If you need more assistance I would be glad to help where I can but I'm currently assisting with other projects so I cannot commit to yours.

You will definitely want the IA-32 architecture books from www.intel.com (http://www.intel.com). They are an excellent source of information.

Abu Dhabi
10-09-2004, 01:21 AM
If it helps, there are ways to fit more than 1,4 Mb on a floppy.

Here is the URL:

Additionally, my friend has once told me that there is a way to fit even 2 Mb, but I never needed it, so you'd have to search on your own.

10-09-2004, 04:21 AM
Isn't floppy disk operating systems a little too much 20th century?
Are you seriously still using floppy disks? Make your OS an a CD or USB memory stick. I'll buy a new computer soon and I wouldn't imagine getting a floppy drive for it.

10-09-2004, 07:40 AM
Please do not bump threads, and please read the forum rules about what is appropriate to post on this board.