February 19, 2019

DistributionWatch Review: PhatLinux - page 3

Is PhatLinux All That and a Bag of Chips?

  • February 1, 2000
  • By Andrew Chen

LINUX.BAT and its accompanying Windows PIF (Program Information File) file, LINUX.PIF, were the keys to starting up PhatLinux. LINUX.BAT contained the commands to load the kernel into memory and start the system booting. LINUX.PIF told Windows that it needed to reboot the system into MS-DOS mode and then load the application.

PIF files give Windows a set of extra parameters to take into consideration before loading an application. A PIF file may tell Windows to allocate a certain amount of protected memory for the application or tell Windows to completely reboot before loading the application. It's important to note that PIF files have been around since the days of Windows 3.0, and were carried over to Windows 95 and 98. Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 do not use these files, since neither of these operating systems was based on 16-bit DOS.

After double-clicking on my LINUX.PIF file, I was asked by Windows 98 to confirm that I really did I want to reboot my system into DOS and then load the specified application. After selecting Yes, Windows went through its normal shutdown procedure and then loaded the Linux kernel.

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