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Out of curiosity, is this possible nowadays? I remember some old Slackware versions did support FAT root partition but I am not sure if this is possible with modern kernels and if there are any distros offering such an option. I am interested in pure DOS FAT (without long names support), VFAT 16/32 and exFAT.

PS: Don't tell me I shouldn't, I am not going to use this in production unless necessary :-)

  • Signs point to "no" superuser.com/questions/782849/…, but interesting Linux history question anyway. – dhag Dec 8 '15 at 19:24
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    I am not going to use this in production unless necessary Seriously? unless necessary? Man, you scare the heck out of me. ;) – Alois Mahdal Dec 8 '15 at 20:14
  • If it's possible it absolutely and definitely makes zero sense, like a safety net made in toilet paper. – user86969 Dec 8 '15 at 22:16
  • Answer is "Technically, yes, but you'll run into a whole slew of issues. Solvable ones, and you'll come out with enhanced understanding of and appreciation for the POSIX filesystem, but it's not going to be a fun experience." – Shadur Dec 9 '15 at 9:32
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OK, I tried it.

First two problems from the beginning: NO support for hard and symbolic links. It means that I had to copy each file, duplicating it and wasting space.

Second problem: no special file support at all. This means things like /dev/console are unavailable at boot time to init before even /dev is remounted as tmpfs.

Third problem: you will loose permissions enforcing.

But out of this, there were no issues. My own system was booted successfully on a vfat volume.

QEMU LinFAT

Normally I would not do that, too.

  • Couldn't you walk through how to do this? – William Jan 28 '17 at 18:30

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