In my operating systems class we had to modify the boot screen of the Minix OS. I understood just about everything we did, but at the end of the make for compiling the new OS, there's a line:

cp image /dev/c0d0p0:/minix/2.0.4r2

I don't understand what the colon is for, can anybody explain this? I've searched all over with no luck.

  • 1
    Were you doing the compilation under Minix, or under some other operating system? Sep 9, 2012 at 21:53
  • It was in Minix.
    – twchapman
    Sep 9, 2012 at 22:17
  • 1
    Do you have a link to the rest of your instructions? Is this command entered in the normal shell, or in a special screen like a boot prompt? - EDIT: Are you sure it was a cp, and not an mtools copy?
    – Random832
    Oct 9, 2012 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


I found the answer. This is not a command. It is output.

The mkboot script echoes this to the screen in the following section:

echo "cp image $root:/minix/$target"
cp -p image $rootdir/minix/$target || exit

The $rootdir variable indicates a directory on which it has mounted the $root device earlier in the script, if the target root is something other than the actual mounted root:

case $action in
bootable | hdboot)
    # We need the root device.
    if [ $realroot = $root ]
        umount $root 2>/dev/null
        mount $root /root || exit

If you don't get a better answer, I'll take a near-wild guess at it:

It seems like that line allows you to copy a file to a device that may not be mounted by specifying the device /dev/c0d0p0 and the file /minix/2.0.4r2.

  • Thanks Jeremy, I was actually just considering that. I think that, because it has to move the image to the boot sector (is that even right?) it would have to specify a device outside the Minix filesystem and on to the root drive. Would that make sense?
    – twchapman
    Sep 9, 2012 at 22:17
  • The boot sector a whole different beast. I'll be honest, I've not used Minix in over 25 years and it was a way different beast back then... but it isn't unheard of for *nix variants to keep the boot code on a different partition. Sep 9, 2012 at 22:20

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