Xwoaf: X Windows On A Floppy

Nov. 4, 2005

Xwoaf with apps.

Xwoaf online help

After working with the 1diskxwin project (see below) I became fascinated with the concept of X windows on a boot linux floppy. Working with the 1diskxwin project presented a major problem: the apps were neither readily customizable nor programmable, nor was there any expansion room. The app source was not available, although source for the basic kernel, uClibc, busybox, libtinyX11 and X server were.

So in response, I put together an xcurses module that turns a typical ncurses based app into a libX11 only app. This allowed removal of most of the toolkit libs that took a lot of the available space.

Since the initial release of Xwoaf, the major feedback I have received is "can Xwoaf do rdesktop?". The result is Xwoaf now has two forms: without oxelmo, but with rdesktop and with oxelmo, but without rdesktop. Both include minix, vfat and ext2 file systems, xcmd X run command, improved module support and help files for all major apps.

Xwoaf is a stripped down version of the linux-2.2.25 and X 4.0.9 kdrives.
THERE IS NO NLS (Native Language Support)!
If you need NLS then you might want to check out:
Just Another VNC and RDesktop Floppy Distribution v2.0
or a distro from
FrozenTech's LiveCD List.

The X apps available are: edx text editor, rdesktop client for MS Windows, retawq text only web browser, txplor dual-pane tree/dir filemanager, OXElmo email client, xcmd X-run command, bcalc 4 function calculator and a popup calendar with day/date/time. Also includes jwm window manager and all modules for NICs, block devices and file systems.


Size (bytes) - Name - - - - Function

  • 604200 - Xfbdev 4.2.0 - kdrive framebuffer X server
  • 624996 - Xvesa 4.2.0 - kdrive X server
  • 404303 - 2.2.25 - linux kernel without framebuffer
  • 432586 - 2.2.25 - linux kernel with framebuffer
  • 220964 - uClibc-0.9.26 - libc
  • 216992 - busybox-1.00-pre2 - basic *nix functions
  • 209400 - libtinyX11 4.2.0 - X lib
  • 128696 - retawq-0.2.6bx - text only X web browser
  • 100145 - txplor-1.83 - dual pane X file manager
  • 230637 - ***oxelmo-1.2.0 - X email client
  • 101718 - ***X-app htm and txt help files
  • 081241 - ***rdesktop-1.2.0 - client for Remote Desktop Protocol
  • 075577 - jwm-0.21x - X window manager
  • 061989 - rxvt-2.6.4 - X terminal
  • 030485 - edx-1.04 - X text editor
  • 016425 - bcalc-0.1.0 - X 4-function calculator
  • 012513 - e3 - term based text editor
  • 006293 - menu-3.00 - programmable X popup-menu
  • 004633 - xcmd-1.05 - xlib only run command
  • various and sundry shell scripts and functions.

    *** You can have oxelmo email client or the rdesktop client and app help files, but not both on a floppy. If you want/need both then you will have to merge your own and then run the initrd from a different medium than a floppy.

    Minimum RAM required: 24Meg. 4M RAMDISK, rest for kernel & apps.

    Xwoaf-0.2.0g : 2.1M X Windows On A Floppy archive w/doc, floppy image, modules and pack/unpack scripts. Nov. 2, 2005
    Xwoaf-0.2.0g with framebuffer : 2.01M X Windows On A Floppy archive w/doc, floppy image, modules and pack/unpack scripts. Nov. 4, 2005
    Custom Xwoaf kit : 3.6M Mix and match video modes, apps and qemu for debugging. Nov. 2, 2005
    Xwoaf apps: 1.94M Source and Xwoaf construction howto. Nov. 2 2005

  • Xwoaf floppy README
  • Xwoaf floppy kit README
  • Xwoaf construction HOWTO

    NOTE: if you are one of those types who want all the floppy they can get see http://www.phys.uu.nl/~heukelum/xdflinux/ for a method of writing up to 1920KB on a 1.4M floppy.

    Hacked Living in a Linux World

    (lhafh:= Linux Home Away From Home)

    After switching completely over from Windows to Linux, had to recreate my Windows development style environment for linux. This archive contains the latest personalized (read: hacked) versions of my operational programs used on a daily basis.

    Included are a suite of programs aimed at the most gui in the least space. Includes several web browsers, filemanagers, and text editors. See README, below, for a complete list and description.

    A small set of xlib only window manager (jwm, karmn), windows style task-bar (fspanel), menu program (menu), X text mode web browser retawq and the X file manager txplor are included from my XWOAF project.

    These source packages include my operational Makefiles for reference. If they do not work for you, rerun either ./configure or xmkmf -a with your preferences edited into the appropriate files as noted in the individual packages. These packages come with absolutely no binaries or warranties. Compile and use at your own risk.

    The archive is evolving due to encountering new programs. The old ones are still available in lhafh-02, newer hacks and integrations in lhafh-03. Dillo is now also a tabbed container for both edx text editor and uxplor, while continuing to be the best small fast static graphic web browser.

  • README.lhafh-03
  • lhafh-03.tgz 23 projects in 3.09 Mb. Apr. 22 2007
  • README.lhafh-02
  • lhafh-02.tgz 21 projects in 3.05 Mb. Feb. 9 2005


    LMW* Linux My Way





    This project stands on the shoulders of giants. Lots of people have contributed. Without GNU Linux or the GPL, this would not exist. The following three hold a special place, since they came before with such definitive excellence:

  • Michelle Andreoli for mulinux.
  • Aaron Schoenhals for mu2.
  • Pascal Schmidt for ttylinux.
  • Required/recommended packages:

  • tinylogin
  • busybox
  • uClibc
  • VNC
  • e3 text editor
  • thttpd web server
  • Dillo GTk web browser
  • Questions, feedback or flames can be directed at

    "loveall at iinet.com". (Replace " at " with an @ symbol)

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