Switching to kernel 2.6 (part 2)

Yesterday I switched all of my machines but one to kernel 2.6. The last one to migrate is a SparcStation 4. It is a little bit complicated as the BIOS refuse to recognize my hard-drive since I changed it from a 2.1GB one to a 9.1GB. After an afternoon of tests, I decided to boot this workstation via the network, as the Linux kernel recognizes it.

Using a 2.4 kernel was very easy, you just have to convert the Debian kernel in aout format using zcat and elftoaout. For a 2.6 kernel, it is a little more complicated as Debian ships them with an initrd image. After a few minutes searching google, I found the solution:

zcat /boot/vmlinuz > vmlinux
elftoaout -o netboot.img vmlinux piggyback netboot.img /boot/System.map /boot/initrd.img

It seems to work well, however the image is 271,654,944 bytes long. I still don't understand why.