LinuxQuestions.org
Go Job Hunting at the LQ Job Marketplace
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > DamnSmallLinux
User Name
Password
DamnSmallLinux This forum is for the discussion of DamnSmallLinux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 03-15-2008, 09:27 PM   #1
farge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 14

Rep: Reputation: 0
DSL-n with apt-get - Guide


Hey all,
I set myself a project late last year - I have an old laptop, Toshiba Satellite 2800 with a Celeron 650 and 64MB RAM, and I wanted to make it usable. My options were to reinstall Windows or to try Linux on it. Any Windows version that would run on it would be too old and/or unstable, so I figured I'd try Linux. After a failed attempt at Ubuntu (GNOME is massive in 2000-spec terms) and nearly-as-bad attempts at Xubuntu and Fluxbuntu, I tried DSL. Loved its speed straight-off, but in the end decided that the 2.6 kernel offered by DSL-n would be more favourable in the long-term. However, there are two things anyone who has tried DSL-n will know:
1. APT doesn't work on it without serious hacking, and
2. nobody works on it anymore.
And so, with these two things firmly stowed away in a dark corner of my mind, I stubbornly proceeded to try anything and everything I could to get the old beast working...

...and succeeded

This process was made even more necessary by my need to get ndiswrapper working for my Netgear WG511v2 PCMCIA card, and the foolhardy desire to have a portable music-recording computer for around the home.

The purpose of this post is simply to detail the steps involved in the process, so anyone else who would like a working, low-resource-use operating system for a low-end PC can glean some information for their own process.

So...

What you need:
- A working Linux distribution on another computer (I used Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon", and would highly recommend it)
- A USB key drive (aka "Nerdstick") or working network connection between your target computer and the one with the working Linux distro on it
- LAN or modem connection to the internet (broadband highly recommended)
- DSL-n installation disc (create from downloadable image on DSL-n website)
- Working, standard DSL-n installation on target computer

N.B. Depending on your computer, this last requirement might be hard to come by in and of itself - for instance, my computer's CD drive doesn't work anymore, and so I had to use a boot floppy and a USB CD drive (see here - it doesn't matter that it's a DSL boot floppy, use the "install fromusb" option and it'll work with the DSL-n CD)

1. Install gnu-utils.dsl from the System section of MyDSL

2. Download dsl-dpkg.dsl into your home directory from here (or by copying from the 50MB version of DSL) and install using MyDSL -> Load Local MyDSL Extension.

3. Copy the following directories from your working distro to your DSL-n computer using your USB key or network connection and the "sudo cp -RP" command:
- /var/lib/apt/
- /var/cache/apt/
- /usr/lib/perl/
- /usr/lib/perl5/
Note that if you copy this straigt from a computer you use a lot, you're going to have an awful lot of *.deb files, which you don't actually need to copy. Feel free not to copy these. Also, some people have needed to copy /usr/sbin/install-info and /usr/sbin/dpkg-restore, but these weren't present on my working Linux distro and I haven't suffered from not having them.

4. Change /etc/apt/sources.list to read:
Quote:
deb http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy main universe restricted multiverse
deb http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy-updates universe main restricted multiverse
Comment out the entries already there, so that you can change back if you have errors. I used the Ubuntu repositories because, in my opinion, they're simpler to navigate and better-maintained than the Debian ones, and they are what I already use for my working Linux distro (Ubuntu).

5. At this point, you're probably ready to try to run apt for the first time. Run "sudo apt-get update" to update apt's file lists.

6. If all goes well, run:
- "sudo apt-get install debconf"
- "sudo apt-get install perl"
- "sudo apt-get install apt-utils"

If you have any errors at points 5 or 6, it will most likely be because apt is looking for a file or directory that you don't have on your target computer yet. Try to find out what file that is, and copy it from your working Linux distro (possibly with the directory branch it belongs to as well). There's a good chance I've forgotten something I've done here, so please let me know if you have big errors.

7. If all goes well in these last few steps, you should have a working installation of apt on your DSL-n computer. Make sure you go no further until you do, or you're kinda stuffed in a few steps' time. Although apt may work, what you have is a very-out-of-date system that is marginally compatible with a Debian-based system. You may choose to stop here, or you may do as I did and hack on regardless ) You can upgrade a few core components without breaking anything by using "sudo apt-get install xxxxxx" where xxxxxx is the package name - just make sure you don't try to upgrade anything to do with X, or anything with xorg or xserver in the package name, or anything that depends on something with xorg or xserver in the package name, or you will break X and you'll be stuck with a command-line interface. Less than awesome.

To get your computer more up to date, continue:

8. WARNING - this step will appear to break your installation in the aforementioned manner, but persistence pays off.
Run the command "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade".
This will upgrade everything it possibly can, short of the Linux kernel and a few other random things. You will need to restart your computer after this step.

9. When your computer starts up again, X will fail to load, citing either errors about your X server being unavailable, or not being able to find the right font sizes. DSL-n uses Xvesa as its X server, but this is non-standard for Debian-based systems, and I think the dist-upgrade command breaks this setup, leaving you with only a command-line interface. However, it can be restored:

10. Run "sudo /usr/sbin/xsetup.sh". Select the "Xvesa" option, and select the options applicable to your computer on the following screens.

11. Run "sudo apt-get install --reinstall fluxbox". Although Fluxbox is already installed, reinstalling it from scratch seemed to fix some problems my computer had, re-establishing Fluxbox as my window manager.

12. Restart your computer. If it still won't boot into X, please reply and we'll try to work out what's going on - I just can't remember if there was anything else I had to fix, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't. If your computer boots into X ok, you're all good

13. So now you will have an updated X Window system, but still an outdated kernel. If this bothers you, you may have to compile your own for your system, as I did - the generic one available through apt with the linux or linux-generic packages hung my computer halfway through startup. Download the latest linux-source package, or the latest stable kernel source tarball from www.kernel.org, and follow the instructions to compile and install your own kernel. It's relatively straight-forward - just know what hardware your computer has, and have a few hours up your sleeve.

If you've managed to get to this stage and ironed out all the problems along the way - well done, your old beast is now up-to-date, relatively compatible with Debian/Ubuntu, and probably running pretty ok... and surely better than it would under Windows!

Hope I haven't forgotten too many steps along the way... and hope this is helpful to someone!


P.S. For a quick, full-featured internet browser for your system, try Opera. It's non-free, but it doesn't have the memory leakage problems of Firefox or Seamonkey and it has a lot more features than Dillo. And no, I was not paid to say this.
 
Old 03-15-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
{BBI}Nexus{BBI}
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Nottingham, UK
Distribution: Mageia 4
Posts: 4,297

Rep: Reputation: 205Reputation: 205Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by farge View Post
...For a quick, full-featured internet browser for your system, try Opera. It's non-free...
What do you mean by non-free? Nice How-To by the way
 
Old 03-16-2008, 06:24 AM   #3
farge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 14

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thankyou
Oh yeah, good point. By "non-free" I mean "not open-source" or "proprietary", like how a lot of Linux buffs use the term. Meaning that the people who put Opera together don't let anyone alter the source code and redistribute it, as you can (I believe) do with Firefox or Seamonkey or any other piece of software that's distributed as "open-source". Opera is free to download and use, just not free to be altered. Thanks for prompting that clarification
 
Old 05-06-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
Cyanaether22
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
Exclamation

Thank you for this topic! So far it's been very helpful.

I'm stuck at 6 though. First off, i tried changing to those sources and they got ridiculous amounts of errors. so i commented them out and went back to using the only source preset,

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-archive/debian woody main contrib non-free

I moved onto step 6, debconf was already installed and so was apt-utils, I tried PERL and then got this error:

perl: Depends: perl-base (= 5.6.1-8.9) but 5.8.0-18 is to be installed

so I tried a sudo apt-get upgrade. It wanted to upgrade a few libs (they didn't seem to be related to perl) so I said Yes. It then gives me this error:


debconf: Perl may be unconfigured (Can't locate Debconf/Log.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/perl/5.8.3 /usr/local/share/perl/5.8.3 /usr/lib/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/perl/5.8 /usr/share/perl/5.8 /usr/local/lib/site_perl .) at (eval 1) line 4.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at (eval 1) line 4.
) -- aborting
dpkg: 'install-info' not found on PATH.
dpkg: 1 expected programs not found on PATH.
NB: root's PATH should usually contain /usr/local/sbin, /usr/local/sbin, /usr/sbin, and /sbin.
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)


I've copied all the stuff from my Xubuntu computer that you've suggested so far, including install-info. Maybe I'm supposed to copy more stuff?

thanks,
teagan
 
Old 05-06-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,057

Rep: Reputation: 328Reputation: 328Reputation: 328Reputation: 328
This sounds like some good stuff!

Congratulations, I will have to try it tomorrow!

Maybe you can help me with my DSL-Qemu-Persistent/Qemu-DSL-Persistent-Kit for USB.

Basically you can save settings, mydsl apps, etc back to the VHD(s) that reside on the USB along with the real DSL.

download one of the dsl/qemu downloads, I recommend the DSL-embedded-persistent for USB, and read the readme's and play DSL on the qemu inside.

There is a youtube video here-
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdq5v0d-PLU )

I would like to try and get it working with DSL-N too.Maybe we could help each other and work on this together?

If you could make a basic remaster, as in your article, perfected, you could send it to me via sendfile, etc or a free file sharing site, etc and I could host it at my site?

OH, also, The main man behind MyDSL, now runs TinyCore-it's very similar to DSL/DSL-N, and maybe would be a good choice for that old laptop...
 
Old 05-14-2009, 10:11 AM   #6
farge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 14

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyanaether22 View Post
Thank you for this topic! So far it's been very helpful.

I'm stuck at 6 though. First off, i tried changing to those sources and they got ridiculous amounts of errors. so i commented them out and went back to using the only source preset,

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-archive/debian woody main contrib non-free

I moved onto step 6, debconf was already installed and so was apt-utils, I tried PERL and then got this error:

perl: Depends: perl-base (= 5.6.1-8.9) but 5.8.0-18 is to be installed

so I tried a sudo apt-get upgrade. It wanted to upgrade a few libs (they didn't seem to be related to perl) so I said Yes. It then gives me this error:


debconf: Perl may be unconfigured (Can't locate Debconf/Log.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/perl/5.8.3 /usr/local/share/perl/5.8.3 /usr/lib/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/perl/5.8 /usr/share/perl/5.8 /usr/local/lib/site_perl .) at (eval 1) line 4.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at (eval 1) line 4.
) -- aborting
dpkg: 'install-info' not found on PATH.
dpkg: 1 expected programs not found on PATH.
NB: root's PATH should usually contain /usr/local/sbin, /usr/local/sbin, /usr/sbin, and /sbin.
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)


I've copied all the stuff from my Xubuntu computer that you've suggested so far, including install-info. Maybe I'm supposed to copy more stuff?

thanks,
teagan
Hey Teagan,

Sorry for the late reply - haven't been heaps active on here lately.

Anyway... I'm not entirely sure what's happening with your system, but there are a few things you could try. First, try using the latest Ubuntu repository, so rather than "gutsy" use "intrepid" or "jaunty" (I haven't actually upgraded to Jaunty myself yet, but someone I know has had issues with it... give it a go, see if it works, etc). I got lots of errors with the preset Debian repo too. Give one of the newer Ubuntu ones a try.

Second... hmmm. Yeah, just try copying more stuff. Try to find what it asks you for on your Xubuntu computer (ie try to find Debconf/Log.pm) and put it where it's looking for it on your other computer. That's what I did. It's entirely possible that things have changed considerably since I wrote this guide, so things may be in completely different places. You may have to just try to roll with it as best you can. (in particular, Xorg has had a major version change since I wrote this, so you may have issues there)

I know that's not a great deal of help, but I hope it helps you figure it out somehow

Last edited by farge; 05-14-2009 at 10:15 AM.
 
Old 05-14-2009, 10:15 AM   #7
farge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 14

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
This sounds like some good stuff!

Congratulations, I will have to try it tomorrow!

Maybe you can help me with my DSL-Qemu-Persistent/Qemu-DSL-Persistent-Kit for USB.

Basically you can save settings, mydsl apps, etc back to the VHD(s) that reside on the USB along with the real DSL.

download one of the dsl/qemu downloads, I recommend the DSL-embedded-persistent for USB, and read the readme's and play DSL on the qemu inside.

There is a youtube video here-
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdq5v0d-PLU )

I would like to try and get it working with DSL-N too.Maybe we could help each other and work on this together?

If you could make a basic remaster, as in your article, perfected, you could send it to me via sendfile, etc or a free file sharing site, etc and I could host it at my site?

OH, also, The main man behind MyDSL, now runs TinyCore-it's very similar to DSL/DSL-N, and maybe would be a good choice for that old laptop...
Hey,
Sorry, I don't really have the time to help you out on that anymore. Plus, I sold out and bought a MacBook :P however, thanks for the tip on TinyCore... if I get a spare day sometime I might resurrect the old beast and see how she runs with that on it.
Hope your project goes well
 
Old 05-14-2009, 11:20 PM   #8
Cyanaether22
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for the reply!

Unfortunately i'm actually on Zenwalk linux now, it's a great solution if you want a lighter system with all the packaging and compilers.

But if I ever use DSL-N again I'll check this out. Thanks
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Guide needed using dpkg / apt-get SPo2 Debian 8 10-03-2007 03:42 AM
in DSL on HDD, compile from sources as apt-get is too risky? stabu DamnSmallLinux 1 04-14-2007 01:25 PM
Apt-get (DSL Linux/Debian) How to install local packages xmrkite Linux - Software 1 12-25-2006 02:57 AM
no apt-get connection through dlink dsl g664t TheNils Debian 5 05-23-2005 04:01 PM
Guide: apt-get sources,list for KDE KDevelop on Debian/Xandros jdruin Linux - Software 0 10-25-2004 08:09 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:19 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration