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Old 06-19-2015, 12:36 PM   #1
punchy71
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Can a linux on a floppy distro be used as a general purpose operating system?


Hello,
I was thinking of possibly trying out one of the numerous "Linux on a floppy" distros to tinker around with. These are the distros that are just big enough to fit on a 3.5-inch floppy diskette.
My question is; how much functionality is there really from something like this? I know that some seem to be aimed at special purposes and utility uses such as system recovery, firewall, router and so forth, but what about just a general purpose operating system complete with the ability to connect to either the internet or a bulletin board system (BBS) from either an ethernet or modem on a standard PC?
Also; are there any designed to fit on a 5.25-inch floppy or even an 8-inch floppy?
Thank you
 
Old 06-19-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
Keruskerfuerst
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I dont think a floppy can contain a kernel, firewall and so on.
The kernel has a size of 2MB min.
 
Old 06-19-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
John VV
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back in 1990's it could

then CD drives were added to computers

Quote:
Also; are there any designed to fit on a 5.25-inch floppy or even an 8-inch floppy?
linux did not exist yet when 8 in and 5 in disks were in use ( well a box with a 3.5 in and a 5.25 drive ? )

for a 8 in disk you need to go back to the 80's and the Amiga and trs80 and IBM pc's

Last edited by John VV; 06-19-2015 at 01:42 PM.
 
Old 06-19-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
Hello,
I was thinking of possibly trying out one of the numerous "Linux on a floppy" distros to tinker around with. These are the distros that are just big enough to fit on a 3.5-inch floppy diskette.
My question is; how much functionality is there really from something like this? I know that some seem to be aimed at special purposes and utility uses such as system recovery, firewall, router and so forth, but what about just a general purpose operating system complete with the ability to connect to either the internet or a bulletin board system (BBS) from either an ethernet or modem on a standard PC?
Also; are there any designed to fit on a 5.25-inch floppy or even an 8-inch floppy?
Hi...

Honestly, while I couldn't give you exact details, I think their functionality would be "limited." Guaranteed, a base install would give you only a CLI, unless a small DM was offered as a add-on. I'm not sure what kind of support you would get for ethernet adapters or hardware based dial-up modems. You would need to experiment there.

For distributions that fit on a floppy, please see these pages...

http://superuser.com/questions/13045...-a-floppy-disk

http://micheleandreoli.org/public/Software/mulinux/

http://www.toms.net/rb/

Let us know how it goes...

Regards...
 
Old 06-19-2015, 02:27 PM   #5
fatmac
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I've experimented with a couple of floppy based distros in the past, they usually only have a bare system on them, by that I mean base utility programs.

If you want to try another O/S, there are floppy sized O/S written in assembler, http://www.menuetos.net/
http://kolibrios.org/en/

plus,
http://www.visopsys.org/

& of course,
http://www.freedos.org/
 
Old 06-19-2015, 03:56 PM   #6
jefro
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Tom's linux is all you can fit on a floppy.

Can you use it? Yes. Not for much secure. Not for modern uses.

It would be very difficult even today to get a single floppy to even fit a modern custom kernel let alone supporting software. Those old floppies used really ancient kernels.

BSD can boot from multiple floppies and be used. Linux can not.

Last edited by jefro; 06-19-2015 at 03:58 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2015, 05:03 PM   #7
Ranamon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
Hello,
I was thinking of possibly trying out one of the numerous "Linux on a floppy" distros to tinker around with. These are the distros that are just big enough to fit on a 3.5-inch floppy diskette.
I don't know of any. The only OS's I ever heard of that actually ran off a floppy were MenuetOS (just starting out at the time, so it didn't do much) and QNX. Maybe you mean live CDs/DVDs?

Quote:
My question is; how much functionality is there really from something like this? I know that some seem to be aimed at special purposes and utility uses such as system recovery, firewall, router and so forth, but what about just a general purpose operating system complete with the ability to connect to either the internet or a bulletin board system (BBS) from either an ethernet or modem on a standard PC? Also; are there any designed to fit on a 5.25-inch floppy or even an 8-inch floppy?
Thank you
Use the right live DVD, and you have all the functionality you need. They'll even let you mount a HD part to save downloads and documents. Of course, making browser bookmarks doesn't do you any good since you lose these when you shutdown. It's always good to have a live CD/DVD available in case you do something like ruining your /etc/lilo.conf file that makes your primary system unbootable.
 
Old 06-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #8
rokytnji
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Ran This

On This

A P66 Hz , 12MB ram, Netgear MA401 Wireless B Pcmcia card. It is on the shelf. Molting.
 
  


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