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Old 12-24-2006, 01:21 AM   #1
dodgereid
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Registered: Dec 2006
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How to get Linux on an older comp with no current OS and only a floppy drive


Okay so I bought is computer a-la-cheap. And it was SUPPOSE to come with windows 98 already installed and ready to go. Well, it came with nada. But I figured: how far can 20 USD actually get you? So I decided to keep it anyways (not return it in anger) and try my hand out at Linux.

Well...

It's a Pentium 3 with an 8.4GB hard drive, 128 RAM, and if anyone needs any other numbers I can get em to you.


But it only has a floppy drive and two USB ports.

Is there any way I can get Linux on this thing? All I really want this computer for is word processing. Or should I return it to the store and yell at the poor teenaged clerk (perhaps demand at least a CD-Rom drive for the bloody thing. I mean, how else am I suppose to get anything working on it???)

Thanks in advance!
~Dodge
 
Old 12-24-2006, 02:19 AM   #2
corbintechboy
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There are many flavors of GNU/Linux that have floppy network installs. Try and take a look at a debian net install. Used to be 3 floppies not sure now been awhile!
 
Old 12-24-2006, 03:06 AM   #3
dv502
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As mention above, if floppy is your only option. Here is a link that shows you how to do it.
http://www.debian.org/distrib/floppyinst

Note: Debian is not for newbies. Read everything
carefully.

I recoomend you get a cdrom or cd burner. They are cheap now. They cost about $25 or less. You can even get it cheaper on ebay. THe reason is because there are two linux distros that are perfect for older systems and are very easy to install.

http://www.puppylinux.org/
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

Ask a friend to download and burn the image for you. Both
websites have directions on how to do this. You mention you have a old system. SOme old systems wont boot from a
cdrom drive. You need a boot disk. Visit this website.
http://linux.simple.be/tools/sbm

This boot disk will allow you to boot from cdrom drives.

good luck
 
Old 12-24-2006, 03:57 AM   #4
limeylew
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Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mepis 3.3.2 Ubuntu 5.10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgereid
Okay so I bought is computer a-la-cheap. And it was SUPPOSE to come with windows 98 already installed and ready to go. Well, it came with nada. But I figured: how far can 20 USD actually get you? So I decided to keep it anyways (not return it in anger) and try my hand out at Linux.

Well...

It's a Pentium 3 with an 8.4GB hard drive, 128 RAM, and if anyone needs any other numbers I can get em to you.


But it only has a floppy drive and two USB ports.

Is there any way I can get Linux on this thing? All I really want this computer for is word processing. Or should I return it to the store and yell at the poor teenaged clerk (perhaps demand at least a CD-Rom drive for the bloody thing. I mean, how else am I suppose to get anything working on it???)

Thanks in advance!
~Dodge
I noticed someone with a somewhat similar request to you on the Mepis Lovers forum.

Maybe their answer will help you.

Go to:- http://www.mepis.org/node/5543
 
Old 12-24-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
muddywaters
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Registered: May 2005
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgereid
All I really want this computer for is word processing.
If that's all you want to do fine. However at those specs much more is possible.

My junk machines include a pentium 133Mhz 40ram laptop running damnsmalllinux and a 266 PII 32ram running Slackware. Neither of them can boot from cd. You're machine looks like absolute luxury by comparison

With a 8.4 Gb hard disk there should be no need for a minidistro like damnsmalllinux unless that idea really appeals to you. Can you buy or borrow a cdrom to hookup to this thing? It would make things easier. If not, net installs are possible.

My advice fwiw, pick a distribution to try and post your question in the distribution specific forum. In this newbie forum these type of threads often degenerate into a "go with my distro" type of discussion.

*mods; sorry if this comes across as encouraging double posting.*

Edit/ btw: Welcome to LQ !

Last edited by muddywaters; 12-24-2006 at 08:56 AM.
 
Old 12-24-2006, 09:04 AM   #6
saikee
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Distribution: Any free distro.
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There is a very good chance things will work out if you

Remove the hard disk

Install it in another PC as the only hard disk and it has a CD rom

Install a Linux of your choice from CD as 99% will fit into a 8.4Gb space and two distros are possible if select them carefully.

Check the Linux working properly and then move the hard disk back to the original PC.

I moved 50+ installed Linux this way and many distros moved home in two PCs, i.e. from PC A to PC B and now to operate in PC C.
 
Old 12-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #7
teckk
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Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: FreeBSD Arch
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I agree with the others. That machine is a good serviceable machine. Spend $10 and get a CDROM for it. Or better get a DVD writer. They're only $50 now and will add much functionality to that machine. DVD burners will do CD's also. You need an optical drive in a machine to do anything. A P3 with 8GB HD and 256 MB of RAM can be a main machine for you used with FreeBSD, Centos, Fedora, Slackware ect. You wont even have to use a minimal distro like DSL. That box will run BSD or Fedora, Slack, Debian just fine. That box will use PC133 RAM. You can get that for free now. Or go to a Goodwill- Salvation Army type place and get 3-4 junk machine for nothing and cannibalize the RAM, HD and optical drivers out of them.
 
Old 12-24-2006, 03:45 PM   #8
sumguy231
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: North America
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Edit: Nothing to see here, move along...

Last edited by sumguy231; 12-24-2006 at 03:47 PM.
 
  


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