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Old 12-10-2008, 06:08 AM   #1
Robuc
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Question DSL Installation


Attempting to install DSL onto an old laptop, Celeron 433 processor, 64 MB RAM and new 20GB HD.

I have downloaded and copied dsl-4.2.5-initrd.iso image to CD.
Left to it’s own devices I end up with a Penguin in the top left corner and a flashing cursor!

Could not make out which F2 or F3 options to choose, tried a couple but it froze again.

Looked at DSL Wiki “Installing DSL to a Harddisk” and it talks about partitions.

Advise please – what is the magic code for installing onto a blank HD?

Many thanks

Robuc
 
Old 12-13-2008, 08:38 AM   #2
blackhole54
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Hi,

Welecome to LQ!

If I understand you correctly, you have not been able to boot from the CD (as a live CD). I suggest you figure out how to get it too boot from the CD before you worry about installing to a hard drive. If you need special boot parameters to get it to work with your hardware you will probably need the same ones on a HD installation as you need from the live CD. While I haven't used DSL since 2.4 but I believe the HD installation is generally carried out from a booted live CD.

You could try typing "failsafe" (w/o the quotes) at the boot prompt ad see what happens. That turns off much of the hardware detection. But I don't hold out much hope since it sounds like you are failing much earlier than that.

You could also type the model of your computer along with "damn small linux" (in quotes) into a search engine to see if anybody else has run into and solved the problem.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 03:09 AM   #3
Robuc
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Hello Blackhole,

Thanks for getting on my case.
After downloading and burning dsl-4.2.5-initrd.iso onto a CD, I assumed that being a complete image it contained the boot elements already? This would appear to be correct as it starts booting and as mentioned, freezes at the Penguin in the top left corner of the screen stage.

Not giving up, I downloaded another version, dsl-n-01RC4.iso, 'NotDSL', and burnt this to a CD. I then had to learn which ‘cheatcodes’ to use and after a bit more research, found that it was best to partition the HD using the ‘Terminal’. I searched for more information on the DSL Wiki and found an answer an now currently learning a bit more about what I assume to be Linux / Unix language?

This has worked right through and I now have Linux up and running on one partition, a swap partition and a spare partition.

The next stage will be to see just what Linux software will work on my set-up. Is everything constrained by my lack of Ram, it appears that this laptop, currently loaded with 64 MB of RAM cannot go above 128 MB although I do read that some of the 20GB HD may be used in lieu – but that’s another world…

Cheers

Robuc
 
Old 12-15-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
blackhole54
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I'm glad you are making progress.

The dsl-xxx-initrd.iso image is a new one on me. I didn't even know it existed, and after searching I still don't know what it is for. I suspect you want to use the dsl-xxx.iso image, or if your computer is an "older one no longer supported by isolinux," you can try dsl-xxx-syslinux.iso. It is likely that DSL would need the same "cheat codes" as DSL-N.

While related, DSL-N is really (IMHO) a different distro than DSL. DSL is committed to remaining less than a 50 MB ISO image while DSL-N does not so restrict itself, and I believe DSL is still committed to staying with a 2.4 kernel while DSL-N uses a 2.6 kernel. But DSL-N is (was?) still an interesting project. Sadly, it seems to be dead in the water with no releases since 2006. But if you are feel severely constrained by the capabilities of your system, you might be better off staying with DSL. (Assuming you can get it to boot! ) FYI, I have run DSL (older versions) entirely from ram (cheat code: toram) on a system with only 112 MB of RAM. I did have swap partitions available, but I can't remember if they were actually needed. So I think (w/o using toram) you should be able to successfully use DSL with 64 MB of RAM. I once installed DSL 1.0 on somebody else's computer with only 32 MB RAM. But it had to do a fair amount of swapping when using something like Firefox!

Good luck!

Last edited by blackhole54; 12-15-2008 at 10:23 AM.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 11:23 AM   #5
Robuc
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Thanks Blackhole,

I have just received a couple of Linux books in the post and will study a bit more theory before venturing into your suggestions. All very welcome I must add.

Best regards
Robuc
 
  


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