1) To make room the files and directories under /var/lib/dpkg are deleted so the tool are not directly usable
2) It is possible to restore them (having access to the net) using the command:
long answer and references From the dsl site:
"To make room I had to delete the entire /var/lib/dpkg/ from the iso to make room. It is available as a separate download (dpkg.tar.gz). It's integrity should be high. Below is the list of Debian packages currently in Damn Small Linux.
Also, keep in mind that Damn Small is not pure Debian based. there are applications in DSL that are not on this list." [ http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/packages.html
"Notes on using apt-get:
DSL is based on Debian, so it is possible to use apt-get after a hard drive install once the dpkg database is restored.
The way to do this is to download the compressed dpkg file from here and move it to '/var/lib/', then uncompress it:
tar zxvf dpkg.tar.gz
After that just 'apt-get update' and then Apt should be fully functional.
If you have net access, type 'sudo dpkg-restore' in your term window.
Now for the warning:
Damn Small is not derived purely from Debian, if you 'apt-get install' the wrong application you may break something, for instance, the X servers."