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Old 06-23-2004, 03:02 PM   #1
Flak Pyro
Registered: Jul 2003
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Minimal install of debian with X

I have finally managed to convince my younger brother to try linux, but he wants to do it on a spare pc, it is fast enough and has 32 mb of ram (Could up it to 128 easily), the hard drive is only 400 Mb though, would it be possible to install debain with X (mabey wmMaker) so he could run though some basic command turtotials before taking the plunge and putting it on his main pc?
Old 06-23-2004, 05:30 PM   #2
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I don't use Debian but it seems to me that 400Mg of total disk capacity wouldn't give you much elbow room, particularly considering that a decent sized chunk of that would just go to the swap partition. You basically would be limited to only installing 2/3 of a single CD, and while it may be possible to get Debian running in that space, I suspect you'd need to drop a lot of useful packages, thus weakening the final results. If you've persuaded your bro to finally give Linux a shot, I think you'd probably also want his first impression of Linux to be "Wow - this is amazing" rather than "So, I won't be able to do A, B, or C, right?"

Either way it definitely would be an educational exercise to install Linux on that old PC, but it might be equally useful to simply convert his main machine into a dual boot system. Alternatively, assuming you've got spare RAM laying about, do you also have a spare hard drive that you could borrow for this purpose?

Finally, have you considered downloading a Live CD such as Knoppix, and letting him use that as an intro to Linux? That wouldn't require that he install anything, and he could run it off his main machine (assuming it's got a CD drive). From my point of view, that would probably be what I'd do if I were you. Just my 2 cents. Hopefully your bro will soon be joining us here at LQ. Good luck with the project. -- J.W.
Old 06-23-2004, 06:20 PM   #3
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you can try without X first and if df command gives you enough space, try.
With 400MB i would rather not have X and run all cli applications for music, editing, cdwriting, etc...
Old 06-23-2004, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: Minimal install of debian with X

You could install a minimal X system, but you probably wouldn't want to. From the system specs, it sounds like a 486 or early Pentium system. The system will run very slow. He'll spend more time waiting than doing anything else and during that time he'll just be complaining about how much the system sucks.
Old 06-23-2004, 08:58 PM   #5
Flak Pyro
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i knew about knoppix but up till now he didnt want to use a bootable cd, but i finally gave up and put it in, at first he wined, but after i got his internet going and some basic stuff setup, he started using it and now he wants to dual boot debian.

We are located in a area where dial-up is not available. I have Debain 3.0R2 but it is really out of date, how unstable is debain unstable? Ive been told that unstable is just as good as the recent Mandrake and Fedora releases, which is fine for regular desktop use. I installed fedora core 2 on my linux box for that very reason, i can use apt and yum on a fairly up to date system, but if unstable is just as good we may as well start him on that, heck i might even move to it.

Last edited by Flak Pyro; 06-23-2004 at 09:11 PM.
Old 06-25-2004, 03:14 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2004
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Try testing: it's between unstable and stable, and will soon become the next release.


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