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Old 10-03-2003, 01:00 PM   #1
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Smile right distro (on one floppy?) for file serving?

Hi out there!

I'm looking for a very tiny linux distro which turns my old pc (celeron 466, 64 mb RAM) with its 160 GB harddisk into a fileserver (for a windows-environment - samba will be needed).

any hints?

Old 10-03-2003, 02:46 PM   #2
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Very few Linux distributions will fit on one floppy. The kernel itself is large enough now to require a floppy to itself; having a filesystem, and any additional utilities or software, will probably require a second floppy. You may be able to build your own from scratch that will fit on a single floppy, but I would be surprised if Samba would fit in there with a kernel at the same time. Unless you really require that the entire distro fit on a floppy, it's probably more trouble than it's worth.

muLinux is a several-floppy distro that has some Samba stuff included, I believe. But since you have 160GB available for use, I'd highly recommend just installing a normal distro, perhaps a more customizable one like Slackware, with only the stuff you'd need.
Old 10-03-2003, 04:01 PM   #3
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I think what he wants to do is either devote the entire 160Gb to file storage or run the entire OS in memory for security purposes (if the OS get's compromised all you need do is reboot and a fresh copy'll be loaded). Either way, is it really necessary for it to fit on a floppy? Does the machine in question have a CD drive and is capable of booting from CD? If that's the case, have you looked at some of the Live CD distributions like Knoppix, Slackware Live and even the KDE+GNOME Gentoo LiveCDs? I don;t know if any of these include Samba but they may be worth a look nonetheless.
Old 10-03-2003, 05:15 PM   #4
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thank you guys for your replies.

there won't be any problem using distros like knoppix (which I used several times ago), since I have a CD drive. I just thought, the only job it would have to do is serving files in a windows network.

pretty simple job and probably someone could have built a distro which fits to my needs. there are many single board computers with very limited hardware working as a file-server (in accompany with some large harddisks, of course).

probably I'm gonna try to boot from CD.

thanks again!
Old 08-30-2004, 07:51 AM   #5
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Re: right distro (on one floppy?) for file serving?

Originally posted by questomane
Hi out there!

I'm looking for a very tiny linux distro which turns my old pc (celeron 466, 64 mb RAM) with its 160 GB harddisk into a fileserver (for a windows-environment - samba will be needed).

any hints?

Try NASLITE from It uses only 1 floppy.

Good luck!

Finn Nielsen
Old 08-30-2004, 10:41 AM   #6
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Why bother with a single floppy distro, or a live system booting from a cd, on a machine of those specifications?

A 300 MB / partition, and another 128 MB for swap, and that box is good to go as a Samba file and print server with something like Slackware. You'll have a system that is easy to secure and that can run the latest updates for security. Even if you dedicate 1000 MB to /, you will have used less than 1% of your storage in exchange for a better system over-all.

Most single floppy distros (that I have used -- like Freesco) run 2.0.x kernels and limit your choices of file systems. If I'm going to provide 160 GB of file storage, I want a journaling file system like ext3 , and you're not likely to get that with a floppy based system. I doubt you can fit a 2.4 or 2.6 kernel into a floppy based system even if it uses Busy Box.

Really, I recommend Slackware or Debian, and just plan on using a tiny fraction of the hard drive. A year from now, you'll be glad you did.
Old 08-30-2004, 03:39 PM   #7
bruno buys
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Yes, indeed. Floppy based distros like freesco and coyote linux are supposed to be used in really old machines, such as 386's and 486's. They do specialized work, such as routing, gatewaying and firewalling. They run without keyb, mouse, monitor and even ide controllers. And they fit into 8 MB ram!
With 64 you can install a much better thing.


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