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Old 01-24-2003, 12:26 PM   #1
NLess
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Question Installing Linux Over Serial Port


I have a really old Compaq laptop that i wish to install RedHat on. It doesn't have an ethernet card or cd rom drive. The laptop is already running an old version of Debian. I have a Win2k box connected to the internet via a router.

I basically got the following two ideas about how i can pull this off.
1. Install to the laptop using an ftp connection established using PPP over the serial port (null modem) connected to my Win2k box acting as a server.

or

2. I can probably get a hold of a RedHat cd and somehow mount the cd from my Windows box, over the serial port (since my laptop doesn't even have a cd drive), and do the install using a 'remote cd rom drive'.

If anyone has any idea how to pull either of these installs off, please help.

Thanks.
 
Old 01-24-2003, 01:55 PM   #2
KevinJ
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1. can you borrow a PCMCIA card from someone? It will make your life much easier.


Unfortunately, none of the standard install programs that I know of will allow you to install over a serial link. I could be wrong about that if Debian does it, but I doubt it.

I have a suggestion though. You could boot to something like "Tom's RTBT" which would require two floppies. That will give you a very-featured version of Linux to work from.
Get it from http://www.toms.net/rb/

After that is running, you might be able to establish a serial link to you Windows PC.
Then you could create /, /boot, and swap partitions on your harddrive. Format the root partition, and then copy your install ISO's over to that partition.
Now, boot to a Redhat install floppy, and choose harddrive install.

You won't be able to format "/" during install, but you have already done that.

-KevinJ
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:11 PM   #3
NLess
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The laptop is really old. It doesn't have a PCMCIA slot or a very large HD.

Copying all i need to the HD and then installing from there isn't really an option unfortunately.

Thanks for your help though.

Any other ideas out there?
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:20 PM   #4
KevinJ
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Debian will allow you to use a program called "jigdo" that will allow you to create a custom ISO that can be MUCH smaller than standard install iso's. You might want to check that out.

Here is another option that I used to run on a tiny old POS laptop....
http://www.slackware.com/zipslack/

Heck.. for that matter? What do you hope to do with this? If you don't have any peripherals, or PCMCIA, I bet you don't have much memory and won't be able to run XWindows.
You could just run Tom's RTBT from the floppy and do a lot.

You don't have a parallel ZIP drive laying around do you?

-KevinJ
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:24 PM   #5
KevinJ
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Maybe Debian WILL do it??

http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...ethods.en.html

see section: 4.2.1 Installation Options

-KevinJ
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:25 PM   #6
NLess
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I have a development project i'm doing with a buddy, and I'm hoping to just muk around on this garbage laptop.

I'm actually looking to wipe the debian install and use a different distribution. Something newer, a fresh start for this garbage laptop

I don't have a ZIP drive, but i *might* be able to get one for the weekend... maybe with a couple of 100mb disks... what did you have in mind?

Do you know any other good sites i can post this problem to? I've been looking and I haven't been able to find any decent forums or e-mail support groups.

Thanks again.
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:39 PM   #7
KevinJ
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I would say that Zipslack might be a good option for you.

It should have everything you could hope to play with on this thing. Its designed to go on an existing DOS or Windows partition. If you don't have DOS, this is what I used: http://www.drdos.net/download.htm

Then I used the ZIP drive to get ZipSlack extracted onto my harddrive. You can then boot ZipSlack from within DOS, via the Autoexec.bat or by using a boot floppy.

Give it a shot, I think you will like it.

-KevinJ
 
Old 01-24-2003, 02:44 PM   #8
NLess
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Thanks a lot for your help KevinJ!
 
  


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