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Old 08-31-2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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Need help on picking distro

HI. I'm new to linux and have had it on my desktop for a while now. But I had to go back to XP. I just bought a TI TravelMate 5200. The specs or 120mhz,32mb of ram, 1gb hard drive and a floppy drive. My question is what distro will work the best and what is involved in installing from flopppys. Is there anyone out their that can help me?
Old 08-31-2004, 11:37 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Milpitas, California
Distribution: 1/2 Debian 1/2 my own
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It probably won't matter what distribution you use because based on your hardware you probably won't be able to run X applications. If you want a mainstream distribution, try Debian or Slackware which I think are really customizable and minimal install friendly.

Your biggest problem is how to install without a CDROM. There might be some distros that are floppy friendly, but I don't know about them. Here is one possiblility. I won't elaborate until you're sure you want to do it.

1. Create a linux boot disk that can fit on a floppy.
2. Boot from the floppy and create a linux partition.
3. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to first do a minimal install of Linux onto another computer (on a separate partition of course) and then transfer the files onto the laptop (either by parallel or serial port or floppy)

BTW, why would you even want to still use that old 120mhz computer? I doub't it will even be good for word processing.

Old 08-31-2004, 11:56 PM   #3
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I want it cuz it only cost me $65

It only cost me $65 and I want to learn linux on a machine other than my Desktop. Also so I can take it to school and take notes and stuff.
Old 09-01-2004, 04:48 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
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definatly possible
Old 09-01-2004, 04:52 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Milpitas, California
Distribution: 1/2 Debian 1/2 my own
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OK. I havn't done this myself, but I'm pretty sure that it is safe from data loss.

If there are partitions that you still want to keep on the laptop, you will need to repartition
your disk. I suggest using Bootit NG.

1. download a debian floppy boot image from

(I would choose rescue.bin)

If you're making the boot disk from windows command prompt:
rawrite <image file> a:
else for linux:
dd if=<image file> of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024

2. download a root file system floppy
rawrite <root file system image> a: or dd if=<root file system image> of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024

3. Now boot the laptop using the first boot disk. From the boot prompt, type ramdisk0 and press enter. If it fails when loading the kernel, then you probably have bad sectors on the floppy.

4. I guess you should now be at a shell. If not, find a way to get to a shell.

5. use fdisk to create some linux partitions if you havn't already done so and mount it (i.e. as /target)

6. You will need an installation of whatever distro you want to put on to the laptop on another computer.

7. copy everything from the linux partition to the laptop's hard drive (i.e. /target)

8. Adjust the entries in /etc/fstab to match your laptop's configuration.

8. Setup a boot loader on the laptop (grub or lilo) or else you won't be able to boot.

The rest is history
Old 09-02-2004, 02:25 PM   #6
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Get your $65 back, cause that sled isn't worth $5 Then dual boot your desktop so you can install a distro from which you can learn on.


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