Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 01-04-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2007
Distribution: FD4,6
Posts: 52

Rep: Reputation: 15
Do people still use floppy when they install Linux?

When I read some books and on-line docs regarding linux installation, I often saw "boot floppy", "rescue floppy disk". Do SA still use floppy to install the OS? Or the books and docs are just too old...
Old 01-04-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2010
Location: Wales, UK
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,632
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346
I've never used one... You can, as far as I know, but all distros I've seen are either ~300MB (fitting on a CD) or ~3GB (fitting on a DVD). The only time I've considered using a floppy is when writing a bootloader
Old 01-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2006
Location: underground
Distribution: Slackware64
Posts: 7,594

Rep: Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551
Rescue media can take all forms, and even today, perhaps floppies are used for some things. I use them myself for BIOS updates only, but there are lots of other uses, and there are tiny Linuxes which will fit on a floppy (as far as I recall) but they are very purpose-oriented distros - certainly not full-featured or "general purpose" by any means.

As for installation - doing so by floppy, or via a boot floppy to start, these days would be relatively rare. Almost any other media or method would be preferable and more common, including netboot, netinstall, USB install, and optical media. I doubt many (or any) modern general purpose Linux offers install via floppy by default, although there are probably still docs included with many, giving instructions for doing so if you wish.

Chances are good, you're looking at old documentation.

Old 01-04-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
LQ Veteran
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,299

Rep: Reputation: 572Reputation: 572Reputation: 572Reputation: 572Reputation: 572Reputation: 572
A boot floppy is just that, a diskette with just enough to boot the system to a command prompt. Rescue disks are similar, used when the system can not be booted from the hard drive, or some other source, ( CD drive, USB flash drive ) and they have enough utilities to fix system problems.

Are they still used? Yes.

Do you need them? For the most part no.

There are many ways to install linux. Most often it will be from a CD or DVD. You can install from a flash drive, I do this on my netbook. It does not have a CD/DVD drive. Network install also works.

Boot floppies are still useful if you have a system without a working CD drive, or the BIOS does not allow for booting from a CD or DVD drive. This is the case with many older machines. So you use the boot floppy and put the driver for your CD on it, boot, and then install from a CD.

The doc is not too old.

Modern working systems do not need them. They are provided for those odd situations.
Old 01-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
Mr. Alex
Senior Member
Registered: May 2010
Distribution: No more Linux. Done with it.
Posts: 1,238

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
You can't put normal kernel to a floppy these days. And the kernel is not everything.
Old 01-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 17,613

Rep: Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340Reputation: 2340
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
You can't put normal kernel to a floppy these days. And the kernel is not everything.
Normal meaning a 2.6 kernel.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How can I get people to use Linux? I'm bad at converting people over. Mr. Hill Linux - Newbie 31 10-19-2008 09:16 AM
Floppy install of Linux? testforechozero Linux - Distributions 3 10-04-2004 08:28 PM
Debian Woody floppy install problems with ATAPI floppy jturnicate Linux - Newbie 0 02-17-2004 09:45 AM
How to install Linux Without floppy and CD fedegiove Linux - Laptop and Netbook 2 02-15-2004 07:45 PM
Why do people piss and moan about linux being hard to install? versaulis Linux - Software 29 10-07-2003 04:45 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:19 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration