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Old 02-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #1
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Question Install Linux (Win XP, no CD boot)

I've got an old Fujitsu Lifebook B142 that I'd like to bring back to life with Linux.

It is fully working 1998 model and either boots from Floppy or HDD. I have a USB CD drive and it reads USB-drives in Windows but cannot boot from these. I plan to buy a PCMIA wifi card to make it more functional in the future and would mean that the main bulk of the install could be stored on another laptop which currently runs Windows Vista.

I would mostly like to surf the web, email, a bit of OpenOffice and just get into Linux. I'm technically minded but have no experience with Linux. I would prefer something relatively straightforward to get into. I don't require Windows so ideally I would do a fresh format of the drive which is currently 4 Gb partitioned 50:50.

I have done various web-searches and it appears this model can run the latest version of Ubuntu but open to any suggestions. There were a couple of pages on the web which specifically talked about getting Linux onto this notebook but these generally left Windows intact which I'm not really interested in and I got intimidated when they went into how they decided how big to make each partition.

What do people think will be the best/easiest method of achieving what I want?

Many thanks.
Old 02-16-2010, 03:43 PM   #2
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it may run ubuntu, but I doubt it would run it well, although it may. You may look into Slackware with xfce desktop. It is far less bloated, but is a little more difficult than ubuntu. Mostly I would stay away from gnome or KDE with hardware that old.
Old 02-16-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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Give this a look:
Old 02-16-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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I wouldn't recommend Slackware for a total newbie, installing software in Slackware is really hard compared to just about everything else.
Old 02-16-2010, 05:28 PM   #5
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Get a floppy (almost every distro has one) that can be used to boot the system enough to either install the OS from your usb CD or from the network.

They used to make pcmcia cd drives that I'd guess you can boot to. If so you might be able to boot to pcmcia with a flash adapter to sd or cf card.

Might play with or BKO. It is either floppy or Cd the installs a live cd over network via gpxe. You can also use gpxe to boot if you don't have pxe to your local lan to install an OS.

For fun you could netboot to Knoppix 5.X. Boot a local system to Knoppix and start Knoppix terminal server. Then connect to lan and boot laptop gpxe or pxe to knoppix.

To issues are boot media. Floppy, CD or pcmcia and second is source. TFTP, USB CD, USB flash, Pcmcia cd or memory, network HTTP, iscsi or what ever.

Last edited by jefro; 02-16-2010 at 05:30 PM.
Old 02-16-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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If you're a total beginner with Linux, I would not recommend running Slackware. Even if Ubuntu doesn't run all that well, unless you know how to mess with Slackware, I'd recommend staying away from Slackware.
Old 02-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #7
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The main reason I would stay away from Slackware is package management.


Go to the internet and download the package and (hopefully) figure out iss dependencies, download them, and then manually install them one by one and hope it works.


apt-get install package

Red Hat-based:

yum install package


pacman -S package

Upgrading Your System:


Download the newest version of every single package you have (which is often in the hundreds) from the internet manually. Install and compile them manually.

Debian-based (that's two commands, not one-or-the-other):

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Red Hat-based:

yum update


pacman -Syu

But personally I didn't notice the lack of GUI tools, probably because I chose the command-line way as a newbie.

Last edited by MTK358; 02-17-2010 at 08:18 AM.


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