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Old 06-13-2008, 06:42 AM   #1
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Installing Linux

I want to put linux on my older PC, but there is no optical drive, can you download linux and install it that way or do I need to go out and get an optical drive for this system?

Old 06-13-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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Try searching here using something like "install from .iso". I think I have seen discussion of this.

My personal bias would be to install a CD read-write drive--they are pretty cheap and they are handy for many things.
Old 06-13-2008, 07:38 AM   #3
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What do you have available to you? USB, network, floppy? Is there an existing operating system on the laptop?

With Debian you can install from a combination of USB memory stick and network. Have a look at;

Or a combination of floppy and network

I believe it can be done entirely from floppy as well, with a little trickery, but I couldn't find any links on that.

I only mention Debian as it's what I know. Look around the forums and install pages of other distribution for their distribution specific instructions.
Old 06-13-2008, 07:57 AM   #4
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If you have a second computer, you can pull out the HD, install a "basic" system (no windows etc), boot on the other computer again, and finish installing all the goodies. Alternatively you can install a full system, but you may have to play around a bit after transferring the HD again to get your X windows set up.

Each distro has its own bag of tricks and some have more (documented) tricks than others. If you have a look at the Debian Installation Manual there is a section on many tricks you can use to install.


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