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Old 12-15-2005, 08:31 AM   #1
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Installing Linux OS

Hello to everyone. My name is Eddie and I am new to this forum and anxious to discover what Linux OS can do.
I have been impressed with what I've read and heard about this operating system and would like to install it onto a spare computer that I have. It's an old Pentium MMX 200mhz that struggles to run Windows 98SE. Personally I feel that Microsoft has milked the cow dry and has nothing left to offer.
Of the various distros about, the one that appeals to me is the Debian OS as it seems more of an entry-level Linux OS. I have a Fedore Core 1 Cd set that came with an issue of LinuxUser that I brought but I'm not sure if using Fedora Core 1 to start out would be biting off more that I can chew.
My question is can I install a Linux OS (Debian) using the Windows98SE startup disk to access the CD Drive? Or do I need to create floppies from the Debian OS for install? Any guidance on this subject would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Old 12-15-2005, 08:44 AM   #2
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If your BIOS is capable of booting a CD, you can use the Debian netinst CD image available here: Otherwise, you can get the Debian floppy images from the same page and boot with them just as you would a windows boot floppy. The CD-booting route is easier. You should also read and/or print the installation manual to guide you through:
Old 12-15-2005, 08:54 AM   #3
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EDIT: m_yates beat me to it, while cooking before pressing 'post'

Hi Ed & welcome,

No, you will need to create a couple of bootdisc's using rawrite. It's not that hard...On the Debian site there is a nice installation guide:

Read the chapters '4.3.2. Writing Disk Images From DOS, Windows, or OS/2' and this url to get the boot images for your floppies:

Just a note: It's a good idea to do a completely fdisk on your HDD before trying to install Linux. When you install Debian it will make a simple partitionscheme for you, all on auto This is a good idea if you don't feel to comfortable partitioning manually.

That should get you going

Have fun.

Last edited by anti.corp; 12-15-2005 at 08:56 AM.
Old 12-15-2005, 08:56 AM   #4
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Just to cover your OS before you install it. Your decision on what OS to install all depends on what you are trying to do. If you want a desktop, then you need to use Xandros, Ubuntu, SuSe. But if you are looking to learn apache, squid/proxy, samba, then I would use Debian.

Just wanted to mention a couple of things in case you didn't know.
Good luck.
Old 12-15-2005, 08:57 AM   #5
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You only need a boot floppy if you can not set the CDrom to be a boot device in the bios. Most machines of the P1 200 Mhz can be set the CDrom as a boot device. If you need more guidance on this, post as much information on the hardware as you can, and we'll see if we can help you set that up.

Some suggestions only. FC1 is fairly old, I think FC4 is out now. What ever you decide on, FC Debain or what ever, start with a current release. For a machine of this speed, install one of the light weight desktops. XFCE is a good choice, there are others. KDE is great, but consumes a lot of system resources. I would suggest you would not be impressed with the performance on a P1 200Mhz machine.

Another thing you may consider, download and burn a live CD, like Knoppix and try that on your hardware first. It will give you some hands on, and you don't need to install anything first. It will also help you discover any hardware issues that may surface.

You didn't say if you wanted to keep the W98 system around. You can if you wish. A lot would depend on the disk space available. If you want to keep W98, you will need to install Lilo or Grub. These are boot loader programs that allow for multi-booting of the system.

I have never tried Debain, so I have no comment there. I use Mandriva, since it is easy to install, and has a very good system to update and install software.

Good luck, and post back if you need more help.
Old 12-15-2005, 08:57 AM   #6
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For the beginner, there are many free distros available.
Old 12-15-2005, 09:01 AM   #7
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For the beginner, there are MANY free distros available (including Debian):
Ubuntu, based on Debian
Fedora Core 4
Open Suse
You download a CD image (or several), burn the CDs, and then boot from #1.

One reason I like Ubuntu is that you only need 1 CD to get started. It downloads evertything else. This, of course, works best with a hi-speed connection.


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