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Friday, June 8, 2012

DSL Linux, Installing to Hard Drive - From Main Page - DSL Wiki...

I have run DSL Linux on an old 166MHz P1 Computer for quite a few years. I don't use it much. Just for fun, mostly. Recently I was given a couple of old PC's. Yet, they are newer than this one (350MHz P3 and an old AMD, that self destructed right after I Booted it up. This gave me some extra SDRAM memory to play with. The 166MHz PC can use either EDO or SDRAM. It has 6 or 8 slots. I tried to run both EDO and SDRAM, but No Such Luck. The Computer just wont Boot. So, I still have only 64mb of Ram in the System. Still, I wish my newer Computers had that many Memory Slots! I had the old 166, setup with the Frugal Install of DSL Linux. But, that gave me a limit, as to how many Apps I could add to the System. It would run out of space in the Live OS, very quickly. From, what I read and understand on the DSL Site. That's basically what a Frugal Install is. Basically, just copying the Live OS Image to your HD and Booting directly from the DSL Image.  So, I wanted to have more flexibility on the System, to Add more Apps. Like, it doesn't have enough already!;) I went through the instructions that are on the Welcome Page, in the Live DSL OS, when you Boot form the CD, Twice. But, both times I got the same Grub Error on Reboot. I thought it might have been that the MBR was locked (not writable or corrupted). So, I used Testdisk to write a new MBR to the Drive (twice). Still, I got the same Grub Error. So, I e-mailed the DSL Home Page and Wiki Page links to my self. So, that I could look things up on a faster Computer. And this is what I found. A whole Procedure for Installing DSL Linux to your Hard Drive, that is not mentioned in the DSL Welcome Page. The key difference, that I see here, is....

Assuming that you are ready to blow away all of your existing data storage (you might want to back up any special drivers and other important stuff in case you want to re-install the original OS), create 2 new partitions:
  • hda1 Linux Swap Type 82 Size (at least 128mb)
  • hda2 Linux Type 83 Size (the rest of the disk space, I recommend at least 2gb). Flag this partition as bootable.
I always put my Linux Swap Partition at the end of the Drive. The way that Fedora and I believe Debian does, by Default. So, I'm hoping that this is the key to my Problem (Notice the the Swap Partition is hda1 here). This old PC is so slow and with only 64mb of Memory. And has an uncommon (I suppose) Video Card. I couldn't get any GUI GParted, Parted Magic, System Rescue or Insert to Boot on it. Yet, I swear that I have a GParted on one of my many CD's that will Boot on this System (can't find the right one). I just used my USB HD Adapter to do my Formatting on my much Newer Fedora System. I didn't even have to take it out of the Box, the last time. So, I may not follow all of these instructions in the Command Line. But, this should help allot. I'm going to try it out later and see how it goes...


DSL Linux, Installing to Hard Drive. From Main Page - DSL Wiki...

Installing to the Hard Disk

This page in other languages: Deutsch, Español, Français

Steps of installing DSL to a harddisk are as follows:

1) Boot up the DSL livecd. If your computer does not support booting from CDROM drive, then download the boot floppy image from the DSL website and get the RAWRITE32.exe program and create a boot floppy disk. Then use the boot floppy + liveCD to start up DSL.

2) Open up an xterminal window (click on the A:Terminal icon or right-click on the desktop and choose a terminal) and type:

        sudo -s          cfdisk /dev/hda  

Assuming that you are ready to blow away all of your existing data storage (you might want to back up any special drivers and other important stuff in case you want to re-install the original OS), create 2 new partitions:

  • hda1 Linux Swap Type 82 Size (at least 128mb)
  • hda2 Linux Type 83 Size (the rest of the disk space, I recommend at least 2gb). Flag this partition as bootable.

Before you leave cfdisk, write the changes to the partition table with the Write option. If your hard disk is really big, try leaving some unpartitioned space for future use.

  • Your DSL installation will go to partition hda2.
  • Your DSL swap partition will be hda1.

3) Next, you will need to reboot your system, again with the DSL livecd ...

4) Then type:

        sudo -s          swapoff -a    swapoff is a critical step, make sure you do it.          mkswap /dev/hda1          swapon /dev/hda1  [If you get "device or resource busy" here, ignore it.]  

5) Then follow the hd install script. The FAQ is at Your system will need to reboot again. Remove the CD, and this time boot to the hard drive and continue following the instructions.

Note: There have been many reported problems with networking disappearing after installing DSL 3.2.

Note: If you are attempting to install to a hard drive from within VMWare, you need to define your hard drive as an IDE, NOT the recommended SCSI.

Installing DSL to a Harddisk (another way)

1) Boot from the DSL LiveCD

2) At the boot prompt type "install"

3) Select option #1 to create a boot floppy (the installation script would only finish without errors if the boot floppy was available, even when installing from CD)

4) Select option #10 to partition your hard disk as described above.

5) Run the hard drive install option (with the boot floppy inserted)

6) The install will ask if you want to use Lilo or Grub as a boot loader after it finishes copying the DSL files.

Hard Drive Installation Walkthroughs

You can read about the experience of others at these walkthrough pages. If you have information on a hard drive installation please add it to the wiki with Category 'Specific Systems', and consider adding a link to the appropriate installation page (hard drive, usb, frugal, etc.)

Notes on doing a Damn Small Linux install

Before you get started remember that you are installing DSL at your own risk. I would still call this install experimental, so back up your data first!

How to install:
1. Create a app. 250-300MB Linux partition with cfdisk or fdisk (e.g. /dev/hda1, /dev/sda2)
2. Boot into DSL by using you CD and enter the terminal.
3. Execute "dsl-hdinstall" by typing "sudo -u root dsl-hdinstall" (without the quotes)
and enter the just created partition (e.g. /dev/hda1, /dev/sda2)
This will make a ext2 file system and copies the CD contents to it.
A couple of specific changes are made after that (see end of script)
4. Execute "mkliloboot" by typing "sudo -u root mkliloboot" (without the quotes)
Enter the partition that your install is on. This will create an "initrd" with the needed modules and will setup "LILO".

Setup is now done. ;)

**One thing that can trip up the install script is if you download Firebird before running it. So, do an install from a fresh boot, and then download Firebird after you do the HD install**

Good luck!

Thank you Peter Sieg for the install script!

Notes on using apt-get:
DSL is based on Debian, so it is possible to use apt-get after a hard drive install once the dpkg database is restored.

The way to do this is to download the compressed dpkg file from here and move it to '/var/lib/', then uncompress it:
tar zxvf dpkg.tar.gz

After that just 'apt-get update' and then Apt should be fully functional.

If you have net access, type 'sudo dpkg-restore' in your term window.

Now for the warning:
Damn Small is not derived purely from Debian, if you 'apt-get install' the wrong application you may break something, for instance, the X servers.

If you want an easy and compact way to get Debian on your hard drive check out Bonzai

Go there...

Main Page - DSL Wiki

DSL Linux
Damn Small Linux Board
DSL information
Main Page - DSL Wiki
DSL Talk | Damn Small Linux Community Writings
Damn Small Linux Not is Not Damn Small Linux!
iB::Topic::dsl v3.4.12
iB::Topic::dsl 4.4.10
Damn Small Linux, Download the ISO
Index of /pub/linux/distributions/damnsmall/
Index of /pub/linux/distributions/damnsmall/current/
Damn Small Linux, MyDSL Repository
Which File do I download? (long version) - DSL Wiki
Frugal Install - DSL Wiki
Installing to the Hard Disk - DSL Wiki
Notes on doing a Damn Small Linux install
BerliOS Developer: Project Summary - Bonzai Linux

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