April 21, 2019

Damn Small Linux Makes Darn Big Impression - page 2

Small Distro, Big Packages

  • September 13, 2007
  • By Kenneth Hess

DSL provides several installation options depending on your needs and habits. All installation options are under Tools in the Start Menu. The first, Install to Hard Drive, requires at least 200MB of unpartitioned disk space. Second, the Frugal Install has two options: Frugal Grub Install or Frugal Lilo Install. Unless you have some compelling reason for not doing so, always use Grub (GRUB). GRUB is more versatile, has fewer limitations and is easier to troubleshoot and repair. Third and finally, you are given the option of Install to USB Pendrive that comes in two flavors: For USB-ZIP Pendrive and For USB-HDD Pendrive. USB-HDD or USB-ZIP would be chosen based on your computer's BIOS settings for USB booting. This is a BIOS option not a particular type of USB Pendrive.

Unless the hard drive you are installing DSL on is already formatted as a Linux filesystem, you are probably better off installing DSL as follows:

  1. Boot the DSL Live CD and type install boot prompt as shown in Figure 3.
  2. Figure 4 shows you the text-based installation menu (DSL Install Options). Select option 12, Partition Tool cfdisk, by typing 12 at the prompt and press Enter.
  3. You are prompted for a partition or drive to use with the example: hda.
    The default first drive is hda so enter hda and press Enter. If hda is the incorrect drive, cfdisk will give an error message and you will have to repeat the step 2 and try hdb, etc. until you find the correct drive device name.
  4. Once you have chosen the correct drive device, you will receive the message:
    No partition table or unknown signature on partition table.
        Do you wish to start with a zero table [y/N]? 

    Type y and press Enter.

    You are presented with the screen shown in Figure 5. This screen displays disk drives and the current partitioning scheme. Shown is an unpartitioned 300MB disk drive.

Note: If you proceed with these steps, all of the data on the partition or drive you specify will be wiped out and you can't recover it. Be sure to select the correct partition or drive.

Use your arrow keys to select the following options in this order:

New, Primary, Bootable, Write, Quit.
New: Create a new Linux partition.
Primary: Make the partition a primary disk partition.
Bootable: Sets the bootable flag so that the hard drive can be booted.
Write: Writes the partition information to the disk.
Quit: Exits cfdisk and returns to the DSL Install Options Menu.

Note: You may have to reboot your system if the installation doesn't proceed in the next steps. This allows your hard drive's partition table to be reread by DSL.

Figure 6 displays your newly partitioned disk drive. This drive is now ready for installation. Notice how cfdisk has changed the device name from hda to hda1. This tells DSL that you have one disk drive, hda, with one partition, 1.

From this point on, you will be selecting the type of DSL image you want installed on your hard disk: Install to Hard Drive or Frugal Install.

Pendrive installations work in the same general way.

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