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Damn Small Linux Makes Darn Big Impression - page 3

Small Distro, Big Packages

  • September 13, 2007
  • By Kenneth Hess

For this demonstration, I chose Install to Hard Drive (Option 3 on the DSL Install Options Menu).

  1. Select Option 3 from the DSL Install Options Menu to perform the Hard Drive Install and press Enter. The Install script starts with a series of questions. You are presented with the screen shown in Figure 7.
  2. Enter the target partition: hda1
    Multi-user logins: If you want the ability to have ordinary user account on your system, enter y.
    Use journalized ext3 filesystem: I chose to say no to this option because this is a slower system.
    Continue?: Proceed with the options you have chosen, y.
    The hard drive is formatted with the ext2 (standard) filesystem.
  3. Figure 8 shows the completed installation and a prompt to install a boot loader, y.
  4. You are prompted for a specific boot loader (GRUB or LILO). As recommended, I chose GRUB, g, as you can see in Figure 9.
  5. Answer y to reboot your new DSL system. And press Enter at the notice to remove the Live DSL CD as shown in Figure 10.
  6. Figure 11 is the Boot Screen for your new DSL system. Here you select the screen resolution of your Desktop. As shown, I selected DSL fb800x600 for my Desktop.
  7. Your system boots and presents you with a prompt to enter passwords for the root (Administrative) user and dsl (an ordinary user account). See Figure 12. Once you enter the passwords for both users, your system drops to a login prompt shown in Figure 13.
  8. After login, you may be taken to another series of Xsetup screens to configure your monitor settings, mouse, and desired screen resolution. As shown in Figure 14, select Xvesa and continue through the screens until you are presented with your DSL Desktop.

You now have a fully functional Linux system based on the Debian distribution. Your new system occupies about 100MB of space on your disk drive. This may come as a surprise since your Live CD only needed 50MB. The Live CD was frugal since it uses RAM for part of its storage. A disk drive installation doesn't need to utilize RAM in this way so everything is placed on the disk.

To make your new system more like a standard Debian distribution, on the right-click Menu, select Tools, then select Upgrade to GNU Utils and Enable Apt. These enhancements will allow you to automatically update your system and give you the enriched versions of the installed applications. For more information, please go to http://www.damnsmalllinux.org .

Kenneth Hess is a freelance technical writer who writes on a variety of subjects including: Linux, MySQL, SQLite, PHP, and Apache. You may reach Ken via his website at http://www.kenhess.com.