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Setup WITHOUT CD-ROM

By RknRlKid ·
First off, I admit my lack of knowledge about Linux. However, in the next few years I want to be able to switch to Linux on some of my computers and get rid of Windows as much as possible.

Here is my situation:

I want to install Linux on several of my laptops that do not have CD-ROM drives. I had Windows 95 on them by copying all the .cab files from the CD to the laptop via LapLink for DOS. Can I do the same thing with Linux? Or what would I have to do?

These are the systems:

2 each Digital HiNote 486/50
1 each Compaq P-166
1 each IBM Notepad P-90

I have tried a half dozen minimal distros, and am deciding between Puppy and Beatrix. (Although I am also looking now at the BU Linux Desktop distro.)

Now, the thing to keep in mind is that these WILL NOT be on the internet, nor will they be on a network. These will be stand alone, glorified typewriters. (I'm a writer.)

Ideas? I am open to suggestion.

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Only slightly on-topic

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Setup WITHOUT CD-ROM

Based on the apparent age of this hardware, none of it has USB ports, so booting and installing from a USB drive isn't an option. Linux guys, isn't there a distro out there that will boot and run off a floppy?

I'm assuming you work with a GUI-based word processing program such as Word, not a simple text editor. As many here will tell you, I'm not the resident Linux expert. How much RAM is in these machines? I'm going out on a limb and guess that only the P-166 will run a GUI and word processor at a satisfactory level of performance. The other three machines bring to mind the phrase "moves like pond water". I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.

If these aren't networked and don't have CD drives, how are you backing up your work? As an author, I assume you would be worried about potential loss data. Do you keep everything on floppies?

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More info...

by RknRlKid In reply to Only slightly on-topic

Here's to answer your questions:

Of the Digitals, one has 12MB, the other 20MB RAM. Both the Compaq and IBM have 16MB RAM.

My original plan was to run AbiWord or Open Office. I have been running Star Office 5.1 successfully on these machines with Windows 95.

As for backing up, its either done on a floppy, or LapLink'd out to another computer.

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ahh

by Jaqui In reply to More info...

linux requires 32 mb ram.
a 386 with 32 mb ram, for console only.
64 mb ram will allow using xserver ( a gui )
the actual interface on top of xfree would best be something very lightweight. ( enlightenment, fluxbox, blackbox... )
( not gnome of kde )

all the machines will run linux, processor wise.
ram wise they fall short.

this just means using a larger swap partition and it being used heavily.
( swap partition is equivalent to windows pagefile. )
I've never tried to instal onto something that has so little ram.
by any chance do you have a zip drive?
slak has the needed kernel and drivers to install from zip.

bare bones, minimal install, with no real functionality is 50 mb.
a usefull install, with full console toolset, closer to 500 mb.
add about 1.5 gigs to install xserver, gui office app, gnome or kde.

but, even though I detest the way it works, console has everything you need it has vi(m)
a text processor.

emacs is a programming environment, so it's completely different focus.

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