9.b - The DSL IRC Channel

The DSL IRC channel is located on

irc.freenode.net #damnsmalllinux

2.# - System Requirements for DSL

Rather than just listing the specs needed for DSL, read about Nick Hill and Paul Knight's adventure with DSL and a couple of 486s.

5.b.1 - Enabling Apt

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

To restore Apt, open the menu and go Apps >> Tools >> Enable Apt

Or, if you are in runlevel 2 (console mode) type "sudo dpkg-restore"

Or, you can grab the dsl-dpkg.dsl from the MyDSL Repository and install it using the directions in 3.1 of this Documentation.

However you get it, once dpkg has been restored, you need to bring it up to date.

To do so, open a root xterm and type "apt-get update".

After the process is finished, you have the ability to grab most anything from Debian Stable!

5.b - Using DPKG (apt-get)

2.c.2 - Floppy Install (No Netcard, Windows Required)

Im still blown away that I was actually able to do what I was planning on doing...
Ill explain...I have a very old laptop that a buddy of mine was gave to me, its a 75Mhz Pentium (classic) 16Megs RAM, 540MB harddrive, no CD ROM or USB available, 10/100 Kingston KNE-2 PCMCIA card, the only info online I could find about it was (FCC ID:FMA7600)...I truly thought I was fighting a futile battle but now im surfing the web on this little monster!

OK before I go into how I did it I want to let anyone know that before they get frustrated and throw it out of the window take a step back and catch your breath...many times I wanted to quit but kept on trying...

2.e - Setting the Proper Geometry on your USB Pendrive

While trying to get pendrive booting to work I learned a lot about changing the geometry on a pendrive. I thought I'd share some of that here.

First off it appears that the geometry on a pendrive is NOT fixed in hardware, I have been able to change the parameters and have it work fine both in DSL and WinXP, the upshot is that if your pendrive doesn't have parameters you like, change them!

The best tool for doing this is sfdisk under DSL. Its MUCH easier to manipulate partitions using sfdisk under DSL than using windows tools, even if you will then be using it under windows. When playing around with the geometry parameters make sure you use the -f (thats the FORCE) option to sfdisk, otherwise it won't change some of the parameters. The reason this works is that there really are no heads or cylinders, its a bunch of bytes, the heads and such are just to keep the disk drivers happy.

3.b.1 - Creating a UCI Extension

The hardest part of creating a ci has nothing to do with compressing them. The hardest part is to make a self-contained application under /opt. Because openoffice and firefox are pretty much self contained and are under /opt they were good test cases. I have since made python2.3.4 which works under /opt so to make it a ci is easy. Also, the ci has a limitiation of being read only. That is why there is an oouser.tar.gz. Those parts that require updates can be "linked" into a writeable directory. I see user Chris V made a firefox user file. Try to avoid making .dsl as they cause additional demands on the system. Sometimes, you will be required to make a shell wrapper to start the app. As being self contained implies that the app's libraries are also stored locally with the app. This usually implies requiring a LD_LIBRARY_PATH, thus the shell wrapper. Anyway, make the app. Test it as a .tar.gz. Once the app is working then to make a ci do the following.

3.b - Creating Extensions

5.a.1.1 - Adding or Changing Icons

To add/change icons, open EmelFM and click on the "H" in the upper left hand corner to show hidden files.

In your /home/dsl directory you will see a folder called .xtdesktop. When you open you will see your icons.

The .png/.gif files will be the icon image. The associated .ink file will contain the information that activates the icon. Bring up this file in your favorite editor and see how to create/change icons. It is very self explanatory. The "X" and "Y" entries determine the desktop location of your icon (in pixels).

If you add/change icon info you need to restart the WM to see the changes. It is a menu option in DSL. Just go Window Manager >> Restart.

5.a.1 - Fluxbox