2.c.1 - Floppy Only Install (No Netcard, Linux only)

If this process seems a little daunting to you, remember that I wrote it with a lot of built in sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor.

If it still seems too tough, and you have a Windows OS, you can try AwPhuch's method on 2.c.2 here in the docs.


This process may cause excess stress and frustration.

Not recommended for people with high blood pressure, a history of heart problems or aneurysms, pregnant women, or anybody else who is unable to cope with high levels of stress.

The author takes NO RESPONSIBILITY for any damage, either mental or physical, caused by this process.

*****END WARNING*****

Estimated time to completion >3 hours.

You will need:
* Either a copy of Knoppix or an installed full distro of linux (not DSL)
* I recommend having at least 60 BRAND NEW floppys, so that you dont have to re-use the same floppy over and over and still have a few extras. You can do it with as few as 4, but I wouldn't recommend it.
* A copy of the latest DSL iso, md5summed and checked out. Gotta be perfect.
* A copy of Tom's Root Boot on a new, high quality floppy (http://www.toms.net/rb/)
* A copy of the script from http://www.fpx.de/fp/Software/fsplit on a floppy.
* A DSL boot floppy for the version you are installing.
*** LOTS of patience

---Step 1---

Set up your work area.

It should be a relatively large table with ample room for 2 monitors, 2 computers, 2 keyboards, 2 mice and pads if needed, lots of elbow room.

You also need a comfortable chair.

The work area should be clean and free of clutter. That means put away your bills, Magic: the Gathering cards, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, or whatever.

Gotta be clean. As little to get in your was as humanly possible.

---Step 2---

Set up your computers to where you can use either one of them comfortably without adjusting anything. This is easier if you have a rolling chair.

Make sure you have power for everything and net access.

Wireless networks make this easier.

---Step 3---

Make some coffee, put some beer (soda, if you're underage, like me ^_^) on ice, order pizza, or wings, or Chinese, or something.

You're gonna need it before we're done.

Trust me.

Do it.

I'm serious.

You'll thank me later.

---Step 4---

Boot up the computer you want to install DSL onto with Tom's Root boot (I will call this the "target system" or just "target").

Fire up the other computer with Knoppix or whatever other distro of your choice (I will call this the "host box" or "work box") and download or access the DSL iso. Make sure its md5sum checks out.

---Step 5---

Copy the fsplit script onto your host box and do the following mode changes.

***Code Sample***

$ chmod +x fsplit
$ chmod 775 fsplit


This will make it executable, and act the way we want it to.

---Step 6---

Run fsplit on the iso and cut it into 1.4mb chunks.

***Code Sample***

fsplit dsl-x.x.x.iso 1400


This process may take a while, depending on the hardware of your work box.

Go get a drink or something if it takes more than just a few minutes.

You should get about 38 (more or less, depending on the exact size of the iso) files with names xx00, xx01, xx02 and so on. These are your single floppy images.

---Step 7---

On the target system, use fdisk to create a fat32 partiton of at least 110mb (for the reformed iso and all the image files) at /dev/hda1. Later, this should become your swap partition, so make it however big you want that to be.

If you don't know how to use fdisk, a short walk-through of using fdisk to create partitions is available at http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/partition-5.html . If you still don't get it, google is your friend.

Format the partition using this command


$ mkdosfs -v -F32 /dev/hda1


(Thanks to Tom Oehser, the guy behind tomsrtbt)

Reboot the target machine into Tom's again and mount hda1.

Now for the FUN part!

---Step 8---

Remember all those 1.4mb files we made earlier?

Start copying them onto floppys and then onto hda1of the target system. This will take a while.


cp xx00 /mnt/floppy


Just repeat that for each file.

By now, your beer (soda) should be cold and your pizza or whatever should have arrived. Grab a cold one and a slice of pie and settle in for the long run.

---Step 9---

Once all those files are on hda1 of the host system, run the following command.

***Code Sample***

$ cat xx* >


Make sure that the name is EXACTLY the same as the original iso.

Check the md5sum of the reformed iso.

***Code Sample***

$ md5sum dsl-x.x.x.iso


If the number checks out, move on to step 10, if not, reboot the target system, delete everything on hda1, and go back to step 8. ~_~

Most likely, it will work on the first try, unless you have a bad floppy, your floppy drive has a bad read, or whatever.

But, floppys are notoriously unreliable, remember?

---Step 10---

It's celebration time!! You did it! The hard part is over!!!

Delete the xx** files and do this.

Make a folder in /mnt called iso.

***Code Sample***

$ cd /mnt
$ mkdir iso


Mount the iso to /mnt/iso.

***Code Sample***

$ mount -o loop -t iso9660 dsl-x.x.x.iso /mnt/iso


Copy the contents of /mnt/iso to /mnt/hda1.

***Code Sample***

$ cp /mnt/iso/* /mnt/hda1/


Unmount everything on the target system and reboot it with the DSL boot disk in it.


umount /mnt/*


At the boot prompt, type in "dsl fromhd=/dev/hda1". If everything worked right, it should fire right up, just as if it were running from CD!

You can do whatever you want from here. I'll leave that up to you. Doing a regular HDinstall or whatever and setting up the swap partition.

Give yourself a high five! YOU DID IT!!!!!!!