2.d - Floppy Only Install with Netcard (Poormans Install)

Having read the many posts of how to install DSL with no cdrom using a huge stack floppies, I wanted to create a script using only one floppy.

I wanted to make a simple way to install DSL on older laptops that have NO CDROM.
I started by looking for a single floppy Linux distro with good pcmcia network support.
I have found that TOMSRTBT is very good. It works with several old pcmcia network cards.

The systems that I have used for testing have:

32MB memory
1.44 floppy drive
128MB HD
800x600 screen
Linksys PCMCIA network card model PCMLM56
Also works with Xircom RealPort2 Model R2E-100

I have written a tiny frugal_lite.sh. It is written in ASH shell.
It provides the traditional "poorman's" install and boot floppy creation via the net.

First you must download and create TOMSRTBT disk. http://www.toms.net/rb/
With your pcmcia card inserted try booting TOMSRTBT and see if network
card is seen.

After booting up TOMSRTBT be sure to REMOVE the TOMSRTBT disk.

Look at the output of the ifconfig command. If you see your IP then you are ready to go.
If you see then you must manually input your IP address. Like the following two lines:

ifconfig eth0 netmask
route add default gw

Then add your nameserver like this:
echo "nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx" >> /etc/resolv.conf

Next test your network setup by pinging an internet site.

If you made it here you are ready to go!
Next grab the frugal_lite.sh script like this:

wget http://ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/damnsmall/current/frugal_lite.sh

Now using fdisk create two linux partitions each large enough to hold DSL. I used 64MB to be safe. Could be smaller.

Format them by using:

mke2fs /dev/hda1
mke2fs /dev/hda2

Next place a GOOD (no bad sectors) floppy into the floppy drive.

Note: The hard drive partitons are NOT mounted. The floppy is NOT mounted.

Finally run the frugal_lite.sh like this:


Follow the prompts.

Upon completion the system will reboot off the DSL boot floppy and start loading DSL.
Be sure to boot with the following:

boot: dsl vga=normal

Note: After you get your system running from boot floppy (poorman's) then you can install again into the other partition using the standard frugal_instal.sh giving you much more control of your system. Use the (L)ive CD install option as the poorman's is a virtual liveCD.

Or if the other partiton is large enough then do a regular dsl-hdinstall.

If you do this re-install into the other partition either frugal or full install then you can get rid of the poorman's by using fdisk to change it totype 82 (swap) and then format it for swap by using the mkswap /dev/hdaX

Anyway, I hope that you find this script useful. It should provide the most flexible way to enjoy the latest version of DSL.

(Thanks to Robert Shingledecker)

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Changes to get the frugal_lite.sh from ibiblio.org site

i had to use:
wget http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/damnsmall/current/current.iso

it looks like ibiblio.org changed the link to download the current.iso file.

Changes to the frugal_lite.sh script

i had to make a couple of minor changes to the frugal_lite.sh script.

On line 4, change URL="ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/damnsmall/current" to URL="distro.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/damnsmall/current"

On line 41, change
wget "$PROTOCOL://$URL/current" to wget "$PROTOCOL://$URL/current.iso"

On line 51, change
mount /mnt/$SOURCE/current /mnt/iso -t iso9660 -o loop=/dev/loop0 to mount /mnt/$SOURCE/current.iso /mnt/iso -t iso9660 -o loop=/dev/loop0

On line 56, change
rm -f "/mnt/$SOURCE/current" to rm -f "/mnt/$SOURCE/current.iso"

extra line

Good guide, many thanks for publishing. I needed the extra line - but most linux users would know to do that any hoo I suppose.

Finally run the frugal_lite.sh like this:
chmod +x frugal_lite.sh