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136  Damn Small Linux / User Feedback / Re: "Updating" an old version of DSL, which way to go? on: March 31, 2013, 09:56:12 PM
Apt won't work anymore with DSL, the new Debian packages aren't compatible with DSL. To use the Boot Floppy Tool or MyDSL, you need to set the new URLs. In the more modern DSLs, you can go to "Apps>Net>Download Mirror Selector" in the DSL menu. If this wasn't in your version, there was also a file you could edit but I forgot its name, look in the old forums.

Regarding the endless floppy access, when an OS does this to me (I can't think of a PC OS that doesn't) and I can't kill the process trying to access the disk, I just take out the disk. Perhaps it's a risk, but I've seen inside floppy drives and I doubt it can harm the disk. Not quite as sure about the drive, but I figure it's OK. Now if you've written or changed something on the disk though, there is a risk of corrupting it if you can't unmount it afterwards, not sure if this applies to your situation.

Now as for writing floppy images to disk. simply place the image somewhere, it should have the ".img" extension. Now put in your floppy to be written, remembering not to mount it, and in a terminal do the command "dd if=<image file> of=/dev/fd0" where "<image file>" is the path of your desired disk image. This will also work for the DSL boot floppy if you grab the image manually from the web.
137  Damn Small Linux / HD Install / Re: PXE Install? on: March 26, 2013, 10:00:03 AM
Well I've never had anything to do with PXE booting, but if I were you, I would try installing DOS and then using Loadlin.
See here, you'll have to skip the first step, of course:

I haven't done this before with DSL, though I have with another distro and it worked quite well. You can install a WIndows with DOS such as Win 95/98, boot into DOS and it should work from that.
138  Damn Small Linux / HD Install / Re: PXE Install? on: March 16, 2013, 01:23:21 AM
If you can get your hands on a USB CD drive, that might be worth a try. I used one to install DSL on a notebook a few years newer than yours. Sadly only to give up thanks to lack of drivers afterwards.
139  Damn Small Linux / DSL Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Wiki on DSL? on: February 26, 2013, 10:18:53 AM
As it happens, M-Disc DVDs actually are the archival discs I have in mind.

(The company put out a press release last month that in the second quarter of this year, they'll be releasing Blu-Ray M-Discs, which they claim will even be writable on regular drives. Given the seven-fold increase in capacity, I'll likely be waiting for that product to store the main archives on.)

Ha, so I'm preaching to the converted then. Interesting that they are going for Blu-Ray disks compatible with standard recorders, I thought that Blu-Ray laser power was getting pretty darn strong, but I didn't realise it had reached this point yet. I heard that earlier drives have lower powered lasers than the later ones though, so it will be interesting to see how that works out.

I'm quite happy to learn how to compile - for one, I'm rather fond of the screensaver I've been using for years ( http://www.fourmilab.ch/skyscrsv/ ), and if I can work out both how to compile it (from the source at http://www.fourmilab.ch/skyscrsv/download/3.1b/skyscrsc.zip ) and get it arranged so it can be a Linux screensaver instead of just a standalone executable, I'll be even happier. I figure if-and-when I can figure out, or find, how to manage that, I'll be much closer to working out how to recompile Kiwix for DSL.

OK, I'm afraid you're a bit confused over the nature of compiling Linux software from source. That screensaver is made for Windows, and the source code simply contains the code used to program it for Windows so that curious Visual C programmers can satisfy themselves. However packages like the linux source for Kiwix are (a) designed to run on Linux and (b) include documentation, a configuration script and a roughly standardised layout that means that any old PC user who never programed a computer to say "Hello, World" can still get the software installed.

Basically, the lesson to learn is that "source code" does not mean "Linux". That screensaver in particular would rely on many features particular to Windows in order to function, in fact I expect a complete re-write would be required for it to work in Linux. Often Linux compatible source code is in a gzip compressed tarball, ie. with a ".tar.gz" extension. In rare cases (generally for old and obscure software), it might be Zip compressed, but usually the ".tar.gz" extension is a good rule of thumb. Err, except for the ".tar.gz" extensions in the MyDSL repository, they are pre-compiled but compressed in the same way.

Still, I agree with starting small. It's much more rewarding to get a small program with few or no dependencies to run than to begin with a complex dependency chain. Looks like you'll have to find a new Planetarium screensaver for Linux though.
140  Damn Small Linux / DSL Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Wiki on DSL? on: February 25, 2013, 09:33:25 AM
First of all, I'd think twice about using even archival disk media. It usually uses a metallic layer that can't corrode as in normal discs, however I don't believe it does much to prevent the deterioration of the organic layer which the laser burns to store the data. There's lots of controversy about this though. By the way, disc technology really hasn't changed since the CD days (hence the following links), the lasers have just got better.


I suppose the discs you got say they are guaranteed for 100/200 years. When I read that though, I just think of the VHS tapes I have with "Lifetime Guarantee" written on their jackets. Can you imagine trying to get compensation after you lost a precious home movie on VHS tape that was recorded twenty plus years ago? Heck the company might not even exist.

Of course, then you have to wonder what media is suitable. Mechanical HDDs are probably in the same category as Floppy disks in term on non-suitability due to their mechanical complexity. I don't know the facts, but it seems like far too long relying on the charge storage of Flash Media. Tape drives? Well the majority of VHS tapes lasted all right (though some of those guarantees probably deserve to be claimed) and they often use similar technology, but I wouldn't recommend it. I read an article about Bell Labs using some "holographic" technique to use lasers for burning data into crystals, fun for a read anyway.

However I think the best bet is with Millenniata's "M-Discs" (http://www.milenniata.com/). As much as the advertising screams to me those old "last until we're out of business" guarantees, the principals seem very sound. With the high powered laser diodes of today (trust me, they are), there's no real need for special organic dyes when a good laser can burn into the solid surface of the disc. You will need to buy a compatible DVD drive though, and their rather expensive discs.

Anyway, onto topic, it looks like Kiwix was only released last year, so the chances of finding it in the repository are pretty much zero (especially seeing as I did a search). You can forget about using the Debian package at that link, DSL was compatible with Debian 3.0 "Woody" which is now long obsolete. The Debian "Sid" package you linked to is for a version very different from DSL and just won't work.

As a result you will have to compile the software yourself, if it is at all compatible. Indeed with such new software, it could well be incompatible with the 2.4 kernel version used in DSL. Still, well worth a try if you're up to it. There are some packages in the DSL repository for setting up a compiling environment in DSL. Basically you'll need "gnu-utils", "gcc1-with-libs", "compile-3.3.5" and "gcc-2.95". Though "compile-3.3.5" is getting a bit old now so you may end up having to compile some new programs to use instead of the old versions it includes. Then you need to download the source of Kiwix, look at the "README" and "INSTALL" files from the tar.gz archive and work out the dependencies it needs (many won't be in DSL by default, or will be too old). You now need to find and download these and try to install them (look at the instructions in the INSTALL file, or just do the normal "./configure --help | less", choose arguments to append, if any, "./configure <args>", "make", "make install"). While doing these, you will find the "configure" script will probably want yet more dependencies before it can install some dependencies. Yes dependencies need dependencies (especially in DSL), this can go on for a while. Then you may well at some point find a dependency that just doesn't like kernel 2.4, at which point you can either find a way around it, move to DSL-N with the 2.6 kernel, or give up.

Well that's got to have put you off. I'm not saying that it's bound to be that much work, but I know it can be (anyone else tried to compile "glom" database software for DSL?). Go on, give it a go, look what you'll get out of it.
141  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: Setting up DSL Wireless PCMCIA? on: February 10, 2013, 12:12:22 AM
He he, naming a WiFi chipset "AirForce One", my respect for Broardcom just went up some small ammount.

Anyway, I posted a description of this process a while ago:

Try to follow that if you can.
142  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Booting DSL iso with grub2 on: January 28, 2013, 02:30:17 AM
Well if you can't configure the BIOS to work, the bootable floppy disk gets around the inability of your BIOS to boot from your USB memory stick. The BIOS simply boots to the floppy disk, this contains the software that may then load Linux from the USB memory stick.

Have a look here:
143  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Booting DSL iso with grub2 on: January 26, 2013, 10:00:28 PM
There is plenty of info about this in the wiki (www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/). You should be able to boot from USB by using the bootable floppy disk (or other methods), then install to HDD after that.
144  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: Acer aspire one (a110) wlan don't work on: January 15, 2013, 02:36:48 AM
This link:
Lists a card with the ID AR242x, probably a similar card to the one in your laptop, as requiring the ath5k driver. This is an expansion of the MadWifi drivers that are included in DSL but there is no extension for ath5k in the DSL repository. In fact it might not even be compatible with the kernel version used in DSL (2.4.31).

However if it is, you will have to either copy the modules that make up the driver from the internet or other distributions making sure they are for the same kernel version, or compile the driver from the source code.

To confirm that the built in drivers aren't working, you can open a terminal and type "lsmod", if "ath_pci" isn't listed in the output, then the built-in MadWifi drivers haven't loaded.
145  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: Acer aspire one (a110) wlan don't work on: January 12, 2013, 12:10:29 AM
I take it you have tried the iwconfig GUI in the DSL menu under "Setup>Net Setup" and changed "device" from "eth0" to "ath0" before entering your network details. In that case, what error message did you get?

Many Atheros chipset devices are supported by drivers included in DSL, but if your one isn't detected, you may have to track down and configure another driver.
146  Damn Small Linux / User Feedback / Re: I am trying to create an image of an ultra light weight Linux that is deploy on: January 11, 2013, 11:56:40 PM
In anwser to your questions. First you need to decide whether you want a frugal or Hard Disk installation. I suggest you look at information on the DSL Wiki in order to work out which option you want.

Installation is simple. If the drive isn't already partitioned, do so using cfdisk, fdisk etc.. Then boot the DSL live CD and select "Install to Hard Drive" or one of the Frugal Install bootloader options (Grub is most popular) from Apps>Tools in the DSL menu. Now just follow the prompts to install DSL to the HDD of your choice.

However this will not get you far with the 486 laptop because DSL needs a minimum of 16MB RAM to run, and even then you would be limited to the terminal. For this purpose, I would suggest you use a distro called BasicLinux, which I myself use on a 486 laptop with 8MB RAM.

Using BasicLinux with a Pentium 4 though would be rather silly though as such a computer is capable of significantly more. So I suggest that the two computers should really run different distros to take advantage of their hardware.
147  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: RT2070 USB Wireless dongle instalation on: December 25, 2012, 10:57:06 AM
Check the dependencies for RT2870USB, it might need a later version of "make", "gcc", etc. than the one you are using.
148  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: Wireless not working with DLINK dongle on USB on: December 09, 2012, 05:29:02 AM
Looking here:

Then at your lsusb listing, it appears that you have revision 2 of the DWA-140 device. That site shows that the driver for this is a version of the rt2870 driver designed for your card revision. To my knowledge, this driver is not included in DSL.

As a result, you will need to find a module (or group of modules) already compiled for the kernel used in DSL (2.4.31), or compile it yourself from the source code (if it is available). I described this process in greater detail here (ignore PCMCIA specific parts such as modifications to "/etc/pcmcia/config"):

However, having attained the driver modules, you will have to configure them with HotPlug. I have no idea what this would involve as I have not installed a driver for a USB device in DSL. I understand that mainstream Linux distributions no longer use HotPlug, so keep this in mind when looking online for information.

also, if you have another wireless card about, it may be more suitable than the one you are trying.
149  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: RTL8180 / 8185 Drivers for Wireless PCMCIA card on: November 18, 2012, 03:24:39 AM
Your first port of call should be "linux-wless.passys.nl". This database lists the compatibility of a great number of cards with Linux and the drivers with which the working ones work. Or look at how puppy does it as described in the second last paragraph. Or seing as you already know the driver (when will I learn to read), just look it up directly and ignore what I say.

You now need to work out the Linux driver you need (should be some good hints at the above site) and what the module's file name is (with "_cs" on the end of the name for the PCMCIA version, and the ".o" extension). Now we need to have a peek in "/lib/modules/2.4.31/pcmcia" to find out if we already have the module in DSL. If it isn't there, use the find tool to search for the module anywhere in "/lib/modules" as I have a slight memory of some other modules hiding somewhere (I could well be wrong).

If the driver still can't be found (if it can, skip the paragraph after next), you need to really hit google and other file searching places for a module built for the 2.4.31 kernel. Try to find an old mainstream distribution to grab it from. Now chances are this will be a dead end (at least if my luck is anything to go by). Now if you can grab the source code of the driver from somewhere, you can compile it yourself, but this might be a bit of a leap for you (and I can't really help because I can never find the darn source code for my modules). Most likely you will find a module for another 2.4.x kernel version. This would probably work if we wern't using PCMCIA and just loading it with insmod and the -f parameter (or whatever the "force" switch was), however I've never been able to force the loading of modules in the PCMCIA system (if anyone out there knows, I'm all ears), hence it will stop loading with a message telling you to look at the kernel version.

The following will only work if you have a HDD install of DSL, if not then I don't have a clue what you would do. You should probably back up all the files you modify as well, just in case.

Now, if you did manage to navigate that minefield and end up with a module for the 2.4.31 kernel, we now need to set it up. Now this is where the time since I played around with this starts to tell and I can't guarantee that what I'm about to tell you isn't just the product of mixed and dying memories, but give it a try anyway. First copy the module to "/lib/modules/2.4.31/pcmcia" (unless it was already there). Now we want to open a terminal and do "cardctl id", from memory this should show you the identification info of your PCMCIA cards. Now we want to attack "/etc/pcmcia/config" with nano or another text editor run a root. Here, have a look at the top entries for devices and copy them, inserting the name of your module and classing it as "network". If your driver uses more than one module, look at the orinoco_cs driver for an example and check the web for the order they should be listed in (it might not matter, just my memory again). Now if we were building from scratch, you would have to create one of the "device" entries to identify the card based on the info you read with cardctl. But you said the card works with Puppy so you should be able to grab the relevent lines from the "/etc/pcmcia/config" file in there (I've never really used puppy, so I'm only assuming things are the same). So open that and search for some of the "version" info that came up with cardctl. When you find the relevent device entry, copy it somewhere, then load up the DSL one again and add it to that, remembering to check that the driver names are identical (otherwise just change it to the name of the driver you are using with DSL).

OK, now reboot the machine and see if the card is recognised, then open a terminal and execute ifconfig and iwconfig without parameters. If they show an entry other than "lo" (and "eth0" if the laptop has an ethernet port), then you have cause to try and connect to your wifi. If you have problems, open a terminal and use "lsmod" to show your loaded modules, if the module is there, then look up what name the card should have been given (eg. eth0 (which would be eth1 if you already had an ethernet port using eth0)) and try doing "ifconfig [name]", if it can't find the adapter then we have a compatibility problem with the driver. If the driver isn't listed by lsmod, then make sure the entries in "/etc/pcmcia/config" are correct and look for error messages at startup. Otherwise, the module/s could be failing to load due to an incompatibility, in this case you need to look at the boot logs.

Well I hope some of that was useful, good luck. If worst comes to worst, that $25 will easilly buy a known compatible PCMCIA wireless card 2nd hand off Ebay.
150  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Firefox on DSL 4.11 on: September 29, 2012, 09:30:24 AM
64MB RAM is quite small for Firefox even though the processor should be fast enough. I think I can remember trying to load Firefox in DSL running with 32MB RAM on a Pentium 1 and had a similar experience with the CD access and slow loading time. I think that time I left it going while I did something else and by the time I came back it was loaded, so perhaps it might pay to give it some ridiculous amount of time.

Now I have 81MB RAM in that machine and a HDD install, Firefox loads in an almost bearable time but isn't really useable on a 120MHz Pentium 1.

However it could perhaps also be an issue with the disc you burned so it might be worth verifying that just in case.

As for installing newer versions of Firefox in DSL, check the archive of the old forum. I'm not sure if anyone got a post Firefox 2 version to work but if they did it would have been a struggle.
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