Damn Small Linux (DSL) Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 01, 2014, 12:14:02 PM

Login with username, password and session length
News
The new DSL forums are now open.
Stats
297732 Posts in 294152 Topics by 207 Members
Latest Member: MiguelBer
Search:     Advanced search
* Home Help Search Login Register
Get The Official Damn Small Linux Book. Great VPS hosting provided by Tektonic

+  Damn Small Linux (DSL) Forums
|-+  Damn Small Linux
| |-+  Other Help Topics
| | |-+  Making the switch from Windows XP to Damn Small Linux
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Making the switch from Windows XP to Damn Small Linux  (Read 740 times)
Masterjedi688
Guest
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:28:21 AM »

My PC is old, about 7-8 years of age.  It's a Dell Dimension B110 with 1 GB at the moment but it can expand to 2 GB.  It has a Celeron (R) CPU with 2.53 GHz and 768 RAM.  I'd like to delete all of the Windows XP files because there is nothing important on them.  Can DSL be the main OS?  The CDs that are sold, are they the same size as music CDs and movie CDs?
Logged
CNK
Full Member
***
Posts: 148


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 07:32:11 AM »

Yep, DSL can easilly be that main OS on your PC. You'll want to deside between a HDD install or a Frugal install though. Details are on the Wiki, but basically a HDD install keeps all the files changable on the HDD and allows you to make permanent changes, a Frugal install is smaller and keeps the system files compressed in a non-writable way so changes and additional programs must be set to automatically load during the startup procedure.

You'll need to repartition your HDD as well, as described in the Wiki.

As for the CD, DSL was designed to be able to fit on "business card" sized CDs which sit in a recess in the tray of most CD drives (they are often used for the driver CDs with computer products), they have a 50MB capacity. However DSL can easilly written to a full size CD, and this is an option on the CD sales page.
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 04:53:39 PM »

I'm not very tech savvy and what you just explained to me and what I read on the wiki really made no sense.  This sounds complicated to do.  I thought it would be just insert the cd in the hard drive and the PC would do the rest.  This repartition thing I don't understand.  I do have a learning disability so all of this is not going to be easy installing.  Is there another way of explaining it to me that would make sense?  I would appreciate it very much of you could CNK.  Sorry for asking this.  I just want XP out of my computer.  Thanks.
Logged
CNK
Full Member
***
Posts: 148


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 10:26:54 PM »

The partitioning step should be the only thing you have to do manually, the rest should be done through a script and you can just select the default options.

I'm not sure if you realise that DSL can actually boot from the CD, so you run the OS from that to use during the installation. Once it has loaded the desktop, open a root terminal window (in the DSL menu this is under "Xshells>Root Access").

Now type the following and press "enter":
Code:
cfdisk -z /dev/hda
This should bring up an interface showing one partition entry labeled with the type "Free Space".

Now use the left/right arrow keys to select the "new" button at the bottom of the window and press "enter". Then press "enter" at the next two prompts ("primary" and the partition size) as the default values will do.

Finally press "enter" on the "bootable" button (selected after the previous steps), then move to the "write" button and press "enter", then confirm that you want to make the changes (this step will destroy the Windows installation).

If you make a mistake, just go to "Quit" and start again, nothing is changed on the HDD untill you tell the program to "Write".

We didn't make a swap partition for the PC to use if it runs out of memory because your machine has more than enough to run DSL very well without using the HDD for extra.

Now it's hard to know whether you would want a Frugal or HDD install, but a HDD install would make it easier to install new software and keep settings changes, so I'll describe the process for that:

Open the DSL menu and go to "Apps>Tools>Install to Hard Drive". Type "hda1" at the first prompt and you should be able to press "enter" at the following options to use the default values.

When it's done, restart the computer and remove the DSL CD before it starts booting. You should boot to a menu of boot options (the default one is best for starters), then when you press "enter" DSL should start booting and you'll be set.


However before you do the above, I do recommend that you first have a play with DSL running from the CD to see that it works properly and does what you want. In particular the version of "Firefox" web browser it comes with, and which can't be upgraded, is old and incompatible with a few modern websites. A more modern and perhaps easier to use Distro that may work with your hardware is Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net), it still requires you to manually create partitions though (including a swap partition).
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 10:48:18 PM »

Thanks CNK.  If I choose Knoppix, I would follow the same instructions you posted here?  Is Knoppix small like DSL?  What makes it better then DSL?
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 01:50:41 PM »

An HDD install is an install with the cd?  What is a partition?
Logged
CNK
Full Member
***
Posts: 148


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 10:50:25 PM »

Quote
An HDD install is an install with the cd?

Both installs can be done from the CD. The CD contains the system that you want to copy to your computer. A Frugal install means the system is compressed on the HDD and can't be changed directly, while a plain HDD install just copies the files directly, so more space is used, but you can modify things easilly.

Quote
What is a partition?

A partition is basically just an area of the HDD that the Operating System is allowed to read and write data to. If you have more than one partition, you can treat them like different drives all togeather and use them for different jobs. With DSL, we only really need one partition which covers the whole drive (which is what I described previously), for Knoppix you would need another one to act as extra memory in case you ran out.

Quote
Is Knoppix small like DSL?  What makes it better then DSL?

DSL is designed to run on old computers from the late 1990s era, and also to be very small in size. Due to this, it is limited to an old set of core software which is now not compatible with a lot of newer programs (like many of the latest web browsers). Knoppix supports newer software, including some packages that may make the system easier for you to use. I don't know what you want to do with your computer, that's why I suggested you try DSL running from the CD and then decide whether it does what you want before installing it permanently. If it doesn't suit you, Knoppix is another option that might.

Quote
If I choose Knoppix, I would follow the same instructions you posted here?

You could use a similar process to that I described earlier for installing Knoppix, but you would have to create two partitions (one for the Operating System files, another "swap" partition to act as extra memory) of different sizes on the drive.
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 12:02:59 AM »

Basically what I want to do with my computer is to continue surfing the web, chat with friends, upload pictures, watch music videos, play music via cd, go onto other websites like Facebook etc...The computer is not used for school work or business work, strictly for fun and entertainment.
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2014, 12:05:13 AM »

And my computer is connected wireless via a USB stick. 
Logged
CNK
Full Member
***
Posts: 148


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2014, 10:25:56 PM »

It's likely that you'll find that some of your regular websites won't work properly with the Firefox web browser version included with DSL and, as I said earlier, it isn't able to be upgraded. However try running DSL from the CD and make up your own mind.

The USB wireless card may be a problem to get working in DSL, depending on the model. This is another thing you can try while running from the CD. Again you may have better luck with Knoppix if it doesn't work.

Assuming it is automatically detected, you can enable the card using the utility in the DSL menu in "Setup>Net Setup>iwconfig". Enter the name of your wireless network in the "sid" box and the password in the "wep" box. If it says something like "interface not found", open a terminal window and type "iwconfig", then try all the different codes listed at the left of the window, which don't have "no wireless extensions" printed next to them, in the "device" box of the "iwconfig setup" window.
Logged
Masterjedi688
Guest
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 10:37:14 PM »

Ok.  Looks like I have some thinking to do.  Thanks for all the advice.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Mercury design by Bloc