First use of Damn Small Linux
Forum: DSL Tips and Tricks
Topic: First use of Damn Small Linux
started by: jhsu
Posted by jhsu on Aug. 06 2008,19:21From my web site at < http://www.jasonhsu.com/linux-start.html >
Booting up the Damn Small Linux CD
1. If the boot order is properly set, and the Damn Small Linux CD is already in the CD-ROM drive as you begin the booting or rebooting process, the OS will begin to boot up.
2. When the DSL splash screen comes on, you can press F2 to get one set of options or F3 to get another set of options. Although instructions appear stating this, the text may be too faint to read. (Once one of the option screens does appear, you can toggle back and forth between the F2 and F3 options.) If you press F2, you'll see that you can run DSL entirely from RAM if you enter the command "dsl toram". If you don't go to the F2 or F3 screens, DSL will boot up with the default configuration.
3. If you see a message telling you that you passed an undefined mode number, press the space bar to continue. (I don't understand the mode number or video modes.)
4. The OS will continue booting up.
5. When the OS is finished booting up, right-click on the desktop to get the DSL menu. Select Window Manager -> Switch to jwm.
6. Go to the DSL menu. Select System -> XVesa. Select 800x600x16. Now you can see the desktop icons for various applications.
7. If the computer is properly connected to the broadband modem, and the broadband modem is powered up and properly connected to the phone line, you should be already connected to the Internet. You do NOT need to enter your login and password like you had to under Windows.
Rescuing Files From the Hard Drive
1. Boot up the Damn Small Linux CD and plug a USB storage drive to the USB port on the computer.
2. Click on the Emelfm icon.
3. In the left pane of Emelfm, go to the directory /mnt .
4. Select the subdirectory hda1, right-click on it, and select Mount. This mounts the hard drive and gives you access to all of the files on it.
5. Select the directory containing the files you wish to save.
6. In the right pane of Emelfm, go to the directory /mnt .
7. Select the subdirectory for the USB storage drive (could be sda1, sdb1, or sdc1), right-click on it, and select Mount. This mounts the USB storage drive.
8. Click on the copy button to copy the files on the left (hard drive) to the drive on the right (USB storage drive).
1. ATerminal: Bash shell (command line)
2. Emelfm: GUI for navigating the directories, like Windows Explorer
3. XZGV: for viewing graphics files
4. Beaver: text editor
5. Firefox: web browser
6. Siag: spreadsheet
7. XMMS: for playing audio and video files
8. DSL panel: points you to important functions, analogous to the Control Panel in Windows
9. axyFTP: FTP tool
10. Sylpheed: email client, analogous to Microsoft Outlook
11. XPaint: like Microsoft Paint
12. Dillo: lightweight web browser
13. MyDSL: for installing additional applications
14. Ted: primitive word processor for RichText documents
15. Xpdf: for reading pdf files, analogous to Adobe Acrobat Reader
Killing a Process
1. Right-click on the desktop to get the DSL menu.
2. Select Apps -> Tools -> Xkill
3. Place the cursor on the window you wish to kill, and it will be gone.
Printer Setup (1st printer)
1. Make sure that the printer is on and properly connected to the computer.
2. DSL Menu -> System -> Printing/lpd -> configure printer
3. Accept the license, use the default owner and group values for spooldir, and overwrite existing entries.
4. Select Printer Drive Selection
5. Go through each of the printer types until you find your model of printer. When you find your model of printer, select it.
6. Select the appropriate Interface Setup.
7. Select the appropriate paper format (probably US letter)
8. Print the test page to verify that the configurations are correct. If nothing prints, or if gibberish comes out, at least one of your configuration settings is incorrect.
9. When the test page prints out correctly, select the option to install the printer with the values shown. Note that the name of the printer is "lp".
10. Select the option to finish the installation.
11. Go to DSL menu -> System -> Printer/lpd -> start
12. In a non-root shell, type "export PRINTER=lp".
Posted by lucky13 on Aug. 07 2008,22:37Tips and tricks, unless specified for particular hardware, should be written for a general audience. Writing about your own settings isn't helpful if someone who knows less than you assumes this will help him/her.
If you don't understand something, isn't the normal recourse to understand before telling others to ignore it? Since you mentioned the F2/F3 help screens, maybe you should read the one called "vga=normal." Or the ones with more of those numbers that will help you set your video up properly at boot.
Why switch to jwm after booting? The cheatcode "desktop=jwm" is listed in F3... and the process is reversed in DSL 4.
What if your video was properly detected and configured or if you ran with the xsetup cheatcode instead of whacking your space bar? What if your max resolution is 640x480x8? What if it's not 800x600? What if you need to run framebuffer instead of vesa? Please don't give instructions to a general audience for YOUR OWN hardware. That ends up causing more confusion to users who need less of that.
Again, that may work for *you* but you're posting to a general audience. Not everyone's broadband connects just like yours and they may still have to get past authorization -- and unlike Windows, that authorization takes a different form via some of the other tools (PPP-related) included in DSL to deal with those circumstances.
Add a 9th entry to the mounting/rescuing section: unmount your media before removing (or wait until you shutdown the system so it will be safely unmounted).
Posted by WDef on Aug. 08 2008,06:49Looking at jhsu's post does take me back - I'm pretty sure I wrote lists like this when I first started using dsl, to remember what worked for me.
It's a good reminder of just how many usability steps there are for a newbie in adjusting from a Windows-centric experience. I had no idea how to access partitions the first time I booted or set the resolution. I managed to guess emelfm was a filemanager (by the icon), but I was horrified by its 1980s look and because I couldn't drag and drop anything (lol). Now I love emelfm.
jhsu: all you need to do with this sort of post is say at the beginning: "here are my notes on using dsl on my MyBox X1000" or whatever it is.