Parallel Frugal Installation

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Parallel Frugal Installation

Here are step-by-step instructions for what I call a "Parallel Frugal" Damn Small Linux installation. That's a DSL installation that co-exists with one or more other Linux installations using GRUB to select among them at boot time. Such an installation can be done without burning a CD.

My laptop is set up to multi-boot WinXP and three "normal" distributions of Linux. In addition to those options, it also boots the current versions of DSL3, DSL4, and DSL-N. This page documents the DSL3 installation.

       /dev/sda6             7.6G  4.0G  3.3G  55% /
       /dev/sda2             5.6G  543M  4.7G  11% /working

First I download the current ISO and verify that nothing went awry during the download.

       wget -N
       wget -N
       md5sum dsl-3.4.9.iso
       cat dsl-3.4.9.iso.md5.txt

(Note that dsl-3.4.10 has been released since I started this page. Since all the shell commands and outputs are cut'n'paste for accuracy, I've not updated anything.)

Next I mount the ISO image and create my target subdirectory.

       sudo mkdir /media/cdrom0
       sudo mount dsl-3.4.9.iso -t iso9660 -o loop /media/cdrom0
       sudo mkdir /working/KNOPPIX/

Now I copy the essential pieces of DSL to the target.

       sudo cp -p /media/cdrom0/boot/isolinux/linux24 /working/KNOPPIX/
       sudo cp -p /media/cdrom0/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz /working/KNOPPIX/
       sudo cp -p /media/cdrom0/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX /working/KNOPPIX/

Everything is in place. I just need to tell the boot manager about this new option.

       sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
       title	Damn Small Linux 3.4.9 (hda2)
       root	(hd0,1)
       kernel   /KNOPPIX/linux24 fromhd=/dev/hda2 root=/dev/hda2 restore=hda2 toram frugal
       initrd	/KNOPPIX/minirt24.gz

Note: While Ubuntu refers to the target partition as /dev/sda2, DSL knows it as /dev/hda2. That's critical information.

And we're done. Reboot the laptop and DSL3 is available on the boot menu and boots up just fine. Treat it exactly as you would any other frugal installation of Damn Small Linux.