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Damn Small blows me away..

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#1 Dapper Dan

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 04:59 PM

I played around with Damn Small 5 when it came out several months back, and for a distro you can fit onto one of those mini cds, I thought it was novel and interesting. 2 nights ago I downloaded Damn Small 7, and have been playing with it ever since. It found and configured all my hardware, including my Netgear MA311, (..yes the one that drove me to madness for two weeks!) easily, and after running wlcardconfig and netcardconfig I was on the Internet in a matter of minutes.

Being such a small distro, all the apps are small too, making it very resource friendly. If you have the bandwidth, click "Synaptic" and it will install apt-get, upgrade, then install synaptic, and bring it up with just one click! All the apps fly, and with g-links, you can cruise the Internet at lightening speed. I had Sylpheed downloading my mail in just a few minutes.

I've found most cd based distros to be sluggish, but not Damn Small. In fact, I noticed no lag when bringing up apps and running them, even on my old 650 Celeron box.

I've tried a lot of the live cd distros, and Damn Small Linux has impressed me more than any of the others. You simply won't believe that such a complete distro could be crammed into such a small space! I've since installed it on one of my work machines and it's running perfectly. The install to HD is very simple, quick, (..about 5 minutes!) and it does a good job of installing and setting up Lilo on the MBR.

I first considered the fact that Damn Small creates only an Ext2 file system a drawback, until I realized that journalized file systems are to save you time from shutting down uncleanly. This distro is so small, it can run a complete check after an unclean shutdown about as quickly as it takes larger distros to get up and running using journalized!

Damn Small is ideal for older and slower boxes, and is a great way to create your custom made Debian box from scratch. The people behind this project thought their concept through, and I for one am VERY impressed! This live cd at 47 MB is really neat, and you should download and burn a copy for yourself to see just how truly amazing it is! smile

#2 danleff


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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:01 AM

Puppy Linux is another good one that comes in under 50 mb. You can install it on a zip drive, usb pen drive and to your hard drive, if you wish. Both Puppy and DSL are great small distros.

I've been messing with Puppy for a while and am proud to say that I was able to give the author some clues on how to solve usb keyboard and mouse issues.

Coming from you Dan, I'll have to give DSL a go.

#3 iamroot



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Posted 17 May 2004 - 07:16 AM

Actually what's the difference between all thses live cd distros from the original full HDD installs? Never tried one of these cds before.

#4 Dapper Dan

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 02:07 PM

We have Klaus Knopper to thank for making the the "live cd" distro so popular, which not only is a very useful resue tool, but is also a great way to introduce potential users to Linux and additionally is just downright fun!

The advantage with a live cd distro is that you can boot it on a potential Linux box to see if it will find and configure your hardware, and all of them are different. For instance, Morphix worked like a champ having no problems finding and configuring the hardware on our Toshiba laptop, so I installed it to the hard disk and it still works great. Morphix does not however find and configure the hardware on my old 1998 Celeron 650 satisfactorily, but Damn Small Linux did! Consequently, I installed it to hard drive.

Live cds are also a very valuable tool to rescue your present Linux install if you've accidentally misconfigured something and cannot get your computer to even boot. Once I mis configured /boot/grub.conf, effectively making my box a boat anchor. I used Morphix to mount the hard drive which enabled me to fix it using vi.

If you're a Linux enthusiast, live cd based distros are just downright fun to play with! All of them are so different, and it's fascinating and fun to watch them grow and develop.

I predict all distros will soon adopt the Knoppix standard of the live cd, and incorporate it into their present install cds. What a great way to actually know whether or not an operating system is going to work on a computer without the risk of destroying one's present o.s.!

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