[conspire] my old acer laptop

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Jan 5 12:30:53 PST 2003

Quoting Dan (robxbob at LinuxWillBe.com):

> Conspirators,
> while cleaning out my closet,
> I found an old acer laptop running windows 95.
> It only has a floppy drive.
> Where might I find a "tiny" linux distribution
> which would fit on 1,2,3 or 4 floppies?

Well, you could start here:

You didn't mention how much disk space it has, or how much RAM.
Probably, it has at least 8 MB, and I would hope at least 16 MB.  (Less
than that is pretty painful with Win9x.)

If you're _determined_ to get Linux going on a machine as small as 2 MB
of RAM and a 40 MB hard drive, see this page:

Given enough hard disk space (e.g., 300 MB or so), you can put a fairly 
liveable Slackware installation on such a laptop, working solely from
floppy disks.  Unless they've... um..., slacked off, they still make the
whole thing available on floppy images.  For that matter, you can get
the Debian Base System via something like 13 floppies.

And there are some possibilities you might not have thought of, yet:
PLIP is a method of getting IP (and thus, NFS, http, ftp, etc.) running
over parallel-port "laplink" cables.

With the aid of some other existing Linux machine, you can boot a Linux
installation floppy, get PLIP going, and then install just about any 
Linux distribution from the other machine (over the PLIP channel).  

And then, things are even easier if the Acer just happens to also have a
PCMCIA slot, even if you don't (yet) have an ethernet card for it,
because you can certainly borrow one for the duration of the
installation effort.

> It does not need to run X, just vi.

If the laptop has at least _32 MB_, then I'd say getting X11 going is
very worthwhile.  Less than that, maybe, but you won't get tremendous
mileage out of it.  Less than 16 MB, don't bother.

By the way, you might be able to justify adding RAM to such a machine,
even at this late date.  Call up SA Technology, http://satech.com/ , 
and ask them how much.

Cheers,                                      "My file system's got no nodes!"
Rick Moen                                    "How does it shell?"
rick at linuxmafia.com  

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