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Downloading Linux on 56k

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So far gentoo seems to be the only linux that is possible for me to download. With a minimal installer of 81 megs its hard to beat in size. But will it be user friendly, are there any catches? If you know of a better distro I can get by 56k please let me know. thanks

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Well, the catch is that the minimal cd does not really include anything. It includes enough to bring your computer up so that you can download the rest of what you need from the net. This means you still probably have 100 MB or more left to download after that first 81 MB. This would be the recommended setup for you, as downloading the full cd would be overkill (unless you have problems that prevent the minimal cd from working). This allows you to download what you need for only your architecture. Otherwise, do what Slackey recommends, and order a cd.

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Quote:
Original post by try_catch_this
So far gentoo seems to be the only linux that is possible for me to download. With a minimal installer of 81 megs its hard to beat in size.

There's linux distros of all sizes, from floppy versions to full-scale desktop versions with just about every piece of freeware ever written (including their sources). So I wouldn't consider 81 megs small without looking at what's included.
I remember downloading a slackware floppy dist and transfering it to my (ancient) laptop, getting just about everything except x (in a lot less than 80 megs).

Quote:
But will it be user friendly, are there any catches?

No, it won't. Wheter linux is user-friendly in any state is a matter of debate but without a desktop environment like gnome or kde you'll have to invest a lot of time in it.

Quote:
If you know of a better distro I can get by 56k please let me know.

You can pretty much count on not getting anything 'user-friendly' at less than half a gigabyte or so, and while gentoo might be small it's far from the easiest system to setup.
Try to make someone download it for you or borrow some cds, anything from the last half decade or so should be fine.

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Original post by try_catch_this
I _cant_ get broadband and it will take less time to download gentooo than to order a cd.

I dont really care once It is up an running.

Back to the orignal question, is there a smaller distro?
Damn Small Linux (which is based on Knoppix, which is based on Debian) is only 50 megs or so. I don't know what you get for that, however. Gnome and KDE can be up to 200-300 megs each, so don't count on getting them for cheap.

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If you want something that's not a livecd you can try out Vector. It's a bit bigger than DSL(331MB) but it's a very viable distro and comes with some 56k tools IIRC.

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Unfortunately, although I'm a Gentoo user and a Gentoo fan, I have to say that if Internet access speed is your problem, then running Gentoo would be a phenomenally bad idea. The installer is minimal and doesn't include any substantial software - only what you need to fetch and install said software - so you would still have to download everything. Furthermore, Gentoo distributes everything by source - source code being generally larger than compiled binaries, you would in fact have to download a lot more than if you were running a binary distribution. I would therefore suggeast you either download a binary distribution, or order some Linux distribution on CD.

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I strongly recommend Damn Small Linux. It's the only distribution i have come across that has everything you need in 50 mb. X, text editor, navigator, etc.

It's a live-cd but you can also install it to your hard drive. And you can install any extra software you want via apt-get from any debian server.

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Original post by try_catch_this
well, I just want something up and working for now
I guess I will download another binary later cause I already have alot of the file downloaded.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but let me clarify - after you download and run the Gentoo installer, you have no software. What you have is essentially a boot loader, drivers for IDE, SCSI, Ethernet, framebuffers, and so on and so forth, and the very basic tools you need in order to later install software. Any software you install from here on - including the kernel, X.org, Gnome, KDE, whatever - you will have to download, and download in source form, which is much larger.

Gentoo is wonderful, but I would not want to use it if I had a <=56k connection. Installing and updating software would be extremely painful.

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Arch is a little big(for you), but I like it.

It has a very slick package manager which can download packages. The full iso is about 500 megs (w/x11 & xfce)

The only thing that can be a problem is the install, but I figured it out fairily easily.

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I would suggest you order the CDs with the distro on them for one main reason:

the bare gentoo installer isn't going to get you anywere(I think it would be a pain to download KDE and Gnonme from the command line). When you order the CDs(which aren't expensive anyway) You get a ton of software that would take you weeks to download(and lots of software you are really going to need). You can't really do anything with 81 Mgs of software. It would take the whole point out of actually installing Linux(installing and downloading software is a pain in linux save youself some time and install the software when you install the OS). Forget DSL and spend some cash to get a real distro.

[Edited by - QzarBaron on August 22, 2004 8:48:59 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by QzarBaron
I would suggest you order the CDs with the distro on them for one main reason:

the bare gentoo installer isn't going to get you anywere(I think it would be a pain to download KDE and Gnonme from the command line). When you order the CDs(which aren't expensive anyway) You get a ton of software that would take you weeks to download(and lots of software you are really going to need). You can't really do anything with 81 Mgs of software. It would take the whole point out of actually installing Linux(installing and downloading software is a pain in linux save youself some time and install the software when you install the OS. Forget DSL and spend some cash to get a real distro.


great advice.

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Four years ago I downloaded a RedHat distro - a full iso image - over 56kb connection. It took three days, but I did it while I went on a trip out of town. I used a download reconnect program to ensure that the package would be complete when I got back. I burned the iso to cd and I was good to go. I wouldn't recommend this approach. Like others have said, buying a cd is the way to go.

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Well I warned you to get a real distro. DSL and distros like that are small for a reason. They are missing a lot of stuff. I really hope you have your Windows CDs. I would hate to lose Windows(since I have a lot of games that only run on Windows). I don't have my Cds.

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I already saw zipslack mentioned but I thought I'd mention it again. It only takes about a day to download on a 56k modem and, as was previously said, just dump it on a fat parition. Windows XP is somewhat of a pain in the ass (you can't boot to a dos prompt unless you make a boot disk. This is very simple in xp, however).

Insert floppy, go to My Computer, right click the drive letter, select "Format", select "Make DOS [whatever it says, you'll see it]" and there ya go.

And order a slackware cd while you're at it too ;) Zipslack is just an appetizer, imo.

- Stephen

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