Debian Linux Install
July 7, 2004 4:04 PM   Subscribe

What would be a good way to do an absolutely minimal installation of Debian Linux (or a distro based on it) and then install what I need as I need it using apt-get? The system would need to have decent hardware support (ie. work with my cable modem) but, apart from that, contain the minimum required to boot the system and run apt-get.
posted by reklaw to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
They have a net install ISO that I've used with no problems. You're boned if your network card doesn't work with the drivers included on the CD though.
posted by smackfu at 4:22 PM on July 7, 2004

Response by poster: Neat, thanks... not sure how I missed that in my searching. I'm going to download it, burn it, pop it in and cross my fingers, I reckon.
posted by reklaw at 4:25 PM on July 7, 2004

you don't even need an iso, you can do it with two floppies. get the ide-pci version (unless you need scsi) for max compatability with normal hardware.
posted by Hackworth at 4:43 PM on July 7, 2004

Response by poster: I'm installing on a laptop, though: no floppy drive. Which is quite annoying sometimes.
posted by reklaw at 4:53 PM on July 7, 2004

The truly minimal way to go is knoppix, which is based on Debian, and contained entirely on the CD itself. You don't even have to install it.

That said, it's really taken for granted that everyone who uses Debian (and Linux in general) has the same goals that you do. Support for their hardware, minimal install, then you get whatever else you want on a case-by-case basis.

The basic Debian install will hold your hand through partitioning the drive, and installing the boot loader, the file system, and one of the generic kernels (2.4 I think, maybe 2.2), and will run tasksel, which you use to get your staples, like the X window system.

After that, just use dselect, aptitude, or synaptic to find whatever else you need. Don't forget about 'apt-cache search' and 'apt-cache show'.

Floppy drives are obsolete, and there's no shame in not having one.
posted by bingo at 3:07 AM on July 8, 2004

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