Linux - A Newbie's Experience


December 18, 1995


After researching Linux a lot (mostly here), i decided to use the slackware version. I downloaded the 90+ floppies for Slakware 3.0 from here.

Remember, sarah has 4MB and 1 floppy drive. This proved to be a challenge. The only boot sequence i could get to work was to have the ROOT volume mounted on the floppy drive. This meant that i couldn't use the floppy drive for installing the floppys. Of course, to learn this, i had to (several times) spend 45 minutes answering questions and following menus and screens only to be confronted with:

When it was time to put in the first floppy (A1), as soon as the ROOT floppy was removed from the drive, Linux would crash because its ROOT volume had been removed. I can't say as i blame it, but it wasn't very graceful.

There is an option to install Slackware from NFS, but both of my ethernet cards have this Intel chip that tends to lock up and thus are not supported by the stock kernel. I knew that i could rebuild the kernel with my type of network card enabled, but first i had to get it installed!

The solution that worked for me was to create a 16MB FAT partition and copy the A1-A5 and N1-N4 disks to that partition (each in its own subdirectory). I was then able to mount that partition to read the files during installation which gave me enough of a mimimalist system to load the rest of the disks.

Enough can't be said for owning a copy of The Linux Bible The GNU Testament (Yggdrasil Computing ISBN 1-883601-12-6) It is almost verbatim printed copys of everything you can find at The Linux Documentation Project. But it is 1600 pages (and the requisite CD) and reading it allows you to spend quality time away from the computer screen :). Yeah, what he said. (exception: With a 1600 page book, there aren't a lot of options for paper.)

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This page created December 18, 1995. Last touched Sunday September 25, 2016 02:03 EDT