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New to m68k: minimalist MacOS install?

Hey all,

I've recently come into possession of a batch of old Macs, including 
some m68k machines.  Having known people for years who ran Linux on 
their Macs, I have a fair idea how to get Linux loaded on these 
machines, but I'm running into a couple problems with one machine, at
least in part because of how underpowered it is.

The machine in question is an LC III with an 80MB hard drive -- big
enough, I believe, to get a small root partition on there and NFS mount 
the rest; and powerful enough to do some compiling and testing if I'm 
patient, which is all I plan to use the machine for.  Trouble is, being 
so small, the drive naturally only has one partition on it.  I've tried 
popping the drive into my x86 machine and manually shrinking the 
partition, but my best efforts at copying the data onto a smaller 
partition still render the system unbootable.  Since this machine only
has floppy & network, I'm not enthusiastic about having to do a fresh
install of MacOS after partitioning only to turn around and install

So my questions are basically twofold:

What's the smallest MacOS partition I can get away with for use in 
bootstrapping Linux, and what do I need to have on there?

Is there a way to unpack everything onto the drive while I have it 
hooked up to my Linux server, such that I can just drop the drive back 
into the LC III and boot into Linux?

Ideally, I'd love it if someone could float me a barebones partition 
image that I could dd to the drive and use for the MacOS bootloader; but 
barring that[1], any pointers would be appreciated.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

[1] E.g., although I know System 7.5.3 is a free download, I haven't
looked if it's legal to redistribute.

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