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Re: Installing debian from floppies.

I applaud his idea. Like him, I install debian from a pile of diskettes. 
And I cannot FTP a large debian file because I am only allocated a limited 
disk space on my SLIP provider.

On Mon, 23 Oct 1995, Steve Preston wrote:

> I will be installing debian linux in a couple weeks (when I get a new
> hard disk) on a machine at home.  I have installed slackware linux
> several times in the past.
> I prefer to use floppies to transfer the .deb files.
> I have been writing a program to efficiently copy the .deb files to
> floppies (ie. copy the files using the fewest number of floppies).
> My hope was to be able to install the packages from the floppies.  It
> is my intention to make a package, in case others might find it
> useful.
> In order to be maximally useful, I thought it best to write dos file
> system floppies.
> The first problem I had was how to handle .deb files larger than a
> single floppy can hold.  Of course you could use 'tar -M' to write to
> multiple floppies, but this shuts out people who don't have a linux
> machine to write floppies, and it does not result in a dos file system
> disk.
> The next problem I came up against is the 8+3 dos limit on filenames.
> So I wrote an algorithm to generate unique dos names.  The program
> even writes a 'rename' script onto the floppies which will rename the
> files to their original names.
> The problem with this last is that the .deb files must be copied to
> your hard disk (in a linux file system) in order to have their full
> name.  So this destroys the objective for installing the packages
> directly from the floppies.  I guess I could live with this, however.
> Ooh!  It just hit me.  A better solution would be to create symbolic
> links to the files on the floppy.
> Anyway, I have a few questions.
> 1) Would it be useful to many people to be able to install packages
> from DOS diskettes?  (I vote yes on this)
> 2a) How hard would it be to make dpkg work with packages that have been
> split across multiple diskettes?
> 2b) Or would it make sense to require large logical packages, like say,
> emacs, to be split into smaller physical packages, like say, emacs-1,
> emacs-2, etc., and just have the (sub)packages depend on each other?
> -- 
> Steve Preston (spreston@gte.com)

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