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cat: virtual memory exausted

Help! Please anybody.  I am trying to install debian on a 486 with 4 megs 

of ram.  When I put in the root disk it mounts minix filesystem and then

gives me this "eror opening terminal: Linux." and then a long list of

"cat: virtual memory exausted" over and over.  Does anybody know why.

I am new to Linux so I am at a stand still until I can find out what is

wrong.  If it matters I am installing on top of an old version of slackware

(that someboy else put on there), I am planing to repartition the drive.  

I would be very greatful to anyone who might know what is wrong.

Thank you.


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