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Re: Using Linux on old Dell Latitude XPi CD

On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 17:29:25 -0800 (PST)
J Merritt <brookvegas@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have an old laptop I wanted to try to get to work.
> It came with Win 98, which I removed and replaced with
> XP. However, the machine has these specs:
> PMMX 166 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 2 gig HDD
> and the HDD was too small to install SP2 onto the
> machine. As a result, I am convinced that Linux is the
> way to go. Don't know if Debian is the right package

Debian is a distribution containing lots of packages

> or not. Sarge might be too robust for this machine
> particularly w/ HDD size limitations.

Sarge should do just fine

> The other problem I have is that the CD drive is not
> bootable. Apparently the BIOS doesn't support it. I
> tried to do a flash upgrade and it said "Battery must
> be installed." So I gave up on that and am wondering
> if I can create a bootable floppy with some
> super-small distro of Linux and somehow get around
> this that way.
> Does anyone have any suggestions? How can I get an old
> notebook that can only boot from floppy or HDD to
> successfully install Linux, and work within the limits
> of the 2.0 gig hard drive size? I would need a
> breakdown of the process, from creating the floppy to
> installing the package onto the hard drive, preferably
> from a CD. I hope I'm not reaching too far here.

You can boot from floppies and do a net-install, no CD at all. Of course you can also use the CD if you want.

Debian should run just fine in 2 gig, just select packages carefully (don't use the Desktop task, do the manual package selection). Don't use meta packages (they are just meant to install all packages of a 'suite'), select only the components you really need (the dependencies will be installed automatically), don't use 'with-recommends', probably no Gnome/KDE, there are very nice lightweight managers (i like IceWM) and don't install too much stuff at a time.


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