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Re: micro debian

Douglas Tutty wrote:

>Does anyone know of a project to make a micro-distribution of debian for
>use on older hardware?  Eg 486, 32 MB, 100 MB.  One problem with
>installing with Woody and upgrading is that the list of packages in Main
>is so huge it takes up a good chunk of disk space (and memory space when
>using aptitude).  Its getting harder and harder to use old hardware for
>things like firewalls or print servers not because the application needs
>more oompf but because the package managment system takes up so much
>I would like a simple system that can be kept up-to-date (i.e. remain
>part of stable) with security updates and all, with the following
>capabilites/programs (in no order):
>	mc
>	lynx
>	wget
>	shorewall
>	bzip2
>	tar
>	vim
>	mutt
>	exim4
>	lpd (more advanced spoolers take up a lot of room)
>	minicom
>	setserial
>	ssh
>	mgetty
>	man pages
>	installation manual, debian-reference, shorewall docs,
>		harden-doc, etc
>	basic X with a pdf reader for documentation that is only in pdf
>		(e.g. hardware documentation on CD)
>The driving force behind this is the experience of having my main
>computer totally die suddenly.  The only hardware I had that worked was
>the 486 and initially only a 171 MB hd.  The only media I had was a
>woody CD set.  Backup media was CD, Zip, and floppy (intentionally, so
>that worked as planned).  I later found a larger hard drive so I could
>For ancillary computer uses (e.g. a firewall), having an install option
>that focuses on a small footprint would be usefull, eg. no man pages,
>no documentation, etc since that's all on the main computer.  This
>suggests a modified package installation where the documentation doesn't
>get installed.  However, for security I would want to use the regular
>debian packages.  I don't want a totally separate distro.
>Any ideas?
I installed sarge base-install in a amd 300mhz, 64mb and 20gb hdd. It
worked ok for like one year. I still keep it around, but not powered on
all the time. With 100mb hdd I don't think debian would like it, maybe
with ther larger hdd you mentioned. A 486 with 32mb would be slow but
feasible. The bottleneck is really diskspace.
Why don't you try a base-install on it, and skip completely the step for
installing more software (can't remember the exact name...), keeping
only the base system? Maybe it fits in, say, 200mb.
If you decide for a separate firewall distro, though, i recommend
brazilfw, which is the successor of coyote linux:

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