punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

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Linux - The Gentoo Floppy Install search continues...

I have been doing a lot of research on this, and of course, I read the Gentoo guides. The first two I have read are these:

In addition, I have read this in the Forums:

But very quickly, I realize this is fairly useless because of one of the first steps:

1. Acquire a boot disk
Formerly tomsrtbt was the best disk to use, but it no longer works because the kernel on it is too old. The best choice now is to use boot disks from another distro such as Slackware. See the discussion thread linked below for more suggestions. Some of this HOWTO still refers to tomsrtbt, but the procedure is basically the same for other boot disks.

Well, this is super and all, but I think the people that wrote this never actually tried the method or Slackware Install disks, and I know this hasn't been updated in a long time because there are several links they have which are very old. So I decided, even though it was "cheating," to follow their advice. The majority of users will fail at the step that asks them to unpack a tarball from a CD-ROM. What if don't have one? Or worse yet, what if you have one of those laptops that you can either have a floppy drive, or a CDROM, but not both as the same time? Like a lot of older Dell systems? That's worse, because the BIOS having a non-bootable CD-ROM just taunts and tantilizes you. Many laptop companies stopped this because in made reinstalling the OS really difficult. So a lot of them have working hardware, just Win98 is hosed, and since it's can't be reinstalled without sending it back to the manufacturer at great cost (who will just swap a new hard drive), a lot of these Laptops are offered cheap. And then people want to put Linux on them.

In my case, I have some P266 machines with 196mb RAM as a challenge. They have no CD-ROMs. At all. But they do have NICs. Now, with Red Hat, Slackware, Mandrake, and even OpenBSD, I can install via ftp, nfs, or even http if I am so inclined. But to do that in Gentoo, I need a working shell with a DHCP client. The Slackware Install disks do not have DHCP. Why do you need dhcp? Because I need DNS. Why do I need DNS? Because all the emerge stuff won't work off of IP alone.

Now Fedora Core 1 install disks have this. So I am going to try with those, and re-write my FAQ.
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