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I have made an attempt to put a Debian install page under the Linrad Home Page. The procedure failed, it seems to me one has to start with a more complete CD than the sarge-i386-netinst.iso. This may affect the installation procedure for ALSA and svgalib so I stop at this point.
Leif / SM5BSZ.
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Use your favourite search engine and look for Debian. The links you get (some of them) should make clear why it may be a good idea to choose this particular Linux distribution.
Unlike RedHat and Suse which are commercial, Debian is free software as well as Fedora (which is sponsored by RedHat).
Fedora is reasonably easy to install even for a newcomer to Linux. To make the installation of Debian reasonably easy to someone who has not ever worked with Linux, this page gives detailed instructions how to get Linrad running on a computer that has Internet access.
Use a search engine to locate the file sarge-i386-netinst.iso on the Internet. Make sure you trust the location, you will boot your computer from a CD containing this file........... Place the file on a CD so you can boot from it. (I have no idea how to do that under MS Windows, but under Linux the command is cdrecord -v -eject speed=8 dev=0,0,0 sarge-i386-netinst.iso) You need a Pentium class computer or better with at least 24 megabytes of RAM memory, 1 gigabyte of hard disk space, a CD drive and an Internet connection. If the computer is old you may also need a floppy drive. The screen should be capable of at least xxxx pixels and finally you need a soundcard. Finding drive routines for very modern sound or video cards could be problematic, the installation procedure outlined below should be optimum in the sense that it will look for the most recent versions for the device driver packages.
Boot the install system
Reasonably modern computers can boot directly off the CD. If you can do this, just boot from the CD and to the next paragraph.
If your computer is too old to boot from the CD, you need a boot floppy. You may produce a boot floppy on another computer that has a working operating system on it. There is good documentation on the CD, here is one way of doing it under Windows2000. Copy the file UNZ512X3.EXE from the directory \TOOLS on the CD to writable disk space (hard disk or floppy) and run the self-unpacking program. You will get 13 files, one of them is UNZIP.EXE. Copy RWWRTWIN.ZIP from the \TOOLS directory of the CD to where UNZIP.EXE now resides, log to this place and type UNZIP RWWRTWIN.ZIP. This will give the file RWWRTWIN.EXE. Finally type RWWRTWIN to produce a boot floppy with the file \INSTALL\SBM.BIN on the CD as the "image file"
In case you only have the old computer, you may boot it into MSDOS from a floppy that supplies CD support. Then insert an empty floppy and copy UNZ512X3.EXE and RAWRITE1.ZIP to it from \TOOLS on the CD. Run UNZ512X3 while logged to the floppy to get UNZIP.EXE onto the floppy. Then type UNZIP RAWRITE1.ZIP to get the file RAWRITE3.COM. Finally type RAWRITE3 and give \INSTALL\SBM.BIN on the CD as the "source file" to create a boot floppy. If you create it in the A drive the process will end with an error message because the file COMMAND.COM is not present on the A drive at the exit of RAWRITE3 which is perfectly OK.
Once you have a boot floppy with SBM.BIN on it, just boot from it with the CD in place in the CD drive. Choose the CD drive from the boot menu that comes up. A dialog window "save changes (y/n)" comes up but it does not seem to make any difference what answer you give.
The initial dialogue of the Sarge install procedure
Once you have booted from the CD, directly or via a boot floppy, the Debian welcome screen appears. Just press ENTER to proceed and select your language for the installation. On a small computer you may be asked if you want to install some kernel modules that may or may not be needed. As a first choice select nothing for "installer components to load". If your ethernet card is not supported by the minimal set of drive routines on the CD, you will be prompted for a "driver floppy"
This is where my install fails. I have not been able to find out how to make a driver floppy containing the 3c509.o file needed for my old network card. Is there anyone on this list who knows what to do? If there is no easy solution I will just stop here and leave Debian installation to experts.
Probably the proper solution would be to install from "CD2" (vanilla).
Feel free to change the text in such a way that I can follow the instructions without using any prior knowledge of Linux (and very little of MSDOS/MSWindows) and make a sucessful install. If I am able to follow it, I will upload it on the Linrad Home Page"
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