newbie stupid questions..

Rick Moen rick at
Sat Jan 22 09:56:18 PST 2000

Quoting ME (dugan at

> Debian has a system which allows you to write some floppy disk image files
> out to a bunch f flloppy disks (I seem to recall about 12 to 18 3.5"
> 1.44Mb floppy disks) just to install a base system.

Nine, for Debian "slink" (2.1).  A "rescue" (boot) disk, a drivers disk,
and seven disks for the base system.  And, actually, the base system can
be installed via NFS, if you want.

Debian "potato" (2.2 beta) requires somewhat more floppies, but those
are still being tested.

> Once the base system was installed, you could use a LAN connection to an
> NFS mount from another machine's HD (maybe at work? Maybe borrow one from
> a friend?)

Once you have the Debian base system installed, you can use Debian's
package tool "apt-get" to retrieve specified packages (and automatically
get any packages required to support them, at the same time) -- via
http, ftp, or other mechanisms.  This is considerably quicker than the
usual drill with other distributions, of basically grabbing the kitchen
sink over NFS or ftp.  In addition, you get the advantage of a leaner
system, containing only what you want.  And you can add other packages
later via the same mechanism.

I describe this basic setup in (still
badly in need of reorganisation and rewriting, sorry).

> Debian is not the easiest packaging systems to use if you are rather new
> to Linux.

I would actively _discourage_ new Linux users from installing Debian.
They should cut their teeth on something easier, and try Debian after
they're used to Linux.

> If you can wait, take the whole box and all the hardware to the next
> install-fest.

That strikes me as being best.

Cheers,                             "Ceterum censeo Linux propaganda est."
Rick Moen                                        -- Seth David Schoen
rick at

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