Playing With DSL

2006-01-02 23:44

DSL (or Damn Small Linux) is a nifty minimalist Linux distribution crammed into a 50 MB iso. It’s designed to run on Pentium 200 era machines and up and Mary’s old Compaq fits that bill so I was intrigued by the idea of removing Windows 98 and putting that on it. DSL is built on top of the Debian packaging system so it’s definitely possible to install a lot more than the base system if you desire too.

I decided to give DSL a try on my computer first this afternoon before trying anything with the Compaq, but ran into a blank black screen problem during the startup sequence once XWindows tried to launch. I just about gave up on getting it working on my computer, but then while poking around on a DSL support forum found a reference to NVidia related XWindows issues and used that info to get things booted up properly.

I haven’t had a chance to really play with things yet, but I expect to have some time this week to explore the system further. I may even give it a go on at work if I can find an old PC to try it with. I’ll try to write up some further impressions later this week.