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I'd like to modify Damn Small Linux. What I'm looking to do is, remove some packages normally included (not necessarily if this is very difficult), add some custom software, etc. ...
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  1. #1
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    Modifying DSL


    I'd like to modify Damn Small Linux. What I'm looking to do is, remove some packages normally included (not necessarily if this is very difficult), add some custom software, etc.

    It seems like it should be a ~simple~ task, but I'm newb and would like some direction. I've looked at MyDSL extensions, but I'm not sure I understand exactly how they work.

    Any information, or direction to useful websites or tutorials would be really appreciated. Thanks,
    -David

  2. #2
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    Hello and welcome.

    Linux is a great OS, especially for tweaking and modifying so its just the way you want. Yes, its a relatively simple task to install/uninstall apps and pkgs, once you know your way around the package manager.

    One suggestion... DSL is no longer actively developed so you might wanna go with a current distro.

    Dunno which distro to suggest as I don't know your hardware nor your personal preferences. What I can recommend is picking one of the major distros and begin learning how it works and how to maintain it. You can usually find a lot more info, how to's and tutorials from the major distros and their forums, than the less well known distros.

    Good luck.

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    Hey, thanks for the info.
    Ideally, I'd like a distro that was light weight, and didn't have many bells and whistles. As for hardware, I'll run it on modern HW, but want it to be live-cd, and therefore still as light-weight as possible. Any suggestions?

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    You're welcome. Most lightweight distros that are available as a LiveCD include those bells and whistles, some more than others, some less. I'd suggest keeping them until such time as you positively know you don't need or want them.

    I'm kinda partial to Debian and a few 'based-on' distros:
    Debian with LXDE desktop
    AntiX
    CrunchBang
    LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition: great distro with all the bells and whistles)

    An alternative in Debian, and most distros, you can start with a base-install (no GUI), then install your favorite window manager, file manager and only the apps you wanna use. How much you install will determine how lightweight an OS you'll have.

    There are other distros similar in size to DSL, like Puppy Linux. I've seen them discussed in other threads, here, but cannot recall which.

    Another suggestion to avoid burning a ton of CDs is VirtualBox, a virtual environment within which to run Linux. Works well on Win XP and 7, and best with a recent CPU. Once installed, download the iso you'd normally burn to CD and boot it in VBox. An easy way to see if you like the distro. If you do like it, easy enough to burn to a CD to see how it works with your specific hardware. Thing about VBox is, if you screw up an installation, just delete it and create a new one in a few minutes.

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    Linux Newbie glene77is's Avatar
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    Fanderal,

    Welcome to the Linux Forums.
    Here are my Opinions, for what they are worth, you decide.

    Your Quote
    It seems like it should be a ~simple~ task,
    but I'm newb and would like some direction.
    EndQuote

    I have trouble spelling "computer" and "simple" in the same sentence.
    Since 1979, I have found the complexities to be "interesting" and "engaging".

    IMHO,
    (1) TinyCore Linux
    (2) Puppy Linux
    would be good choices to load, from Live-CD, explore, install, muck with.
    "Muck" is an engineering word for "Mudifying" , altering, and customizing.

    Both run from Live-CD, which could be a permanent arrangement if you want.
    Both will "install" to HD.

    (1) TinyCore requires 10 Meg RAM.
    (2) Puppy requires 128 Meg RAM.
    More RAM means much faster operating for applications.

    (1) Both loadup for running from a Squash File System, very virus proof !
    (2) Both store downloaded applications (such as LibreOffice)
    into Squash Files on the HD.
    (3) Both try to operate as "root",
    (that is; without good networking permissions) ,
    which methods I am exploring now, so I will learn more on this.

    To balance my opinion,
    (1) I use Ubuntu for all my business operations, but it is a RAM hog,
    and requires lots of HD space.
    Ubuntu will blend right in with networking operations.
    (2) I really like the Squash File System because of
    the "container" approach and the virus proof nature.
    I really like 'mucking' with TinyCore and Puppy.
    Easy to re-install when I have 'over-mucked'.

    glene77is
    Last edited by glene77is; 05-27-2011 at 12:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Linux Newbie glene77is's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanderal View Post
    Hello and welcome.

    One suggestion... DSL is no longer actively developed . . .
    Fanderal,
    Think we need to add something to that, at the DamnSmallLinux Org site.
    [url=http://www.DamnSmallLinux.org]
    brings up the current website, and Shingledecker is the current developer, etc.

    Amazon is selling The Official Damn Small Linux® Book: The Tiny Adaptable Linux® That Runs on Anything [Paperback], Robert Shingledecker (Author) , John Andrews (Author), Christopher Negus (Author)

    The following is presented for the benefit of others who may find the tag "DSL" and not be familiar with DSL, TinyCore, Puppy, and these are my opinions.

    I am familiar with the history of the split between DSL and the emergence of TinyCore.
    Interesting and maybe unfortunate. Depends on your perspective and information (of which we are all short).

    I am using TinyCore this moment, in the midst of several other OS installed under grub4dos. Works OK, and the architecture is like that of Puppy. TinyCore application (extension) installations are bulletproof (almost).
    TinyCore has a core OS of 10.6 MegaBytes, and Puppy is around 125 MegaBytes,
    the "core" OS being separate from the "extensions" (applications such as OpenOffice).

    I favor Puppy 5.25, with the "extensions" being saved on a different partition in Squash files,
    like TinyCore does. .
    Importantly, Puppy uses a "woof" compiling system which allowed it to be built from various Debian core distros, such as Ubuntu (which opens the door to attaching many applications from the Ubuntu repository). Reliance on Debian and maybe Ubunto will give Puppy a long life span, even though it is a 'small' distro compared to the dominance of Ubuntu.

    Just opinions.
    Thanks for the post, it made me think and look-up something I had forgotten about.
    Look forward to more posting by you and others about these "small" distros.

    glene77is

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    Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions everyone.

    I've begun playing with Slax, trying to add modules and whatnot, but I'm having difficulty. It seems really simple, where I can just mount the ISO, and add ".lzm" packages to be included on the live-cd. That seems cool. Is that pretty standard with other distros? In general is there a place where I can just stick a .lzm, a .tar.gz, or .rpm?

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Linux Newbie glene77is's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomUs View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions everyone.

    I've begun playing with Slax, trying to add modules and whatnot, but I'm having difficulty. It seems really simple, where I can just mount the ISO, and add ".lzm" packages to be included on the live-cd. That seems cool.
    Is that pretty standard with other distros?
    >>> NO.
    In general is there a place where I can just stick a .lzm, a .tar.gz, or .rpm?
    >>> NO

    Thanks again.
    Wish it were simpler.
    Modifying DSL or any other is a job for a very experienced software engineer.
    Really, Do Not think you or I will ever alter any OS system.
    Just pick a small one, and add applications you want.
    I have settled on Ubuntu for my desktop business system. So Slick !!!

    I have a dozen different OS installed and running, just to play with.
    TinyCore, Parted-Magic, Puppy, Knoppix, Ubuntu, all multibooting.
    So, I may have an opinion that will help you.

    For you, I have a STRAIGHT suggestion:
    Use a distro with a Live-CD, made to boot & run from a Live-CD.
    When booting/running from a Live-CD, there are no conflicts with the existing bootloaders.
    Just insert CD, and save apps and data to the HD in your own subdir.

    I have TinyCore 3.6 Live-CD, runs just fine.
    Designed to run from CD forever, if you wish, with all booting coming from the Live-CD.
    ( I eventually did a simple install to HD).
    Then Core is 10.3 MegaBytes in RAM.
    Applications are downloaded via their app-installer to HD.
    Very small core, good engineering.
    Downloaded FireFox and LibreOffice first. No hitches.

    I have Puppy Linux 5.25 Live-CD, runs just fine.
    Designed to run from CD forever, if you wish, with all booting coming from the Live-CD.
    ( I eventually did a simple install to HD).
    Core is 128 MegaBytes in RAM.
    Applications are downloaded via their app-installer to HD, as squash files.
    Very nifty engineering.
    Downloaded FireFox and LibreOffice first. No hitches.

    buena suerta , and check back with questions

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