Damn Small Linux

I’ve been interested in Damn Small Linux for a while. The frugal intallation’s ability to load the entire OS into RAM is awesome. The ability to mount different add-on programs to the OS (ala OSX) and have a very up to date OS is another. It doesn leave a bit to be desired, but overall, it is a very good Linux for slower hardware. I’m currently running the standard HDD installation on the 866mhz P3 with 256megs or Ram. It is fast and reliable. I do have a few complaints though.

1. the default kernel option contains the nodma command. I am aware of the dangers of using DMA with some hardware, but there should be a grub option with dma enabled by default.

2. Some packages much be manually remounted after a reboot.  One such package is IceWM.  I would think that a window manager would be automatically remounted so it does not break X.

3. There is no apt-get repository just for DSL and the updates from the default Debian repository make break your system.  This makes using apt-get treacherous.

There is much more good about this distro. than bad, and I suggest that everyone with an old 200 or 300mhz P2 PC try it out.  A PPC or Sparc version for old Mac’s and Sun workstations might be interesting also.

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