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Lightweight Linux Distro - Damn Small Linux Need almost no Space

The main advantages of Linux tend to include much lower hardware requirements compared to Windows. However, not all versions guarantee a noticeable improvement in performance, especially if the technique is very old. But the good news is that distributions that don't require high processing power are still evolving. Below is a selection of such distributions that are considered extremely light – some to the point that they can even be installed on a calculator.

Puppy Linux


Puppy Linux

An excellent and above all lightweight system, the leitmotif of which is Puppy (puppy). Unlike, for example, Debian, it is not one distribution, but a whole set of them. Linux Puppy can be run from a CD, flash drive, or USB flash drive without the need for installation. Among the available software, you are unlikely to find popular applications here.


Version 9.5 offers, among others, the Rox Filer file manager, the Claws Mail email client, the Abiword document editor, the Palemoon browser and the HexChat IRC chat. Access to the Ubuntu Focal Fossa repositories allows you to install other programs as well. System requirements are really minimal - depending on the version, about 300 MB of free disk space and a 64-bit processor with support for 2 GB of RAM are required.





Lubuntu is nothing more than a very stripped-down version of Ubuntu. LXQT's graphical environment makes it lighter and requires fewer resources. Moreover, both systems have the same repositories from which different applications can be downloaded. As for the software, we will get the Mozilla Firefox browser, the mtPaint graphical program, the Abiword text editor and the Gnumeric application, with which you can make spreadsheets.

To boot a system that weighs 1.5 GB, you will need a Pentium 4 or Pentium M processor, or AMD K8 or higher. You will also need 1 GB of memory. It should be noted that since the release of Lubuntu 18.10, 32-bit processors are no longer supported, so for many older computers you will have to choose a different distribution.



Linux Lite


Linux Lite

Linux Lite support is one of the least complex, so the system is especially recommended for beginners who are just starting to learn Linux. The distribution is based on Ubuntu LTS with long-term technical support, and its default desktop is XFCE.

The 1.3GB software includes VLC Media Player, Xfburn CD/DVD, LibreOffice, Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Firefox, and Mumble voice chat. To install the latest version of Linux Lite 5.0, you need a 1 GHz processor, 768 MB of memory, 8 GB of free disk space, and a graphics chip that supports a resolution of 1024×768.






As the creators themselves emphasize, LXLE is a distribution created mainly for old computers, since a 32-bit version is available here. What's more, the 1.24GB system is based on Lubuntu and has an extensive PCManFM file manager with the ability to open and view directories with root privileges.

Linux fans also note a rather nice interface and stable operation thanks to the LXDE graphical environment. The LXLE software offers LibreOffice, a GIMP image editor, and an Audacity audio editor. Installation requires 8 GB of disk space, 512 MB of RAM, and a Pentium 3 processor or higher.




Peppermint os

Peppermint is a good proposition for people who prefer minimalistic design. With support for both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware, the 1.44 GB system is ideal for both old and new PCs. In addition, Peppermint is based on Lubuntu and uses a combination of LXDE and XFCE graphics environments.

It is also worth paying attention to the requirements for the equipment. To work correctly, you will need: 512 MB of memory, an Intel x86 processor and 20 GB of additional hard disk space.



Damn Small Linux


Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is a Debian-based Linux distribution for the x86 architecture, downloadable from a LiveCD business card. It can also be installed on a hard disk, USB Flash Drive, etc. It was created for use on older computers, so it has low requirements for the processor and RAM and a small size (50 megabytes). Minimum system requirements: CPU - 486DX, RAM - 16 MB.


Version: 4.4.10

License: Free

Updated: 2019-05-17 12:27:16

Size: 49.9 MB

Compatibility: Linux

Language: Other, English

Developer: Damn Small Linux


Damn Small Linux is a Linux distribution that lives up to its name one hundred percent. Its weight is only about 50 MB.

Main characteristics

As already noted, the size of Damn Small Linux is only about 50 megabytes. Herewith. you have a perfectly functional Linux built on top of Debian. It can be used as a LiveCD, that is, burn it to an optical disc or USB drive and use the operating system and all the necessary tools on any PC, without the need for installation. It is also worth adding that by installing the DSL distribution on a computer, it can be transformed into a full-fledged Debian.

The main features of the distribution:

    • Work with an optical disc or USB-drive.
    • Low system requirements - able to work on a PC with a 486DX processor and 16MB of RAM.
    • It has a full set of the most necessary programs - firefox browser, text editor, email manager, application for VoIP calls, image editor, etc.
  • Ability to transform into Debian when installed on a PC.
  • Distributed completely free of charge.


Previously, Damn Small Linux was developed only by John Andrews, but later many other people joined the development of the distribution. Among them, Robert Shingledecker, author of the MyDSL system, DSL Control Panel, and many others, was particularly distinguished.

Previously, Damn Small Linux was based on the Model K, 22 MiB edition of the Knoppix distribution, now it is based on Knoppix, which makes it easy to redo and improve DSL.


The latest version of Damn Small Linux is 4.4.10 (November 17, 2008). It includes:

  • Web browsers:
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Dillo to which patches have been applied to support tabs, SSL, and frames
    • Netrik
  • Sylpheed - Email Client
  • Monkey — HTTP Server
  • AxY — FTP Client Based on GTK+
  • FTP Server
  • SSH/SCP Client and Server, DHCP Client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL), Calculator, GhostScript, UnionFS Printer Support, Games, System Monitoring Applications, Command Line Utilities, USB, Wireless LAN and PCMCIA Support, NFS, FUSE, and SSHFS Support
  • Office applications:
    • Siag - Spreadsheets
    • Ted - Word Processor
    • spell checker (English)
  • Text editors:
    • Beaver
    • Vim
    • Nano
  • Work with graphics:
    • Xpaint
    • xzgv
  • Xpdf - PDF View
  • XMMS - Audio Player
  • emelFM — file manager
  • naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC)
  • VNC
  • Rdesktop
  • Window managers
    • Fluxbox
    • JWM
    • Small Windows Manager

DSL also has scripts for downloading and installing the Debian APT and Synaptic package manager, a graphical interface to APT.


Damn Small Linux includes a minimal set of software. It is assumed that the user himself will install the necessary software.

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements: Intel 486 (x86) processor and 16Mb of RAM.

Linux Kernel 2.4

DSL uses the old Linux kernel version 2.4. This imposes many restrictions on the use of the distribution kit on modern computers. Most new hardware is simply not supported. However, the concept of the distribution does not imply its use on new hardware. The developers point out that the transfer of the distribution kit to new kernels is not planned (one of the reasons is the very large size of the kernel).

Download Options

If the user wants to change some settings or his hardware is not automatically detected, then hidden download options can help in this case. With the help of them, you can remove the automatic detection of equipment, specify its settings. Many options also affect the GUI. The list of options can be found on Knoppix mirrors, it is also available at boot time.


To set a language other than the default language (English), type the language code on the download screen. For American English, the line looks like this:

dsl lang=us

Download the disk image. Burn it all on the blank, in the bios set the load from the disk, start.
I translate the inscriptions: Installation on a USB flash drive, running as a guest OS, MyDSL extensions, installing on a hard disk. DSL is based on Buttonix, Debian and GNU Linux technologies. Press <enter> to get started, F2 and F3 to select boot options.

If you press F2 you can select the following boot options:
fb1280x1024 | fb1024x768 | fb800x600 monitor resolution
dsl vga=normal safe video mode (press F3 to select great options)
dsl xsetup
dsl noicons without icons (there will be no icons on buttons, menu items and shortcuts on the desktop)
dsl mydsl={hda1|sda1} restore MyDSL applications (default when cutting from live-cd)
dsl base skip MyDSL, load only the base system
dsl norestore disable automatic recovery
dsl restore={hda1|sda1|floppy} specify where to restore the saved dsl toram configuration
, copy the contents of the live-cd to RAM and start the download (128MB is required). In this mode, the system will work very fast - the speed of reading data from RAM is much higher than from a live-cd or hard disk. For example, Mozila from a live-cd starts about 10 seconds, and from ram 2 seconds (although I tested on a good computer, but on an old woman the difference will be noticeable).
dsl tohd=/dev/hda1 copy the contents of the live-cd hard drive and start
booting dsl fromhd=/dev/hda1 booting from the previously copied dsl disk
image {ssh|lpd|cron|fuse|nfs|syslog|monkey|ftp} Start selected daemons at system
startup dsl lang=us {cs da de es fr nl it pl ru sk ...} Select language, keyboard layout
dsl no{scsi|pcmci|usb|agp|swap|apm|apic|mce|ddc} disable detection of specified hardware
dsl dma enable dma mode for all dsl 2 disks
text mode, i.e. without a graphical shell as a server (yes, yes, you can make a server from DSL )
failsafe disable hardware
detection expert mode expert/interactive mode

If you press F3 you can select the following boot options:
dsl vga=7xx select a value from the table above.

Let me explain this point in more detail. In the 7xx parameter, you can specify the number of colors and resolution of the monitor. At the top there is a table in which you need to select the number of colors (bitness) in the column on the right and the screen resolution in the top line. At the intersection there will be a value like 789. For example, if the monitor resolution is 1024 by 768 and the number of colors is 65000 (16 bits), select 791. the boot parameter will look like this dsl vga=791

dsl sata support SATA disks
dsl secure request password for root user and dsl
dsl protect
dsl host=xxxx set hostname
dsl minimal run xs with minimal appearance
dsl desktop={fluxbox|jwm} desktop selection, by default selected jwm
dsl waitusb wait for responses from slow usb devices
dsl legacy do not load unionfs. What it is can be read on Wikipedia
dsl dosswapfile{=hda1} find or specify the paging
file dsl chekcfs
lowram run xs, with minimal design, without icons, without usb, without scsi, without raid, etc.
install start the installation in text mode - the installation will begin immediately, the live-cd will not boot.

These parameters can be used both when booting from a live-cd, and specified in grub or lilo (depending on what you install) after installation on the hard disk. How do I select the desired download options? Just type them. You can select multiple options separated by a space. In this case, the word dsl should be written only once at the beginning. At the bottom of the screen there is an invitation to enter:

boot: _ Here and type the necessary parameters. For example, if you want to boot without icons with a resolution of 800 by 600 16 bits with preloading the contents of the disk into RAM and without icons, you will need to write the following:
boot: dsl vga=788 toram noicons

To install the DSL on the hard disk, run without specifying the parameters. Click enter, run the colored letters and the desktop will appear

Installing DSL on a Hard Drive

Partitions on the hard disk need to be prepared in advance. The live-cd has a command-line utility, cfdisk, to create partitions on the hard drive. To do this, launch the terminal: in the context menu (click on the desktop) select Apps - XShells - then something from the proposed Transparent, Light and Dark (this is the terminal skin: transparent, light and dark) or Root Access (terminal with root rights).

Started the terminal, see what disks or partitions we have:

sudo fdisk -l

Next, create a system partition and swap (paging file). I have a 1.6GB hard drive. I made two partitions: a root of 1.5 GB and a swap of 100 MB. A minimum of about 200 MB is required to install DSL.

Create partitions:

sudo cfdisk /dev/hda

Instead of hda, substitute your value given in the results of the previous command fdisk -l. Next I will give your values, you can change them to your discretion and necessity.

If the disc is clean/new you will be asked:

«No partition table or unknowk signature on partition table. Do you wish to start with a zero table [y/N]?» На что отвечаем утвердительно – нажимаем Y. Появится такое окно, это редактор разделов

Select the [New] item at the bottom - create partitions, select the partition type [Primary] - the main partition and specify the size in megabytes - 1500. The section is created, now there are two lines in the list: the newly created section and the remaining empty space. Use the down arrow to select an empty space and create a swap partition for the rest of the space.

Next, select the file system of each partition by selecting the [Type] item. Write 83 for the main section and 82 for the swap. Mark the main partition as bootable with the [Bootable] button. If everything is done correctly, click [Write], confirm your actions by typing yes and thereby write down the table of separations. Close the terminal and start the installation.

To install Damn Small Linux on the hard disk, in the context menu, select The Apps – Tools – Install to HardDrive

Next, we answer a few questions:
Enter the target partition. On which partition will the system be installed? Write the name of your section, hda1, for example.

Do you wish to multi-user logins? Do you want multiple users in the system? Yes/no.

Use journalized ext3 filesystem? Use the ext3 file system? (not recommended on weak machines). If not, ext2 will be selected.

Continue? Continue? If you continue, a file system will be created and the installation will begin.

After a while, you will be asked if we will install the bootloader? We answer in the affirmative. Again they will ask what kind of loader we want to put Rude or Lilo. I chose Grub.

The boot loader is installed. Reboot. The disc can be pulled out. After rebooting, a screen will appear with a selection of the boot option. If necessary, correct the parameters by pressing "e". All available options have been described above.

Next, you will be asked to come up with a password for the root user and repeat it again. And then the same steps for the dsl user (the default user).

And finally the desktop will appear! This completes the installation. The following article is about how to save settings when shutting down or rebooting.


Sooner or later, almost every user (and, especially, a system administrator) needs his own portable operating system, which can always be deployed in a matter of minutes on an arbitrary machine. Until recently, the most popular solution to this problem was LiveCD distributions, placed on CDs and running from them. The main inconvenience for such systems is the "read-only" mode of the CD, which does not allow you to write any changed / new data to the OS media itself (various workarounds are possible here, but they all ultimately lose to systems running on read / write media). In addition, it leaves much to be desired the speed of loading (and often - and work in general) of such operating systems, limited by the capabilities of the CD-drive.

The "boom" in the popularity of LiveCD projects coincided with the active development and promotion of portable USB flash drives, which led to a logical consequence - the emergence of specialized systems that can fit into specified volumes (32 MB, 64, 128 ...) and run from new devices. GNU/Linux has become a popular software platform for such projects for a number of reasons.

Among the LiveCD Linux-projects, in turn, the Damn Small Linux distribution has recently gained great popularity (according to the H.P.D. index at, according to statistics over the past 6 and 12 months, it is ahead of all its competitors).

The name Damn Small Linux speaks for itself: the distribution is compact and originally designed for CDs of the "business card" type (in physical size, the media correspond to business cards and hold 50 MB of data). At first, the Model K was chosen as the basis for DSL (a mini version of Knoppix, which occupies only 22 MB), but later the system was redone for better compatibility with its ancestor Knoppix, which facilitated the process of its further redesign and updating. The latest stable release of DSL (discussed in this article) is 3.0.1. At the end of August (24.08.2006) the first candidate for the release of the new version of DSL (3.1 RC1) was released.

DSL can work with both CD and USB flash and ZIP media (and CompactFlash cards), be installed on the hard disk (with subsequent deployment to a full-fledged Debian system), and also run in MS Windows and GNU/Linux environments in emulation mode using QEMU.

Although the developers claim that the volume of DSL will never exceed 50 MB, they have already launched the DSL-N (Damn Small Linux Not) project. Its main difference from DSL is to increase the volume, so that the distribution includes applications based on GTK + 2. The authors write that "DSL-N is not an evolution of DSL, .. it is intended for a different user or for the same but in different circumstances."

Preparation and launch

On FTP mirrors with DSL, you can find the following files: dsl-x.x.x.iso - a universal image for CD, dsl-x.x.x-syslinux.iso - a version with Syslinux, - a version with Qemu to run DSL inside another OS. The sizes of all files range from 49-50 MB.

I was interested in the option of installing the distribution kit on USB flash, so the most "traditional" path was chosen: dsl-x.x.x.iso downloaded and burned to CD-R, booted from this CD-R, and then installed through a special DSL utility (Apps -> Tools -> Install to USB Pendrive) in a few simple steps. During a subsequent reboot of the computer, it is necessary to change the priority of boot devices in the BIOS (this feature is supported in all relatively new BIOS versions) accordingly (so that the USB drive goes first).

DSL to USB installation script

In order to install DSL on a USB drive without the need to write a CD-R with the distribution, you can, for example, format the file system of the device in FAT, copy files from DSL and run syslinux. Details on how to do this in a Windows environment are described in the article "How to Run Linux on a USB Drive". For GNU/Linux, the steps will be similar.

For the embedded version, it is enough to download the archive, unpack and run dsl-windows.bat (for Windows) or (for GNU/Linux). It should be borne in mind that the speed of the DSL in this case will be much lower.

In case of successful launch, DSL will automatically find and identify all the hardware, launch XFree86 and the popular lightweight window manager Fluxbox (the distribution includes another simple WM - jwm - you can go to it at any time with just two mouse clicks).

Software in DSL

The developers of DSL managed to collect in their modest in volume distribution an impressive selection of various programs. In DSL 3.0.1 you can find 3 text editors: Beaver (GTK+), Nano, Vim, office utilities: Ted (word processor), Siag (spreadsheets), Xpdf (PDF view), Gvu (PS view) and Calcoo (calculator), XMMS audio player (although without OGG Vorbis support by default), dMix sound mixer and gPhone (Internet phone), file managers MC and emelFM (GTK+), graphic utilities: xzgv, Xpaint and Xzoom, network utilities: Firefox (1.0), Dillo and links browsers, Sylpheed (GTK+) email client, AxY (GTK+) and ftp FTP clients, naim IM client, Telnet, Rdesktop, VNC and SMB clients, server software: BetaFTPD, Monkey web server and SSH (server and client). There are even simple games: Tetris xTris and a set of "Ace of Penguins". Screenshot: Firefox and DSL utilities (1024 x 768, PNG).—>

As a replacement for many standard UNIX utilities in DSL, BusyBox is used. In order to save space, manual pages are not included in the distribution. But the man-cgi utility is integrated: when the console accesses "man", this script tries to find the necessary page on the network and (if successful) displays the desired manual in a formatted form.

Separately, it is worth highlighting a lot of its own utilities, the functions of which affect the mounting of the file system, screen settings, PCMCIA cards, networks (Ethernet, DHCP, PPP, PPPoE), demonstration of system statistics, adding users, setting the date and time, working with floppy disks, installing the system on HDD / USB, changing desktop wallpapers and more.

The pride of the developers is a simple and effective utility MyDSL, which allows you to expand the range of software presented. The MyDSL menu is divided into 9 categories with telling names: Apps, Games, Gtk2, Multimedia, Net, System, Themes, UCI, WM Apps. Each of them provides a list of popular packages available for download and installation in one click. After installation, the new applications will appear in the new MyDSL menu item.

Also, when you consider that DSL is ultimately based on Debian, a more powerful and versatile tool for working with software packages comes to mind... And this point was taken into account by the developers: in Apps &rarrow; Tools has an "Enable Apt" item. If you select it, DSL will start installing the apt and dpkg bundle.

With localization, DSL is not so rosy. Although it is logical that in the default system there was no place for extra Cyrillic fonts (and in general for all this encoding diversity). However, setting up support for Russian in all applications where it may be needed is unlikely to cause super effort in a more or less experienced user.

Damn Small Linux is a compact, portable GNU/Linux distribution, focused on desktops and capable, despite its low weight, to solve many problems (and do it quickly and simply). From the point of view of the DSL interface, it will be most liked by fans of minimalism, although if it is possible to expand the space occupied by the distribution (i.e. if the DSL media holds much more than the required 50 MB of data), it will not be difficult to remake the system for yourself by installing all the necessary packages. Minimalism is justified not only by the modest volumes that are allocated by default for DSL, but also by the fact that the system is able to function on weak machines, and this is an undoubted plus for a distribution that is in "constant motion" on the PC (must start and work normally on a wide variety of configurations).

Setting of damn small linux

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is a 50-megabyte minimalist Linux distribution designed for the desktop workstation.

DSL is good enough to implement the following features:

• Boot the working system from a business card-sized CD (LiveCD).
• Boot from USB flash drive.
• Booting under the host operating system (i.e. DSL runs "inside" Windows).
• Perfectly starts from the IDE Compact Flash drive via the "frugal install" call.
• Converts to Debian OS with a traditional HDD installation.
• Can run on 486DX with 16MB of RAM.
• Runs entirely in 128MB OF RAM (You'll be surprised how fast a computer can run!).
• Can be expanded by modules without the need for special customization.

DSL was originally designed as an experiment to see how convenient you can make a desktop system with standard applications by squeezing them into a 50MB live CD. At first, DSL was just a private tool, a "toy." But over time, it grew into a large community project, on which thousands of hours of development were spent. Improvements such as an automatic remote application installation system, an advanced backup and recovery system that can use recordable media, including USB flash drives, FDDs or HDDs, have been added.

DSL is an almost complete desktop system and a small basic set of command-line utilities. All applications were chosen for the best balance of functionality, size and speed. DSL can also work as an SSH/FTP/HTTPD server even after downloading from a live CD. In order to preserve memory, many GUI administration tools have been rewritten. So, what's in Damn Small Linux?

XMMS (MP3, CD Music and MPEG), FTP client, Dillo, Netrik, FireFox web browsers, spreadsheet spreadsheet, Sylpheed email, spell checker (US English), advanced text editor (word-processor Ted), three simple editors (Beaver, Vim and Nano [Pico clone]), graphics viewing and editing (Xpaint and xzgv), Xpdf (PDF Viewer), emelFM (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, Rdesktop, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL), web server, calculator, generic and GhostScript printer support, NFS, Fluxbox and JWM window managers, games, system monitoring applications, command line tooling host, USB and pcmcia support, some wireless support.

ApplicationsA list of apps with a brief description.
PackagesWhat the system is built of.
NotesLists of changes in different versions of DSL.
Off SiteLinks to related and similar projects.
MilestonesStages of development of DSL.
FAQFrequently Asked Questions.
WikiCommunity Knowledge Base.
New ForumsReal-time community knowledge base (forums).
Mini-ITX StoreMini-computers and components (hardware).
Income GuideWhat independent DSL developers need to know.
DSL-N projectMore than DSL.
DonateSend your donations here.

For more links, see the DSL homepage.

[DSL Installation]

DSL was originally developed as a CD-R disc image, a 50MB *.iso file that must be written to either a regular full-size CD-R blank or a small CD-R business card format disc. Today, this is still relevant.

For some time now, the Kernel + mini root Linux image file has become too large to fit on a regular boot floppy disk, which has also meant that the original DSL boot loader program, the so-called SYSLINUX, cannot be used to create a livecd boot disk.

Fortunately, there is an alternative boot loader called ISOLINUX that uses a different way to create a bootable livecd, and this restriction is removed – today there is a "normal" DSL livecd image of dslxxx.iso.

However, there are some older computers with older BIOS that cannot work properly with ISOLINUX. For them, the DSL team created an alternate livecd image that uses the old SYSLINUX bootloader, dslxxx-syslinux.iso. In order for the current linux kernel to work with SYSLINUX, some new driver modules were removed from mini root, which could create problems for some new computers.

Anyway, follow the basic rules:


• For new computers (starting with the 2013, 2014 release), try using regular dsl.iso.
• For older computers, you may need to use dsl-syslinux.iso if dsl.iso does not work.

Last but not least, there is a version of DSL called "DSL Embedded". This is not really a livecd, but a *.zip file that contains the DSL system and "Virtual PC", an emulator program called QEMU. The QEMU program can be run from Microsoft Windows or from Linux, and it creates a small virtual PC inside the program window. The DSL operating system is loaded from this virtual machine window. This method of launching makes it possible to run DSL in the MSWindows environment, but due to the fact that DSL runs on a "fake" computer, it does not have direct access to real hardware and real HDD. This also causes the system to run MUCH slower than the operating system on a real computer. A fake computer is 5-6 times SLOWER than a real computer, so it is better not to use a "virtual PC" on a computer with a processor frequency of less than 1.0 GHz.

See also: Setting the speed circuit to the technical optimum

Which image to choose and what to download? To get started, you should familiarize yourself with the download links.In essence, the choice consists of three options:

A. dsl-x.x.x.iso
B. dsl-x.x.x-syslinux.iso

In most cases, use option A. If your board supports booting from CD-ROM, but option A does not work, then try option B. Option C use DSL inside the host OS (Windows or Linux), it runs in Qemu Virtual Machine.

[Installing on USB Flash Drive]

A USB flash drive is not the same as a USB hard drive. Installing on an external USB HDD works, but some external hardware cannot be used as a boot source.

If you want to install DSL on a USB drive, you need the following:

• USB drive of 128 MB or more. 512 MB is preferable, 64 MB will work if squeezed.
• Working operating system and Internet connection.
• If you decide to do a clean boot from a USB drive (not just from another OS), then you need the BIOS to support booting from USB. Check if the BIOS setup has this option and test booting from a USB flash drive.

Finally, it should be noted that the bootable USB drive will be formatted, i.e. the old data on it will be lost. So don't forget to save this data.

The current DSL Live CD ISO includes a script that automates the installation on the USB drive. This is a simple and reliable way to install:

1. Open Main Menu, go to Apps -> Tools.
2. Select USBZIP or USBHDD install.
3. Follow the instructions.

For more information, see also the USB Booting sidebar.

The basic process for installing DSL from another Linux distribution is as follows:

1. Get the DSL and boot loader (GRUB or Syslinux).
2. Reformatting/creating partitions on the drive (or just cleaning it up).
3. Place the contents of the current DSL ISO on the drive.
4. Set the boot flag, install the boot loader.
5. Configure the boot loader on the boot device.

See the Requirements and Formatting sections below.


• If you intend to use the Syslinux boot loader, see the sidebar "What is Syslinux?".
• If you want to start from scratch, you must re-create partitions and format your USB drive (see below). For some types of installation, some steps may not be required. In any case, be attentive to what you are doing. Partitioning and formatting tools are a good way to destroy all data on the drive, including the main OS.
• You need to know the location of the drive of the flash drive (device node). It will be something like /dev/sdb (sda is usually a system drive). One way to determine is to open a terminal and run a command (you may need to use sudo. but be careful; fdisk can completely destroy all your data):

Alternatively, you can pull the flash drive in the USB port and use the command:

dmesg will most likely show the name of the connected device (sdb1, sda2, or something like that). Or if you have a distribution kit with auto-mounting USB drives, you can list the mount:


Since 2008, there are two main tools for creating partitions and formatting the drive.

• One GParted, GNU Partitioning Tool.
• Another fdisk, a command line utility.

It's probably better to start with GParted. If it doesn't work, try fdisk. In either case, the partitioning process should take a few minutes.

Using GParted. GParted is a GUI/GTK utility. You can download it using apt-get or Synaptic. You can also visit the GParted website [7] and download a Live CD that will boot your computer into the GParted environment. Regardless of the version used, the process is simple:

1. MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR DATA. There is a risk of deleting them permanently!
2. Open GParted (the program itself).
3. Select your drive (from the drop-down list in the upper right corner). DON'T RANDOMLY SELECT THE WRONG DRIVE.
4. Delete all existing partitions on the selected disk (right click on each partition strip, then select Delete).
5. Create one large partition for the entire disk (right click, make new partition, set the partition size equal to the size of the disk).
6. Set the disk format to FAT16 (the most compatible file system; right click, set the use of 'format to').
7. CHECK AGAIN IF THE ONE YOU HAVE SELECTED THE DRIVE. and click 'apply' (green checkmark). Very quickly, GParted will tell you whether the operation was successful or not.
8. After the partition is created, set its boot flag (right-click, manage flags).

The process is complete, proceed to the installation of the ISO and boot loader.

Note: if you accidentally damage important data, you can use Test Disk [8] to restore them (at least until you have written any files to the created partition!).

Using fdisk. It is a command line utility (run in a terminal), an alternative to GParted. To run fdisk, type in terminal:

Here[USBDRIVE] stands for your drive. This can be sda, sdb, etc., depending on the system. Make sure that you have not selected the primary system HDD.

Use 'd' to delete existing partitions until they are all deleted. Use 'n', 'p', '1' to create a new primary partition. Use 'a' to make the partition bootable. Use 't', 'b' to make it in W95 FAT32 format. Use the 'p' to view the changes.

Once you have installed your partition on /dev/sdX, it should look something like this:

Finally, write down the new partition table by clicking 'w' to save the changes and exit.

It's possible that fdisk will generate an error (Kernel is still using the old partition table, so reboot). A reboot may be required, but try loading the new partition table into the kernel first using the command:

Then open fdisk again and read the partition table to make sure everything is in order (fdisk -l /dev/[USBDRIVE]). If something is wrong, a reboot may be needed.

After exiting fdisk, you will need to use mkfs to create a FAT16 or FAT32 file system. For example:

The "-F 32" option will create a FAT32 partition; "-F 16" will create FAT16.

[Modification of MBR (in some cases)]

If you often work with your USB flash drive, you may need to overwrite its Master Boot Record (MBR). This should not be necessary if there is another funky bootloader in the MBR (for example, if you are experimenting with another USB bootable Linux distribution).

One good rule when working with MBR: BE *VERY* CAREFUL NOT TO ERASE THE MBR ON YOUR HDD!

1. At the command prompt, use the dd command. Replace sdX with the path to your USB drive:

2. Now you can replace your MBR in two ways:

Or copy the bootloader from Syslinux:

Or install ms-sys and use it to replace your old MBR:

[Метод I: типовая embedded-установка (Syslinux + QEMU)]

This is probably the fastest way to manually install, just 5 simple steps. A typical embedded installation includes the QEMU processor emulator and Syslinux. Once they're both installed, you'll be able to boot the DSL either from Linux, Windows (with QEMU installed), or traditionally from a USB drive (with Syslinux).

Unfortunately, this method does not give an installation size of 50 MB because QEMU is relatively large. For a full installation you will need 110 MB.

Installation steps:

1. Download zip-archive [2].
2. Mount the USB drive.
3. Unzip the to the USB drive.
4. Unmount the USB drive.
5. Use syslinux to make the USB drive bootable:

This concludes the process. If this installation option does not work for you, consider using GRUB as a boot loader (see below). GRUB is very useful if you are using DSL as part of a data/system rescue toolkit, and you can add several preset boot configurations and other utilities. If your system is mounted or booted from a flash drive with the argument iocharset=utf8, there may be an error where KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX cannot be found at boot. Cm. See also the sidebar "What is Syslinux?".

[Метод II: текущий ISO + Syslinux]

There is no need to re-partition or reformat your USB drive. This is possible for a simple, non-destructive installation of ISO content into the USB partition. This tutorial provides an example. Partitioning and formatting utilities for the USB drive are no longer needed. Follow these steps:

1. Mount the USB drive something like this:

2. Mount the ISO image:

3. Copy the entire contents of the ISO to the USB drive:

4. Rename and move the Syslinux files to the root directory of the flash drive:

5. Rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg:

6. Unmount the USB drive:

7. Install Syslinux:

8. Set the MBR boot flag for this partition (using fdisk).

That's all, restart your computer and try DSL to work.

Note: Be careful with sudo fdisk. This utility, if used improperly, can destroy payload data. Specify the correct path names (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.), otherwise you may damage existing partitions or files!

[Method III: Using GRUB as a Boot Loader]

Users report that under certain conditions, this method may not work.

1. Download the current ".iso" dsl-cd image [2].

2. Create an ext2 partition on the flash drive (=> 51 MB). Mount it.


Here it is the corresponding file that represents your USB storage device (device/partition path).

Note: the ext3 file system will do. You can also use this method on a partition formatted as fat16.

3. Change the current directory to the path where the ext2 partition is mounted, install the GRUB boot loader:

Replace here with the appropriate file that represents your USB storage device, but WITHOUT the partition number, so that the MBR is updated. For example, /dev/sdc. If this method does not work, try manually starting grub and enter "root (hd1,1)" and "setup (hd1)" (paths for your system may differ).

4. Copy the contents of the CD image to the USB drive.

5. For now, in the same directory where you mounted the ext2 filesystem, create a menu.lst file for GRUB in the ./boot/grub/menu.lst directory:

You can change (hd0.0) to the correct partition of your USB drive. However, in most systems, this omission should work.

6. Unmount the file system. You can now boot from your USB drive.

[Method IV: with GRUB as bootloader]

Sometimes users say that the process described above (Method III) does not work, so another workflow has been documented.

• Working SLED 10 (Suse).
• USB 1GB flash drive, which is visible as /dev/sda.
• The user logged in as root.
• DSL ISO uploaded to /root/Desktop/dsl-3.3.iso.
• Two partitions, the first is used as the main USB storage, the second for DSL.
• I want to make the DSL section ext3 so that Windows doesn't mess it up.
• The first partition is needed for a lot of storage, because Windows does not like to address the second partition on flash drives.

1. fdisk /dev/sda

d — delete all partitions on the flash drive

n – create partition
p – primary partition for primary storage
1 – first partition
1 – partition starts with the first block
948 – the largest part of the flash drive, about 933 MB

n - create partition
p - primary partition for DSL
2 - second partition
949 - partition begins at the end of storage, on the next available sector
1012 - space to the end of disk, 64 MB

a - make partition bootable
2 - the DSL partition will be bootable

t — change partition
type 1 — change section 1
b — change type to Win95 FAT32

w — Write down the changes.

2. The fdisk -l command gives the following result:

Your flash drive should look about the same.

3. Creating directories, mounting, formatting.

Note: if you want to get an ext3 file system, add the -j: mke2fs -j /dev/sda2 flag.

If your system does not boot from grub, try:

4. cat > /mnt/usb/boot/grub/menu.lst

Basic steps to install DSL to USB from under Windows:

1. Get DSL and Syslinux.
2. Formatting the flash drive.
3. Unpacking the DSL to a flash drive.
4. Install Syslinux.


Methods IV and V have unique requirements. For methods I, II, III you need the following:

• USB flash drive (which is called flash disk, pendrive, USB stick, etc.) of 64 MB or more.
• You need to know the letter of the USB flash drive. In this tutorial, it is understood (as an example) that the flash drive is connected under the letter "F:". Replace "F" with the correct letter corresponding to the connected flash drive.
• Download the current [2] (49 MB size, it is better to download a torrent because it is often faster).
• Download and install Syslinux version 3.00 or later.

Comments on flash drives. Avoid cheap flash drives. Some flash drives that behave normally under Windows, under DSL work poorly. San Disk Cruzer drives are a special case and the software's built-in "CD Emulation" function must be turned off. SD cards work well for DSL, and can be used in the same way as USB flash drives. They usually have higher data transfer rates, and many laptops and handhelds have a corresponding slot for SD cards. Also, for SD, there are usually no problems with the BIOS. Installation on an SD card is the same as on a USB flash drive.

[Метод I]

Cm. old instructions on the site [11] (new instructions are in method V).

Note: if you are running Windows Vista, then do not forget to run cmd.exe with administrator rights, otherwise cmd.exe will not be able to access the MBR of the USB flash drive. Booting from a USB drive may or may not work on your computer, depending on how old the BIOS is on it. Some systems have trouble booting from USB drives formatted as FAT32. In this case, change the format to FAT16, which may allow the DSL to load. To try this, change the format argument:

[Method II]

This method requires HP USB Key Utility for Windows [9]. The method will reformat the USB drive with the destruction of all information.

1. Install HP USB Key Utility for Windows. HP USB Key Utility setup on Windows Vista will run only if the launch is made in compatibility mode. To apply this, right-click on the installer file and go to Properties. Open the Compatibility tab and whitewrite "Windows XP Service Pack 2". Apply, after which the installation will be possible on Windows Vista. Note: you do not need to run the installed program in this mode.

2. Connect the USB flash drive and give Windows time to detect it (you need to find out the letter that is assigned to the flash drive, for example F:).

3. Start Menu-> Programs -> HP System Tools -> HP Drive Key Boot Utility.

• On the Welcome Screen, click Next.
• Select the flash drive by letter (F:), click Next.
• Select Create New or Replace Existing Configuration, click Next.
• Select Hard Drive, click Next.
• Select Create New Filesystem, click Next. Wait for formatting to finish.
• Select HP Firmware Flash Package, click Next, click Finish.

4. Extract the contents of directly to the flash drive (F:) overwriting all files.

When you're done, reboot and try DSL by booting it from USB. Leads to the loss of significant space on the USB flash drive despite the fact that there is nothing there.

Successes and failures:

• Did not work for DSL v3.3 with Sandisk Cruzer Titanium USB drive.
• Did not work when using 2GB storage on the Verbatim flash drive (windows explorer crashed if this device was connected).
• Worked fine when using HP Utility and
• Worked fine when using HP Utility and
• Worked fine when using HP Utility and on a 128MB drive from an unknown manufacturer. However, after booting, when the PS/2 mouse was connected to the hot system, the system hung and did not boot again. After repeating the method II process, everything worked again.

[Method III]

1. Use diskWipe to format the drive at a low level:

2. Make sure to choose the right drive.

3. Unmount and physically remove the drive.

4. Connect the drive and mount it.

5. Format fat to the system using the usb_format:

6. Extract the files from the archive

7. Configure boot using sysLinux:

On Windows Vista, you must run syslinux.exe through cmd.exe as an administrator.

[Method IV: no CD burning]

Here is how to install DSL on a USB flash drive in a Windows XP workstation environment (98, NT, 2000):

• No ISO recording.
• No download to DSL from CD.
• No partitioning on a USB flash drive (if you don't want to).

This manual/method was developed by SaidinUnleashed, ca. 2005. If you encounter problems, see the original version of the method description [10].

Additional requirements. Instead of embedded ISO and Syslinux (as described earlier), you'll need the following:

• WinImage (shareware) program.
• DSL images including bootfloppy-usb.img and dsl-x.x.iso (where x.x denotes the desired version).

You may want to use Daemon Tools, or a similar program to view/manipulate ISO files. And if you want to create partitions on your USB drive (which is not necessary), you will have to use the appropriate tools - cfdisk or something similar.

Process step by step:

1. Format your USB drive. Make sure it's formatted to FAT (FAT16, or preferably FAT32), and that it works in windows (using Windows Explorer).

2. Install WinImage and Daemon Tools.

3. Open the ISO boot image in WinImage. To do this, run WinImage, select File -> Open, find and select the desired boot image (bootfloppy-usb.img). Next, select Disk - Use removable disk (x:), where x: the drive letter of the USB flash drive where you want to install the DSL.

4. Record the ISO file. To do this, select Disk -> Read Disk / Write Disk (or press the hotkey Ctrl+W). You may see the message "image must be resized", and so on.

5. Place the DSL file system on a USB flash drive. In WinImage, select File -> Open, select the DSL ISO image file (dsl-x.x.iso).

6. Select Image -> Extract (or press Ctrl+x). When prompted for the path, use the letter of the USB flash drive (as in step 4). Check the "Extract with pathname" option, click OK to finish.

[Method V]


Follow the current instructions from PendriveLinux [11] (the old similar instructions are described in Method I).

• Requires a USB flash drive (flash disk, pendrive, USB stick, etc.) of 64 MB or more.
• You need to know the letter of the USB flash drive (F:).
• Download from a mirror [2] (49MB – Torrent is recommended, which is often faster).
• Download Universal USB Installer.

Installation process: launch Universal USB Installer, select DSL, follow the instructions.

That's it, DSL on USB is ready to go. Restart your computer and try.

[Configuring DSL, Windows Autorun and QEMU Mod]

There are several possible modifications:

• Set up autoplay on a USB flash drive so that Windows automatically loads DSL via QEMU.
• Configure autoplay to start the VNC client automatically.

This works with v3.2 Embedded.


After installation, autorun.inf penguin.ico /USB /tightvnc is added.

Below are some of the configuration settings that are done after installation. An autorun.inf file is also created where TightVNC is configured if the tightvnc folder is created at the root of the drive. A contextual link to the USB folder has been created.

The following file has been modified and brought into line with the Windows equivalent, so you don't have to answer questions every time you boot. Some users may find that the -m 256 goes beyond and this needs to be changed.

You should also download qemu and copy these files to the qemu directory on the USB drive:

If you want to use the rest of the created context menu, download the TightVNC installer, vncviewer and put them in tightvnc.

Finally, you can make the DSL files hidden, and hide tightVNC, the USB folder. To use the functions, right-click on the drive in the "My Computer" folder.

[Method 1]

1. Prepare the drive by formatting it with the MS-DOS file system. Start by opening the Applications folder, then the Utilities folder. After that, click on Disk Utility. When opened, it should report that a USB drive (possibly named "NO NAME") has been recognized. Click on his name, then on the Erase tab, under which the "Volume Format" field will be visible. If it already says MS-DOS (FAT), then everything is fine, proceed with the next step. If not, select MS-DOS (FAT) from the drop-down list, give the drive the desired name and click Erase.

2. Unzip the DSL to your drive.

3. Install the Syslinux or GRUB boot loader.

[Method 2]

1. I used a 128mb fat32 USB flash drive with MBR installed.

2. Create a new virtual machine in VMware Fusion and select "continue without disc", select your DSL ISO for the installation media, whitewash Linux as the operating system type -> Debian5, then click "customize settings".

3. Specify the file name, remove the HDD (although it is not required), start the VM, set the path to the USB Drive, press "ctrl-alt-del", type install and press enter.

4. Press 5 and enter to install the USB, confirm Y and enter, check the boot options and language, confirm Y and enter to continue.

5. Press enter on completion and 0 and enter to exit the installer. You can shut down the VM with the shutdown -h now command (this is optional, but out of habit gives a clean shutdown).

[Method 3]

1. Format the USB drive (to the MS-DOS file system).

2. Unpack the DSL on it.

3. Install syslinux using VirtualBox.

[General Post-Installation Questions]

Q01 . I've installed everything, but the computer still continues to boot from the HDD.

Older BIOS may not support booting from USB. Review the USB Boot sidebar and take a closer look at the BIOS features. Also verify that the boot loader (GRUB or Syslinux) is installed and configured.

Q02 . I completed the installation, but I couldn't install GRUB.

First, read the GRUB documentation (also see the "Installing GRUB" sidebar). Some users have noticed that grub-install complains about the argument —no-floppy. Try with and without it, try using sudo, try unplugging and replacing your USB flash drive. If your system automatically mounts a USB flash drive, try installing when the USB flash drive is mounted and when it is unmounted.

Q03 . Why doesn't a DSL installed on USB finish booting after converting from .iso?

It is possible that the KNOPPIX file is hard-coded to look for a CD-ROM instead of a USB drive. Try embedded iso instead.

Q04 . Why does the Linux installation method require FAT16, but the Windows installation method works with FAT32? Can I just leave and use an existing FAT32 partition on a USB drive using the Linux version of syslinux?

The reason is that Syslinux may or may not. Any method should work, but some users have found that FAT16 works more reliably than FAT32. Although the current version of Syslinux (any version 3.00 or later) should work with FAT32, this is not always the case. If you are using an older version of Syslinux, check to see if it supports FAT32.

Q05 . Why doesn't my USB keyboard and/or mouse work when I log in to X windows?

There may be a problem in the BIOS. Try allowing 'USB device emulation' or 'legacy USB' in the BIOS.

USB booting is the booting of the OS from a USB flash drive or other USB mass storage device. The usb boot process may or may not be successful, depending on the actual hardware available. This sidebar will help you decide on the following:

• Whether your computer supports USB booting (or how to find it).
• How to enable this support, if any.
• What are the boot options if the computer does not support USB booting (USB boot floppy, USB via GRUB, etc.).

[BIOS Limitations]

THE BIOS of older computers (before 2001) usually do not support booting from a USB device. Around 2001, PC motherboard manufacturers began adding support for USB boot.

There are two common BIOS methods for direct boot via USB:

• The USBHDD method implements booting from a USB mass storage device that is configured as a regular PC hard drive.
• The "USBZIP" method supports booting from a USB device that behaves in the same way as the original IOMEGA ZIP drive connected via USB.

Most computers (such as all Dells) released in 2006+ come with a BIOS that supports the USBHDD method. Most likely, this method should become standard for booting from a USB device. However, many motherboards support both methods, and many older ones only support USBZIP.

Some newer BIOS support USB 2.0, but cannot boot from older flash drives. Using a USB 2.0 compatible flash drive usually solves this problem. Also, some BIOS that support USB 1.1 will not boot from USB 2.0 drives!

If your computer does not recognize a USB 500+ MB flash drive, it is possible that the motherboard is set to recognize "auto", which means that flash drives less than 500 MB are treated as "Floppy", and flash drives larger than 500 MB are treated as USBHDD. Try looking for the "Force FDD" option in BIOS setup. This should trigger the processing of the USB drive as USBZIP regardless of its size.

[Support Resolution in BIOS]

Warning: It is possible to lose access to the computer in case of erroneous BIOS settings. Be careful, write down any changes to ensure that everything can be returned back. Don't play around with your hard drive settings.

1. Most 2006+ release boards have automatic USB support enabled. Try this feature first on any bootable flash drive - install it, reboot, enter the boot menu. If it works, then you're in luck.

2. Log in to BIOS Setup. If your computer ignores the USB drive, there's no reason to panic. When the system turns on, you have a few seconds to enter the BIOS setup program. Immediately after booting, press the desired key to enter the BIOS (sometimes during power-on, the screen displays the prompt "Press [key] to enter BIOS setup"). If your computer doesn't tell you which key to press, try using Google to find this information on your motherboard model (Esc, F1, F2, F3, F10, and F12 are often used to enter the BIOS). If for some reason you are unable to enter the BIOS, try other boot methods (floppy or GRUB).

3. Your BIOS setup screen will be unique to your BIOS version. Locate the menu item that includes the order in which to poll for boot orders, boot devices, or alternative boot methods. If nothing related to USB can be found, see the following description of the alternative boot method (floppy, GRUB). If you find an item related to USB booting, play around with its settings and try how it works. Don't give up — if the BIOS supports USB, then most likely booting through a USB device is also possible.

[Booting from USB Floppy Disk (USB FDD)]

It is likely that any computer that has USB port support in the BIOS, and the ability to boot from a floppy disk, will boot DSL from a USB boot floppy drive.

First, download [2] the appropriate floppy image file bootfloppy.img or bootfloppy-usb.img.

If you are already using Linux, you can simply create a bootable floppy disk with the command:

However, if you are using Windows, download [4] and unzip RawWrite, a utility for creating a bootable floppy. Run the rawwrite.exe file to select the bootfloppy.img file and create the boot floppy disk. Make sure that you have a formatted floppy disk installed in the drive, because the creation of a boot floppy will begin immediately, without any confirmation.

After successful booting from boot floppy, you need to enter the following command to boot from a USB flash drive:

To boot from a CD, the command is as follows:

Alternative installation of Poorman. Finally, if the CDROM drive was not found by the DSL system at boot time and you are using DOS/Windows 95/98/98SE/Windows ME, you can still use DSL.

First boot your old operating system, then install the DSL livecd disk. Copy the KNOPPIXKNOPPIX file to C:KNOPPIXKNOPPIX.

Important note: the letters in the directory and file names must be uppercase.

After that, restart your computer using the DSL boot floppy. Reboot should find the "KNOPPIX" file on the HDD and load the DSL. This boot is also known as the "Poorman's Install" DSL to the hard drive when there is a bootable floppy disk.

Keep in mind that this may not work in Windows NT/2000/XP because they use the NTFS file system on the hard disk.

Keep in mind that if you intend to actually install DSL like Debian on your hard drive for releases 2.0 and later, then you should also copy the boot directory tree to C:boot (with older versions of DSL, copy the KNOPPIXboot tree to C:KNOPPIXboot instead), as the hard disk installation process will attempt to copy the kernel from the 'CD'. Versions 1.5 and older require additional copying of KNOPPIXboot.img to C:KNOPPIXboot.img.

[USB Boot from GRUB]

If you have GRUB installed on your hard drive, you can boot the DSL from the GRUB installation without changing the BIOS settings. You should do your research on what options need to be added to make everything work well. Keep in mind that if GRUB is password protected, you need to know it, otherwise you will not be able to perform the following procedure.

When you see the GRUB screen, press c, then type the following:

X, Y. Here X identifies your USB drive, and Y is the partition number (numbering starts with 0). You can press the tab key on your keyboard to see a list of available drives:

You can also make an assumption about the name of the disk (if you do not know which name corresponds to your drive) by pressing the tab again after selecting one of the options hd0, hd1, . Another list will be displayed with information about the partition of the selected disk, with numbering starting with 0. This number that corresponds to the section should be substituted for Y in the above command. You can try the root command with all devices to determine the desired disk and partition.

Z. In general (unless you need to display your devices), Z will be a letter defined as follows. Suppose you have a list of available devices:

Start counting the letters for the USB drive, starting with a from the first SATA drive (if present). The letter you reach should replace Z. If you don't have any sata drives, then Z will have the letter a.

N. Finally, N will be Y + 1.

Example: suppose you have 2 disks: primary pata and secondary disk (Secondary SATA). Boot up your PC and connect a USB drive to it. Suppose also that hd0 is a primary disk, hd1 is a secondary disk, and hd2 is a USB drive. Then instead of Z will be the letter b, since there is a secondary drive hd1, which is sata.

GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is a multiboot boot loader that is most commonly used to boot one of two or one of several operating systems installed on a single computer. This is the first program that runs when you turn on or reset your computer.

Technically, a multiboot boot loader is something that can load any executable file with a multiboot header present in the first 8KB of that file. Such a header consists of 32 bits of "magic" numbers, 32 bits of flags, another 32 bits of "magic"-numbers, followed by the data of the executable image.

GRUB, like other boot loaders, is configured through a configuration file. By default, it is located in /boot/grub/menu.lst. It may also be called For information on how to edit the GRUB menu, see the GRUB man pages documentation.

[Creating a bootable floppy or CD]

The first thing to do to install GRUB on your hard drive is to download the GRUB floppy disk image. If you don't have a floppy, you can take a grub.iso image for the CD.

Consider the following:

• The image is about 500 kilobytes in size.
• You must close the CD session. A multisession won't work properly.

Create a floppy with the following command:

Using dd will not work because there are currently no plans to create a version for dd because the cat method works well. For iso, you can use cdrecord just as you would for any other iso.

[First Boot]

So, now you have bootable media, and you need to boot a dead computer with a GRUB disk, and tell grub how to do the boot.

Note: First you need to configure the BIOS to boot from floppy/CD instead of hard disk.

Fortunately, GRUB is very easy to set up. For example, if your HDD DSL installation is on hda1, all you need to enter is:

Note that GRUB does not number disks and partitions in the same way as Linux. Linux starts numbering with 1 and GRUB with 0. Thus, the first disk will be hd0, the next disks will be hd1, hd2 and so on. Same with sections. The first section is numbered 0, then 1 is used for the second partition, and so on.

The DSL kernel is in /boot/linux24, so don't change it. For the "root=" element, make an entry as in the examples above, /dev/hda1 or something else.


Keep in mind: DSL 1.3+ will automatically install GRUB as part of the Frugal Install script (Apps menu -> Tools).

After the DSL is installed, boot grub.dsl from MyDSL. Run the following command, which will install GRUB in the MBR of the first HDD:

This command will not kill your Windows. We will restore its download soon.

The last step is to configure the GRUB menu through the menu.list file, if you do not want to manually enter commands to manually manage the boot.

The extension will create an empty menu.lst in /boot/grub, which you must configure manually. Remember that to boot Windows you need to make chainloader +1. Something like this if Windows is on hda2.

Syslinux is a standard boot loader for MS-DOS FAT file systems. during boot, boot loader ensures that your machine knows where to find the bootable operating system.

GRUB and LILO are other boot loaders commonly used to boot Linux on x86 computers (PCs).

[Using Syslinux with DSL]

If you want to install DSL on a USB flash drive, you need to decide which file system to use – FAT16 or FAT32. Syslinux does not support FAT32 prior to Syslinux v3.00, so fat32 requires v3.00 or later to use FAT32.