Floppix

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Calum
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Floppix

Post by Calum »

go and look at this!
http://floppix.ccai.com/cindex.html

floppix is a debian based linux which boots off of two floppies. it looks as though it is the perfect learning tool for those who are beginners at linux and who genuinely want to learn more about it (NOT those who are genuinely beginners and simply want KDE to act just like windows).

in particular their docs page (url above) is really good and has a lot of basic info about how linux administration works, and explains all concepts not found in windows to the user in easy language. This distro looks like it will replace basiclinux in my affections as the best floppy based distro (now as of 2.0 and upwards, basiclinux is becoming a small hard drive linux, with nothing to offer that vectorlinux hasn't already got) but then i suppose that should go in the slackware section...

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Post by Void Main »

Hmmm, interesting. I know this floppix is not intended to be a rescue/recovery floppy but tomsrtbt has always been my favorite and likely will be for some time to come as a useful rescue/recovery floppy. It has hard disk support (including NTFS file systems), networking (including web server), PCMCIA, etc, etc, etc, on a single floppy disk.

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Post by Calum »

for some reason i have never got round to trying tomsrtbt, but it's next on the list, since it seems to be the most popular floppy linux, and it is only one floppy (most others are two or three disks, and usually use loadlin)

also, i haven't tried yet, but i think floppix has no hard drive support, although when i get used to it i will try and use mknod to make a /dev entry for the hard drive, is this going to be possible?

floppix seems to be a teaching/test drive tool (like knoppix) more than a rescue disk. i think tomsrtbt would be the perfect complement to floppix actually.

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Post by Void Main »

I can't quite figure out what use Floppix would be. There isn't much teaching you can do with the few utilities included. Knoppix on the other hand could be quite useful as it can be used for many things including a teaching tool as well as a recovery system. It says on the Floppix site main page that there is no hard disk support. I take that to mean there are no drivers included in the kernel which would allow you to access a hard drive even if you did make a device file using mknod. Now that's strange to me because it does appear to have network support including samba client support. Why not also include hard disk support? I suppose you could hack the kernel yourself and add it.

The only major thing I see that Floppix includes that tomsrtbt does not is the bash shell. tomsrtbt uses ash instead for size (ash is about 100k, bash is about 600k). The only thing I can figure is that it might be useful for traveling people who may be susceptible to withdrawals if they don't get their daily dose of:

Code: Select all

$ echo "`echo 'My Name is Linus' | cut -f4- -d' '` is kewl."

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Post by Calum »

well from what i see, it's supposed to be a really basic introduction to *nix for people who know nothing about *nix to begin with, and combined with the docs on the site, i think it would be very good at that. the reason there's no hard disk support is most likely in case the person using it (who will probably have windows and windows alone on heir hard drive) will be paranoid because of all the FUD about how linux will destroy their windows et c, so they have to make a big deal about how that is not the case.

now i think about it, i said elsewhere that slackware was really easy and it would only be difficult to a windoid, and i think floppix would play a good part in preparing the die hard windoid for *nix, so they could then use slackware without feeling out of their depth. just a thought.

as for using knoppix instead, the thing about having a GUI is that t's not going to teach you much. if you used windows, kde is just the same, and if you used a mac, gnome is very similar (except the knoppix version of gnome uses icewm instead of metacity), so new users will not learn anything. knopix is more of an advert for linux, while floppix can be the first week or so of real learning to whet their appetite, don't you think?

i mean i know knoppix can provide all the command line stuff and so on, but why would a new user ever use a command line when they have kde at their fingertips?

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Post by Void Main »

Calum wrote:i mean i know knoppix can provide all the command line stuff and so on, but why would a new user ever use a command line when they have kde at their fingertips?
Why would those same users ever use Floppix when they have Windows at their fingertips? If they want to learn, why would they want to be contstrained to such a very small subset of commands? I just don't get it. But that's alright, somebody must.

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Post by Calum »

that's true i suppose.

the one and only difference i see is that floppix runs entirely in RAM and therefore all the files can be edited, whereas a lot of the knoppix filesystem is read only, so administration stuff can't be demonstrated quite so easily when working through a tutorial.

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