Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Damn Small Sunday

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Damn Small Linux released version 1.1 Thursday, May 5 with a few new features and some fixed bugs, yet still a 50MB download. Actually it's a 49.1 MB download. Also avaiable are bootable 128MB USB pen drives and an embedded on usb version (that will run from within a booted os without having to reboot specifically into dsl). I couldn't let this occasion sneak by without notice.

I downloaded my sparking new dsl-1.1.iso in just a few minutes it being so damn small, then promptly cdrecord dev=ATAPI:0,1,0 dsl-1.1.iso -v . I booted the livecd to fully functioning basic hardware: net, sound, and graphics. Hardware detection comes from Knoppix and has always been quite good. dsl-1.1 is built on top of linux-2.4.26 and some new features (according to the changelog) include:

  • New boot time option "secure" will prompt for passwords for root & dsl

  • New boot time option "protect" will prompt for an encryption password and then triple des encrypt the backup file
  • New boot time option "host" to pass hostname. Use as boot: dsl host=web123
  • Added webdata, a triple des secure backup/restore to remote ftp server
  • lspci now display textual description from pci database
  • Added button to emelfm "Add2Filetool" to easily select and add files to the filetool.lst. Works from CLI as well
  • Updated word view, excel view, and powerpoint view to accept spaces in filenames -- note only these MS utils will support this feature
  • Corrected group bug in /usr/bin/rebuildfstab
  • Changed typos in Getting Started
  • Created work-around for the improper interactions of just a few programs with restarting xtdesk from within emelfm
  • dsl-embedded upgraded to qemu-0.7

On the fluxbox xtdesktop we find the usual suite of applications ranging from the indispensable XTerminal to xZGV. These include Firefox, Dillo, Emelfm, xMMs, Xpdf, FLwriter, and Xpaint as well as Damn Small's own DLSpanel and MyDSL. Included are a couple nice themes (styles) and a great gkrellm-like mix of wm applets. I chose Tree_and_Moom, more for the window decorations than the wallpaper.

In the menu one can find a many more useful applications ranging from A to Z, well, from Beaver to Xcalc. These include M$ document viewers, gPhone, Slag spreadsheet and Net Dictionary. The net menu comes with browsers, irc clients, SMBclient, Microcom and Telnet as well as a "Get Flash Plugin" app. Some things in the Tools menu are "Make my DSL CD remaster", CD Burn App, Midnight Commander, Install to Hard Drive and Install to USB Pendrive as well as Enable Apt and Synaptic.

DLSpanel is a graphical system configuration tool used to set up things such as printer, ssh server, net conections, and filesharing.

Most interesting is the MyDSL extention panel. With it one can download all sorts of dsl applications ready to install. I used it to install Enrapture and TheGimp for example. It's not an installer per se, but it does download the application tarballs to a location of your choice and those tarballs are binaries ready to install. All one does is uncompress and untar it in the root directory and wha-la it's installed. The packages apparently include all needed dependency files as well because my packages worked with no fuss (save the XFree86 configuration).

Clicking "Enable Apt" in the menu causes a terminal to open and apt-get begins building the source directory files. Clicking Synaptic begins it downloading then installing the graphical front-end as well as placing a xtdesk icon. Oooo, neato! Let's install something.... <short pause> Yep. Works.





Next is the really big test. Install to hard drive. I fired up fdisk and it kinda puked on reading my entire drive. I can't explain that as fdisk usually works well from gentoo or others, but no matter really, I didn't need to change any partitions. (Later I noticed the documentation recommends using cfdisk.) I then deleted the data off that partition and ran mkfs.ext3 on said partition and typed into a terminal dsl-hdinstall. It then reformatted the partition and made the filesystem, so my manual steps weren't necessary. Next the installer asked if I wanted the enhanced install, then proceeded to install the contents of the cd in ramdisk and extra files from a chosen remote ftp directory. It asked about installing lilo, but I knew manual intervention would be necessary on my install, so I declined. I mounted my main os and edited the lilo.conf, copied the boot files to my /boot partition, and ran lilo. I got so anxious that I forgot to move all those screen dumps I had been taking for my article, but nothing I could do about it then, except sigh a heavy sigh and see if dsl would boot. Boot it did.

During boot up it prompted me to set up a root password and asked if I wanted to set up a user with password, then it booted into the familiar damn small desktop as described above. To my elation I found not only the application(s) I had installed while running the livecd, but all the files from the home directory. Saved were all my screen dumps and my enthusiam for writing this article.

I preceeded to download thegimp, the kernel sources, XFree86 and nvidia drivers through the provided MyDSL extention. I copied and edited my xorg.conf from gentoo but wonderful examples are provided in your home directory as well. I changed the .xserverrc file in my home directory as instructed from exec /usr/bin/X11/Xvesa -mouse "/dev/psaux",5 -screen 1024x768x32 -shadow -nolisten tcp -I &>/dev/null
to exec /usr/X11R6/bin/XFree86 -nolisten tcp. It took a little fiddling with the XF86Config-4 file to get it to work, but I started X after about the 3rd try. I perhaps would have had quicker results had I used one of the provided examples. You can find my XF86Config-4 here.

So, in conclusion, this release of Damn Small Linux was just as much fun as it always is. The new features helped enhance the user experience and the new-to-me features were so much fun with which to work. It never fails to amaze me all that dsl can squeeze into 50 mb.

As always, there are screenshots posted in the Tuxgallery.

re: Good review..

well thank you for saying. Smile

Some of those suggestions sound interesting, while some sound impossible for me to do due to hardware restrictions. But thanks so much for your input. I'll keep it in mind.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Software and Games: Hegemon, Gift of Parthax, Lutris

  • Hegemon – A Modular System Monitor Application Written In Rust
    When it comes to monitor running processes in Unix-like systems, the most commonly used applications are top and htop, which is an enhanced version of top. My personal favorite is htop. However, the developers are releasing few alternatives to these applications every now and then. One such alternative to top and htop utilities is Hegemon. It is a modular system monitor application written using Rust programming language.
  • Wizard arena-fighter 'Gift of Parthax' is now officially out on Linux
    Announced yesterday after a pretty short beta period, the magical arena fighting game Gift of Parthax is now officially available for Linux. Along with putting the Linux build out in public, their latest release also fixes a few bugs. The developer sent over a key and I've been testing it, the Linux version seems to be working really quite nicely. If you liked the idea of Wizard of Legend, but found it a little too fast for your tastes then Gift of Parthax might be a better fit although it's single-player only.
  • Lutris 0.4.20 is now out, to help you manage all your games plus some Overwatch testing
    I have to admit, the game manager Lutris [Official Site] has come along quite a bit since I last used it. Today, version 0.4.20 was made available. For those not aware of it, Lutris is an application that aims to give you a single place to manage all your games on Linux. It supports native games, Wine, various emulators and so on. The application itself is available under the GPL and the helper scripts to install games can be viewed before using them so it's quite nice.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • Editor's Corner—Open source is not 'one size fits all' [Ed: But that's a plus, not a minus. With proprietary software it's one unsuitable thing for everything; doesn't scale.]
    Open source communities are no doubt playing a key role in moving the telecommunications industry forward, but not everyone is on board the bandwagon. Over the past five months or so, we've spent a fair amount of time writing about open source groups and standards development organizations (SDOs) such as the Linux Foundation, MEF, Open Networking Foundation, OpenDaylight, the TM Forum and ETSI, and there's clearly more cooperation afoot for the good of the industry. But artificial intelligence startup B.Yond's chief marketing officer, Rikard Kjellberg, said his company has to be careful when it comes to choosing which open source community to commit its resources to. Kjellberg spoke to FierceTelecom on the heels of the AT&T Spark conference earlier this month.
  • Collabora Had Another Stellar Year For Open-Source Consulting
    The Collabora open-source consulting firm whose expertise spans from the Linux kernel to LibreOffice and X.Org had another successful year. The UK-based company last week reported their 2017 financial position last week providing a glimpse at the viability of open-source / free software consulting.
  • Daniel Stenberg: The Polhem prize, one year later
    Family and friends have gotten a rudimentary level of understanding of what curl is and what it does. I'm not suggesting they fully grasp it or know what an "internet protocol" is now, but at least a lot of people understand that it works with "internet transfers". It's not like people were totally uninterested before, but when I was given this prize - by a jury of engineers no less - that says this is a significant invention and accomplishment with a value that "can not be overestimated", it made them more interested. The little video that was produced helped:
  • Open Source Voice Assistant, Mycroft AI, Named Top Deal By KingsCrowd
  • Service providers increasingly adopt open source for their networks
    Communications service providers (CSPs) are increasingly keen to adopt open source technologies to deliver their services, according to research. At this week’s Open Networking Summit Europe in Amsterdam, delegates heard that DevOps, automation, cloud, big data and analytics, software-defined networking (SDN), and management and orchestration (MANO) were increasingly being supported by open source solutions. Commissioned research questioned 150 CSP representatives across 98 companies worldwide. It found that 98% of CSPs are “confident” that open networking solutions can achieve the same level of performance as traditional networking solutions.
  • Communications Service Providers Overwhelmingly Confident in Open Source Networking Solutions, Survey Finds
  • WLinux Distro for Windows Subsystem for Linux Now Available, openSUSE Call for Hosts, New Firefox Bug, Firefox Collecting Telemetry Data and Creative Commons Releases Significant CC Search Update
    In other Firefox news, the browser evidently is collecting telemetry data via hidden add-ons, ITWire reports. The ITWire post also quotes Mozilla's Marshall Eriwn, director of Trust and Security: "...we will measure Telemetry Coverage, which is the percentage of all Firefox users who report telemetry. The Telemetry Coverage measurement will sample a portion of all Firefox clients and report whether telemetry is enabled. This measurement will not include a client identifier and will not be associated with our standard telemetry."
  • This “Netflix For Open Source” Startup Helps Programmers Get Paid
    Open source developers, especially those who work on lesser known projects, do not get much attention or money for the work they do. While some developers are paid to work on open source projects as a part of their day jobs, they can get overwhelmed by the amount of work these projects require.
  • Portable Computing Language 1.2 Released For OpenCL On CPUs & More
    The Portable Computing Language (a.k.a. POCL or PortableCL) is the effort for getting OpenCL running on CPUs as well as other hardware for this open-source code-base that supports OpenCL 1.2 with some OpenCL 2.0+ functionality. The main "feature" of POCL 1.2 is support for LLVM Clang 7.0 as previously the support was limited to LLVM 6.0, but now this new version of LLVM is supported. The HWLOC 2.0 library is also now supported. There are also some minor feature additions like device-side printf being supported.
  • Robert O'Callahan: More Realistic Goals For C++ Lifetimes 1.0
    Over two years ago I wrote about the C++ Lifetimes proposal and some of my concerns about it. Just recently, version 1.0 was released with a blog post by Herb Sutter. Comparing the two versions shows many important changes. The new version is much clearer and more worked-out, but there are also significant material changes. In particular the goal has changed dramatically.

Money and Press for FOSS FUD firms