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Linux on my laptop, easy!

Written by kevin

I’ve been battling with trying to get a working Linux setup on my laptop for quite a while now. It’s an HP, with one of the usual wacky laptop graphics chipsets, a weirdo soft-modem and the processor is only a K6 at 466MHz.

My first attempt was to install Gentoo, so the laptop setup would be the same as my desktop PC. With Gentoo you build everything from source, which takes forever on such an elderly machine. I also hit problems with some bits of KDE which would almost finish compiling then fail.

I lost patience with making Gentoo work on the laptop and tried doing a network install of Debian. The first attempt failed when I discovered that the boot CD didn’t support PCMCIA, which makes using my network card tricky. The second attempt failed because I couldn’t be bothered with the amount of time it was taking to install.

Fortunately I’ve got a Knoppix CD lying around, this is a pretty full-featured Debian system that runs from the CD. After a bit of poking about on Knoppix sites I discovered instructions describing how to install it on your hard disk.

The hardware auto-detection was flawless, the installation only took about 20 minutes and I now have a working system complete with OpenOffice, KDE and loads of other software.

Now I just have to remember how to use Debian’s package management stuff again…

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 18th, 2003 at 16:13 and is filed under tech.

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