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Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewsense in very old hardware

From: Jason Self
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewsense in very old hardware
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 21:06:41 -0700

I would like to start using a GNU/Linux enterily free, and I was
wondering if there a way to install gNewsense in very old hardware (I
mean PIII 633 mhz. with 128 MB of RAM) because the current
installation don't let me. Beside, and in part that's a razon I'm
currently using Debian, I was wondering if there a installation way
like Debian (i.e. text mode with really very low hardware
requierements and, if wanted, very few soft installed afterwards).

In the world of Ubuntu 8.04 (on which gNewSense is based), this is partly accomplished by an alternate install CD that boots into a text- based installer. It appears that gNewSense does not offer such an option at this time, although it would be nice.

Even if such an option were available, though, in reviewing the alternate install CD for Ubuntu 8.04 it appears that only the installer is different: It appears that even this minimal text-based installer still installs the full desktop environment. As a result, even if you could boot the installer you would still run into the issue of running the full desktop environment.

The Debian installer definitely is better in this area: You can use the same installer in graphical or text mode, and arrange for a /very/ minimal installation (enough to boot the machine to a shell and not much more.) Even on systems that /are/ able to run the full desktop environment, this "less is more" philosophy is definitely appealing to me. I think of it as more of an "opt-in" way of installing things where I get to specify just exactly what I want, as opposed to the installer used by Ubuntu, and hence gNewSense, where it's more "opt- out" (I get a standard install and then remove what I don't want.)

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