Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Given up on DeLiLinux (url). Liked it but not enough built-in printer support. I am now trying Damn Small Linux (DSL) () – the GUI is very nice. A larger support community than DeLiLinux

It supports HPLIS (a shell script for printer installation) but I am currently trying to get HPLIP (an X HP printer driver installer supporting far more HP printers) working, which apparently is possible, Needs Python – which doesn´t come with DSL – so currently on Python installation.

And yesterday trying to install Python it wants one of three C compilers, none of which come with come with DSL. The compiler that comes with DSL is apparently tcc Tiny C Compiler. There appear to be two possible ways around this – one to edit the installation script to look for tcc rather than the other three, the other to use the Debian command apt). So today will try again.

I am no way an expert in Linux so if any of our readers are, please feel free to add a comment with some advice.

Such problems are both an advantage and a disadvantage with Linux.

On the one hand such problems force me to look for solutions and learn. On the other, they are a pain in the neck and do demand a fairly sophisticated degree of computer literacy – your average user will certainly not have it.

The well-known large flavours of Linux, such as RedHat, SuSe, Ubuntu, do provide purchased commercial support and have large free online support communities. But small distros such as DSL and DeLiLinux have very small user bases – they are designed to be small, to run on old computers with small hard disks and little RAM.

Hands up all those still with a computer with an 801486 processor and 32 Mb of RAM?

Geeks do and we do (hey, we still have a Wang 386 running MS-DOS from 1992!).

So if we’re going to give away some Pentium machines (‘cos I’m not giving away that Wang!) with a 2 Gb hard disk and 128 Mb RAM, I need a small Linux …

Update: Python doesn’t like tcc … AAAARRGH!

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