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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)XFree86 Installation in DOSLinux

From STEVEN SCHILLY on 20 Aug 1998

Hey sorry about 'council' sometimes my mind is wondering about in many green fields at once! Anyway I figured that out before I got your mail it was in the init and inittab (although I have no idea what was wrong!) I copied an init file from a working version of micro linux to mine and a new kernel of DOSLinux x.xx? (will have to look). I'd like to run X86Free; where is the best place or way to download this entire package. What will make installing it as easy as possible? I like to hack at the system level but don't have the time right now .. so I'd like the easy way out....Any sug.?

(?)XFree86 Installation in DOSLinux

From Rick, Aug 1998

I have doslinux on my PC b/c i wanted to keep Win95. I want to load Xwindows but i cannot figure out how to do it on DOSlinux... Could you please point me in the right direction like what files i need and how to install and run. thanks ...

(!)Jim answers both...

[His two messages weren't precise copies, but you, our web readers, only need to read the cut-and-pasted portions once. -- Heather]
I think the easiest way would be to install the RPM utilities using the unRPM-Install package that's Available on the DOSLinux "Home Page."
Then I'd fetch the XFree86 packages from a Red Hat mirror and just use the 'rpm -i' command.
You could also consider one of the other "tiny" Linux distibutions like "Xdenu" or "Dragon"
Here's a copy of another message that covers almost the same question:
[copy omitted]
The easy way out of manually installing XFree86 is to pick a distribution that includes it. I gather that you're running DOSLinux --- which is similar to "MiniLinux" in that you can install a functional Linux subsystem into an MS-DOS subdirectory in about 20Mb of disk space (maybe 30 or 40 these days).
Oddly enough I just got another question on the same topic. I'll paste copies of my suggestions:
There were a couple of predecessors to DOSLinux, including Mini-Linux and Xdenu. Xdenu is still available at sunsite:
... and it included the X windows subsystem. That apparently hasn't been updated in about 3 years.
Just a couple of directories over from that you'll find tinyX at:
... which is a set of implementations that each fit on a single floppy. (You pick the file that matches your video card type. Most of these are from '93 or '95).
MiniLinux itself is still there: it fits on about four diskettes and includes X. It also dates back to '95. However, it's programs should probably still run on any more recent system (you might need a kernel with support for the old COFF/a.out format --- since I don't think MiniLinux was updated to ELF).
Also on sunsite we find a page that links us to "Monkey-Linux" which does include X and was updated at least as recently as May of '97. The author notes: "English documentations is still not fine..." So you might feel more comfortable with this if Czechloslovakian is your native language. The web page is at:
He does note that Monkey is compiled for ELF format.

(?)XFree86 Installation in DOSLinux

From Rick on 20 Aug 1998

thanks for the help... i think i have learned from doslinux so i can go ahead and install redhat... i will still use this information to try to get dos linux working on my laptop. thank you.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 32 September 1998

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