Chapter 2. Getting and installing Debian GNU/Linux
2.6 Can I install it from a pile of floppy disks?
First of all, a warning: whole Debian GNU/Linux is way too large to be installed from media
as small as a standard 1.44MB floppy disk you may not find installing from floppies a very
Copy the Debian packages onto formatted floppy disks. Either a DOS, the native Linux ext2 ,
or the minix format will do; one just has to use a mount command appropriate to the floppy
Using floppy disks has these complications:
Short MS DOS file names: If you are trying to place Debian package files onto MS DOS
formatted disks, you will find that their names are generally too long, and do not conform
to the MS DOS 8.3 filename limitation. To overcome this, you would have to use VFAT
formatted disks, since VFAT supports longer file names.
Large file sizes: Some packages are larger than 1.44 MBytes, and will not fit onto a
single floppy disk. To solve this problem, use the dpkg split tool (see `dpkg split' on
), available in the
directory on Debian mirrors (
You must have support in the kernel for floppy disks in order to read and write to floppy disk;
most kernels come with floppy drive support included in them.
To mount a floppy disk under the mount point
(a directory which should have been
created during installation), use:
mount t msdos /dev/fd0 /floppy/
if the floppy disk is in drive A: and has an MS DOS file system,
mount t msdos /dev/fd1 /floppy/
if the floppy disk is in drive B: and has an MS DOS file system,
mount t ext2 /dev/fd0 /floppy/
if the floppy disk is in drive A: and has an ext2 (i.e., a normal Linux) file system.
2.7 Can I get and install Debian directly from a remote Internet site?
Yes. You can boot the Debian installation system from a set of files you can download from our
FTP site and its mirrors.
You can download a small CD image file, create a bootable CD from it, install the basic system
from it and the rest over the network. For more information please see