SLS: Free Linux Distribution

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Owner of this machine

Aug 12, 1992, 7:22:03 PM8/12/92
Forgive if this is a repost, but all of our Pnews systems have packed up.

Linux is already available from a distribution service (commercial
found at the end since none of you will want to use it).

What I am looking for is an FTP admin to allow the upload (about 17Meg)
to your archive. Also about a dozen burly (in hacker terms this means
you are more likely to say "the following patch..." than "why don't
you...") volunteers to excercise and criticise it. Respond via mail

This distribution is different primarily because it has an initial
install program, it breaks everything into packages, which can be
stored on DOS floppies, meaning disk images don't have to be posted
(except for the boot and utils disks), and because it has a menu
driven sysadmin program.

Following is the readme file from the distribution.
Here is release .96c of the SoftLanding Linux System (SLS),
which is NOT just an image dump of someones Unix system.
Instead its primary purposes are:

0) provide an initial installation program (for the quesy).
1) utilities compiled to use minimal disk space.
2) provide a reasonably complete/integrated U*ix system.
3) provide a means to install and uninstall packages.
4) permit partial installations for small disk configs.
5) add a menu driven, extensible system administration.
6) take the hassle out of collecting and setting up a system.
7) give non internet users access to Linux.

In particular, the menu interface allows the users to see
what commands would be executed if an option was selected,
so that Unix newbies who use it, don't have to always stay
newbies (this was my big complaint about DELL, ISC, etc).
In some ways, however, this release is more a framework than
a finished product in that much more can be added to the menus.
So be forewarned.

This distribution is freely available if you have internet
access, or an obliging friend with access to it.
The distribution is made up of 15 disks, only the first two of
which are not DOS formatted floppies. Each disk contains about
1100K of stuff. You can, however, get a pretty complete system with
just disk 1-4, or if you already have linux up, just disks 3 and 4.

There are several reasons for using DOS formatted
floppies for for distribution:

1) it is easier for first time users to download/bootstrap
2) it is easier to view/maintain/change the distribution.
3) users can take just the parts from each disk they want.
4) DOS diskcopy can be used to backup all but disks 1 and 2.

This is a binary mostly distribution (except for the kernel), and
is broken into 2 parts: base (10 disks) and X (5 disks).
Highlights of the base are: gcc/g++, emacs, kermit, elm/mail/uucp,
gdb, sc (spreadsheet), man pages, groff, elvis, zip/zoo/lh and menu.
Highlights of X are: X, programmers libs, 75 dpi fonts, games (spider,
tetris, xvier, chess, othello, xeyes, etc) and utilities like xmag,
xmenu, xcolormap, and gwm.

Utilities < 40K are linked -N (in most cases) to eliminate the
header, so much disk space is saved. Disk usage is as follows:

Minimal base system: 3 Meg
Full base system: 16 Meg
Full base system + X11: 27 Meg

An auto installation utility is provided which does all the work
after the user does an fdisk and mkfs. Installation begins with

doinstall /dev/hd?

which installs some or all software onto the hard drive, generates a
new boot disk, and then asks the user to reboot to use the hard disk.
This should be more or less fool proof :-).

Other configurations are easily obtainable, by using the sysinstall
utility to install and uninstall selected packages.

The SLS system is available, primarily for non-netters from:

Softlanding Software
910 Lodge Ave.
Victoria, B.C., Canada
(604) 360-0188

for $3.25/disk US ($4.00/disk Canadian) copying charge.
See Softlanding for a gentle touch down from a DOS bailout.

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