Valerio Di Giampietro

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My first linux CD-ROM

This was my first Linux CD-ROM. At the time, it was May, 1993, I had a partial and slow access to the Internet at work (only e-mail, telnet and ftp, but no newsgroups); at home i was an active member of the bbs fidonet network community. A day, in the Fidonet UNIX.ITA area (a fidonet area is like an internet newsgroup) i read a posting about the aviability of Linux on CD-ROM from a company, based in Canada, and called SLS (Softlanding Linux System).
I immediately bought it, repartitoned my 486DX33 with 250Mb of Hard Disk and 4Mb of RAM, created a 100Mb partition for Linux (plus a 16Mb partition for swap) and installed the SLS distribution of Linux.
At the time the Linux Documentation Project wasn’t started yet, the kernel was at version 0.99p9 (0.99 patch level 9), and the only help was the really big Linux FAQ by Marc-Michel Corsini.

In that FAQ there were really interesting things like:

  • LINUX runs only on 386/486 AT-bus machines; porting to non-Intel architectures is likely to be difficult, as the kernel makes extensive use of 386 memory management and task primitives.
  • How much space will Linux take up on my hard drive? Usually it’s somewhere between 10 megs (for a nominal system+swap space) and 30-40 megs (for everything plus space for user directories, etc.). BTW the full SLS needs around 60 MB (including TeX and other goodies).
  • Why can’t we split comp.os.linux?

One year later, in 1994, I started a BBS running on my Linux box and part of the Fidonet network, it was called “niXnet” and his motto was “Linux based, Unix oriented”. Here you can find an old Fidonet Nodelist for Friday, October 28, 1994 — Day number 301 where my BBS was listed.

4 responses to “My first linux CD-ROM”

  1. Anonymous says:

    wow… awesome..
    wow… awesome.. i wish i had a cd like this..
    and the next distro would be slackware..
    that’s nice!

    yklys –

    • Anonymous says:

      cdrom pics

      Cool post, and really cool to scan the actual disc in and post it. I have been making a vague effort to do the same thing over here: If anyone else has pics of actual cd or dvd media (or, heck, floppies, anyone?) that came with Linux on it, feel free to post them on the site as well.


  2. waqar rashid says:

    Sorry for commenting on such an old post. But I went to read to the Linux FAQ and found this:

    ” I.11) (Dan) How long has Linux been publicly available?

    ANSWER (partial): Few months, v0.10 went out in Nov. 91, v0.11 in Dec.
    and the current version CURRENT_VERSION is available since
    KERNEL_DATE. But even it is pretty recent it is quite reliable. There
    are very few and small bugs and in its current state it is mostly
    useful for people who are willing to port code and write new code. As
    Linux is very close to a reliable/stable system, Linus decided that
    v0.13 will be known as v0.95. Believe it or not: the whole story
    started (nearly) with two processes that printed AAAA… and BBBB…
    BTW consult the digest#136 Vol2 for a complete story.”

    Do you know if the mentioned “digest#136 Vol2” is available anywhere on internet? I would love to read it.

    • Valerio says:

      Hi Waqar,
      Thank you for your comment, yes it is an old post, but about a subject I am proud of!
      I think the digest refers to some sort of automatic digest emailing from the “compo.os.linux”, I wasn’t able to find that specific digest, but I suppose it refers to a Linus Torvalds’post, included in that digest, where he replied to the question about “as to how one goes about the task of writing an OS from scratch”. In his reply, Linus explained the first steps and obstacles in developing the kernel from scratch on a 386 machine.
      This post is available in many places that have that newsgroup archived, for example here:
      The post headers, useful to search again this post on the Internet are:

      From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
      Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
      Subject: Re: Writing an OS - questions !!
      Date: 5 May 92 07:58:17 GMT
      Organization: University of Helsinki

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