New to Linux and installed DSL, now what?

Hey… I’m an absolute NOOB when it comes to Linux, but so far, I’m <3’ing it…

I installed DSL onto the hard-drive to free up my flash-drive and CD-rom, and now I’m personalising my install… but to do so means learning the system, as I’m switching over from that other OS… any help would be appreciated (other than telling me RTFM, that is)…

Where to start? Ooh… how about explaining to me how to work “Concatenating”. Anyone up for the challenge?

Do you mean concatenate as in programming, or the Linux cat command ?

The cat command just lists a files (or files) contents, and allows you to pipe the outpput to another command iF you wish.

Though there are options such as -n (which will number the lines), see:

man cat

A good explanation can be found here:

The Linux cat command is what I meant, because for some reason, when I type “man cat” into my Bash terminal (or my root@box:/home/dsl# as well) it comes up with

This is not a BusyBox application.

Error: No data read.

So, no help is available on my installation… Or at least, no helpful help, that is.

I’m going to guess DSL left out (some of ?) the man pages to keep the size down… but it is a guess :o

There’s a searchable man pages database here:

Or they are listed on:
under “Documentation” at the top of every page.

cat is part of coreutils, so I would have expected its man page to be installed :o … is man-db installed ?

I’m guessing so too. I’ll check the links you posted after I’ve replied, (re: searchable manpages and “Documentation”), but for now I just need to know how to check where I would find “man-db” and whether it’s installed or not. How do I go about checking that?

I know very little of DSL, but if you want to check back later, I’ll download it and load it in a VM… then I should be in a better position to answer your questions.

Thanks, Mark. Much appreciated.

For anyone else that wishes to help me, I have this thread set to notify me on any new replies.

Well so far I’ve been unable to get DSL to recognise my mouse whilst running in a (Virtualbox) VM which is weird ??? … I’ll have a go in VMware and see how that goes.

Any particular reason you went for DSL ?

If you need a “tiny” install, Slitaz seems easier to use … or Puppy.

According to this page, DSL gets its man pages from the internet, using Net MAN ( /usr/local/bin/getman ) and then displays the result in the terminal:

Slitaz does something similar, the first time you run a command such as:

man cat

you get the same Busybox message, but it prompts you to install retawq -

tux@slitaz:-$ man cat

Missing Retawq web browser
Please run: su -c “tazpkg fet-install retawq”

Once you run that command, the man pages work properly.

I’m not suggesting this as a fix for DSL, as I doubt DSL uses tazpkg … more as an indication of how Slitaz seems to be more helpful, it also has a more conventional software package manager, and is about the same size as DSL.

Any reason you didn’t go for a more user-friendly mainstream (but heavier) distro such as Ubuntu ?

I had gotten Puppy installed, but it also crashed about 20 minutes into the session. Meh, must’ve been me.

I’ll try Slitaz out as soon as I find the .ISO file to write to LiveCD.

Thanks for the help, Mark.

You probably already know this, but just in case (or for future readers)…

SliTaz homepage:

SliTaz 3.0 download:

If you just need a “light” desktop environment… why not try Xubuntu:

at least with Xubuntu, you’ll have access to the Ubuntu software repositories, and to a certain extent the larger amount of online help.

Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop

Or there’s Lubuntu which uses the LXDE desktop:

or even Debain 6 … then just install whichever desktop environment suits you needs… and only the software you require:

Unless there’s a specific reason for using a “tiny” distro, I’d steer clear, at least till you feel more at home with Linux… but the choice is yours.

Do you still want me to try to get DSL to work in a VM, then work out the man page issue ?

Thanks for all the links, hope they help anyone else reading this as much as they’ve helped me.

The specific reason I’ve got for using a tiny distro is that my laptop is REALLY OLD, and I am not gonna try and hunt for more RAM for such an old machine. I thought I’d save the machine from just being thrown away by proving that it can still be useful with Linux installed on it. I’ve only got 16mb of Ram on it, and a 6Gig hard-drive. Is that a good enough reason?

Oh, and I do have the option of connecting it to the network, which will give me access to the internet… but I’ve already got my desktop plugged in to that, and I’m using my desktop to surf the web. Yes, I’m still on Windows 7, (apologies for the foul language) but I’m not confident enough in Linux yet, so…

Yes please, to the DSL on a VM to work out the man pages issue… in case there’s something wrong with the way I make .ISO’s and can’t get SliTaz/SliTaz 3.0/Xubuntu/Lubuntu/Debian 6 working.

OK, forget Slitaz (and all the others I mentioned) the minimum system requirements are 192MB RAM:

I’ll have another go at DSL this evening as it quotes the minimum system spec as 16MB for X-window:

I’ll also look around for any other distro’s with a light RAM requirement.

Thanks again, Mark. I couldn’t remember that that was the reason I’d chosen DSL, because I’d given up on the ISO’s I’d made a while back, and tried again only recently, when I found out the DSL ISO I had downloaded wasn’t DSL, it was DSL-N… so I downloaded the DSL iso, and finally succeeded in installing it onto the laptop.

EDIT: Oh, and the reason I wanted to do Linux is because I heard it was more stable… on the laptop that I was planning on making into a pdf-reader as is (Pretty much turning it into a “kindle” of sorts), but now I’m interested in the rest of the uses Linux can provide me with as well.

I’ve just discovered MultiSytem supports DSL :slight_smile:
(french so you may need to run those through google translate)

So I’ll bung it on a USB pendrive later, and see if I can get the mouse to work… otherwise it’ll have to be a “proper” install :wink:

I’ll post back later when I’ve further info.

BTW, do you know which version of DSL (release number) you have ? … I may as well be testing the same version.


OK, I’ve cracked it… there are 2 errors in the /usr/local/bin/man file.

First you must understand that DSL gets its man pages from the internet, so you won’t be able to get them without an internet connection.

OK, now to the fix…

First we’ll backup the /usr/local/bin/man file to /usr/local/bin/man-original … Open up a terminal and enter:

sudo cp /usr/local/bin/man /usr/local/bin/man-original

(and hit enter)

Now open /usr/local/bin/man for editing … in the terminal enter:

sudo beaver /usr/local/bin/man

(and hit enter)

Find the line that reads:

$grab = '' . $app;

and change it to:

$grab = '' . $app;

then find the line that reads:

$grab = '' . $app ;

and change it to:

$grab = '' . $app ;

SAVE the file.

Now try running:

man cat


man ls

and the man pages should now be displayed :wink:

Effectively, you’re just removing item_ from those 2 lines.

Thanks, Mark… at first I thought it wasn’t working, because it said:

dsl@box:~$ man cat This is not a BusyBox application.
But then it switched over to the man page for "cat" and gave me the instructions I found online when searching for "concatenate" on Google. I'm trying other man pages now, and they all seem to be working fine.

You’re welcome :slight_smile: … I’m guessing BusyBox changed the format of the webpage that contained the BusyBox man pages.

If it isn’t a BusyBox command, it gets the man page from:
(I think)

But if it is a BusyBox command it gets them from here:

The thing is, it still hasn’t explained what the “cat” function is for… That, I found on one of the links you posted… I think it was this one.

The reason I asked about “cat” in the first place was because I followed a tutorial on The Shell… which had a few exercises at the end… If you want to see it, it’s here.

When I got to the line that said:

concatenate the files copied above into one single file called file1
I thought it meant that the context of each of the files I’d just copied into the /Temp11 folder were to be rewritten into file1, so I wrote:
dsl@box:home/Temp11$ cat >> file1
then pressed +d, and was not expecting there to only be a list of the four files I just entered when I followed the next line of the instructions… What I was expecting was to see the contents of each file “pasted” into the file file1, as if that’s what “cat” was supposed to do.

Was it something I did wrong?

Ok you’re already in the Temp11 directory… but you didn’t tell cat which files to concatenate and output to file1

As you are going to concatenate ALL the files in Temp11, it would be easiest to use the wildcard symbol (*) … so:

cat * > file1

it then wants you to count the lines… which would normally be done with:

cat -n file1

which would add line numbers… but I don’t think the BusyBox version of cat supports the -n option :o