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I'm preparing an old system with 256 Mb RAM to send it to some children. It doesn't have Ethernet controller and there are no Internet access at the destination. I've chosen Edubuntu for obvious reasons and modified it with UCK trying to minimize memory usage just to install, let alone using it yet.

But Ubiquity won't start even in openbox (edited /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf) because there are no space left on /cow right after booting. I've already deleted things like ibus, zeitgeist, update-manager (no network access after all), twisted-core, plymouth logos.

I'm thinking about creating a swap partition on HDD, can it be later added to expand this /cow ?

This behavior is reproducible in VM limited to 256Mb RAM.

This question is moved to a follow-up below: Is there a package for the text-mode installation which is used on Alternate CDs? I don't want to re-create Edubuntu from an Alternate CD.

Follow-ups:

How to move packages from the live image to a pool on the disc?

Where is the source code for Alternate CD installer?

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Which Version of Ubuntu? –  jmartin2279 Oct 18 '12 at 15:54
    
12.04.1 updated with UCK to the latest packages for today –  int_ua Oct 18 '12 at 16:58
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2 Answers 2

I am not sure why you would want to install any Ubuntu flavor on a machine that old. Ubuntus (Edubuntu included) are not designed for a small footprint or compatibility with older hardware. Why don't you use a lightweight distribution? Something like Arch or Gentoo or DamnSmallLinux?

Edubuntu is just a normal Ubuntu linux with certain packages installed. There is nothing that special about it. You can use any distribution and install the necessary packages. Just go through Edubuntu's included packages and choose what you want.

Also, do not use Ubiquity. I would recommend not using a Desktop Environment at all, or if you really want to, go for something simple like LXDE. Otherwise you will not have the resources to run it. Personally, I would just install a simple Window Manager and no Desktop Environment at all. Look at fluxbox, openbox, WindowMaker etc. There are many choices, this is Linux! :)

As for swap, I am not clear on what /cow is but a swap partition will not "expand" your hard drive. If anything, it will reduce your available space since you will use some of it for the swap partition. You can think of it as a kind of extra RAM (emphasis on the "kind of"). In any case, on a system with 256MB RAM you most definately will need a swap partition of at least 1.5 * RAM = 284 MB. I would recommend using more but it depends on your hard drive.

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I'm already using openbox only, check the question. /cow is copy-on-write filesystem for SquashFS which resides in RAM and is responsible for free space on /. Thus the swap question. –  int_ua Oct 18 '12 at 17:03
    
I'm planning to use Arch but only after trying text-mode installation. –  int_ua Oct 18 '12 at 17:11
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@int_ua OK, thanks for /.cow. I asked google but got no good answer :). You're not using openbox only though. You are running openbox as the window manager for the ubiquity desktop environment. At least that is what your question states. I am recommending that you do not use a desktop environment at all and just go with a simple Window Manager alone, like in the good old days. That will greatly reduce the OS's hardware requirements. –  terdon Oct 18 '12 at 18:59
    
hmm. I'm almost sure I'm using bare openbox. I'm talking about starting live session without installer and then trying to launch it in terminal. Not the "Install Edubuntu" option at boot. –  int_ua Oct 18 '12 at 20:31
    
No, Arch is too complicated to re-install. I wanted to add a DVD with all the packages. Maybe Debian. –  int_ua Oct 18 '12 at 23:30
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

After all I've used Alternate CD and added all necessary packages to it:

How to move packages from the live image to a pool on the disc?

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...and it broke my old DVD-drive before I booted into my Alternate DVD. –  int_ua Oct 23 '12 at 21:22
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