[olug] Installing dpkg

Kevin Lanik kevin.lanik at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 17:03:31 UTC 2007

Hi all, I've recently acquired an IBM 8363 thin client and made it thick
with the help of this page (
which has instructions for installing a Debian based linux customized
the machine. So far so good. Then I wanted to install some things on the
machine and found that it's very hard to do for the following reasons:
  1) busybox vi is broken: backspace and delete send funny characters, which
is not insurmountable but does make me want to install a full version (which
I have plenty of room for).
  2) busybox dpkg is broken: using dpkg and dpkg-deb results in random
badness, segfaults and quiet failures. End result is that unloading .debs is
out of order at the moment. I think this one is the key to all the other
issues because if I can get a working dpkg up and running I could use it to
install everything else.
  3) absence of ar: along with a lot of other utilities I'm used to having
around, ar is not present. So manually unpacking .debs is also out.
  4) no toolchain: gcc, make and friends are not included in there either,
so I can't build things from source yet.
With those things in mind, what are some suggestions for where to start on
getting packages installed? Should I try to find a binary version of ar or
dpkg (non-broken) in another distro and pull that over? That's what I'm
considering at the moment, but I wanted to see if there were any better
ideas out there. Thanks!
 Kevin Lanik

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