WARNING: These pages have been converted from being formatted with Asciidoc to Markdown (March 2012) - things might have been broken...


This document explains how to install a bootloader (Grub) and kernel/initrd into a HP/Compaq Evo T20 to enable it to boot Damn Small Linux (DSL). The Evo T20 was intended by its manufacturer to be used as a thin client, requiring a server in order to be useful, but by installing DSL it may be run as a standalone computer.

The initial version of this document covers loading DSL from a USB flash drive. A later version is planned to cover installation of the complete DSL image into the T20 internal flash, such that the only required external thing plugged into the T20 is power.

It should also be possible to load Knoppix or any of the similar variants using this method. I have also successfully run Debian Etch off a USB HDD.

The installation process is reversible. The standard method of firmware download is unchanged - if you want, you can just re-flash the T20 with standard firmware and pretend it never had an adventure in linux :-)

Note: As of 25 September 2007, this document has been successfully tested by me (under Debian) and several other people. It seems to be fine using WinNT images as a base; WinXP images are being stubborn (they don't work); WinCE images don't work at all. WinNT-based Evo T30 should work too.
If you have a WinCE machine, look at http://thunderlord.net.pl/evo

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) 2007 Karl Mowatt-Wilson.

This manual is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

This is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

A copy of the GNU General Public License is available as /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution or on the World Wide Web at the GNU General Public Licence. You can also obtain it by writing to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.



Patching Grub to load DSL

Combining DSL and Grub

Unsorted notes

(also see articles)


  • Dag Sverre Seljebotn laid the groundwork on which all of this is based.

  • Craig Procter helped with testing the initial scripts, so that they're usable by people other than just me.

  • Markku Mähönen is helping with testing scripts for WinXPe image files (they have different boot sector and partitioning).

  • Bartek Szurgot helped with script improvement.

  • Jan Carter tested with Gentoo.

  • Philip Loewen made some suggestions regarding SuSE.