Brandon's Notepad

June 28, 2011

Small Linux Distros

Filed under: Linux — Brandon @ 10:55 pm

Home > My Lists > Technical Notes > Small Linux Distros

Small Linux distributions have a variety of purposes, from rescue disks to embedded applications to kiosk computers, weather stateions, or other specific-use clients. Here’s a list of the small distros I’ve encountered over time.


The old standby, requiring only 50MB of space, 16MB to 128MB RAM.


The KioskCD distribution is, well, just that: a CD-based distro that can be used to operate a (browser-only) kiosk computer. It appears that the website disappeared sometime in the Spring of 2009, the last snapshot from the Wayback Machine dated April 23rd. There was a page on the site that explained how to load an image to boot from a CF card.


The other old standby, weighing in at ~85MB.

Tiny Core

The GUI-based “Tiny Core” version has a 10MB footprint and the CLI version “Micro Core” occupies only 6MB! It is based on the cloud-computing concept, applications loaded from the Internet upon reboot (though other options are available).


From the homepage, “Tom’s floppy which has a root filesystem and is also bootable” and “The most GNU/Linux on 1 floppy disk.”


I use Ubuntu. It’s not tiny. But, this story posted on DistroWatch (2008) explains how to perform a minimal install. The author claims to have reduced a 3.1GB/430MB/37s installation down to a 2.2GB/210MB/25s installation (HD/RAM/Boot).

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