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Review/Overview of Lightweight Linux Distros 96

pcause writes "Here is a review of various lightweight Linux distros. Not sure I agree with the conclusions, since I am a PuppyLinux user, but it is a nice overview of some current options." Reviewed are: Arch 2007.08-2, Damn Small Linux 4.2.5, Puppy 4.0, TinyMe Test7-KD, Xubuntu 8.04, and Zenwalk 5.0.
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Review/Overview of Lightweight Linux Distros

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  • More RAM, Batman. (Score:0, Informative)

    by twitter ( 104583 ) * on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @02:22PM (#23559619) Homepage Journal

    CPU: Pentium 3 â" 600 MHz, Memory: 256 MB. That's a reasonable computer and he should have been able to run regular Debian on it. Etch and Lenny boot quickly these days. If you plan to use the laptop for years and want maximum package flexibility, Debian is a good bet. If you are looking for something quick and dirty for web browsing, these other distributions can save you some install time and might run a little faster. If things seem a little slow especially for multitasking, more RAM might help.

  • Xubuntu (Score:5, Informative)

    by thsths ( 31372 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @02:52PM (#23560069)
    Xubuntu is quite ok as a small distribution, but I think you would reasonably want 256 MB for it. Firefox 3 certainly uses a lot less memory than firefox 2, and that is quite important for me. And of course you need Adblock, because there is just way too much resource consuming Javascript out there.

    In general the start-up and shut-down process could be faster, though. I guess this is down to an the old laptop disk.
  • Re:More RAM, Batman. (Score:3, Informative)

    by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @04:33PM (#23561713) Journal
    I do the same with mine. I run a vm for a test web server, a vm with windows XP and a vm that acts as a gateway/dhcp/dns server for the other virtual machines. All of this is designed to mimic various aspects of the company's real network.

    For the host machine I use Debian Etch. I installed from a netinst disk and chose no mirrors during install so it was quite bare when installation completed. At that point I used apt to install icewm, xorg, gvim, iceweasel, pcmanfm, vlc and a few other things. Then I grabbed build-essentials and kernel headers so I could get VMWare installed and running.

    That's pretty much it. The host is fast, light and still has enough of what I need to use it effectively. I edit all my web server's scripts in gvim (w/ perl-soupport of course), surf, play tunes using vlc, etc. As someone who gets to write perl and c programs all day for a living my OS requirements aren't that big. For everything else there is VMWare.
  • by imr ( 106517 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @06:59PM (#23563781)
    You can find its wiki page here (With the download links): []

    Here is a review: []

    It's a community version but its package selection is in the official Mandriva tool to build LiveCD ( [] ) .
  • Re:Why not Debian? (Score:5, Informative)

    by owlman17 ( 871857 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:53PM (#23565537)
    Why was parent modded troll? My own Linux From Scratch [] setup weighs in at a little over 100 mb and it includes gcc, perl, python, vim, php, mysql, gtk+, some games, etc.

    From the website:

    When you install a regular distribution, you often end up installing a lot of programs that you would probably never use. They're just sitting there taking up (precious) disk space. It's not hard to get an LFS system installed under 100 MB. Does that still sound like a lot? A few of us have been working on creating a very small embedded LFS system. We installed a system that was just enough to run the Apache web server; total disk space usage was approximately 8 MB. With further stripping, that can be brought down to 5 MB or less. Try that with a regular distribution.
    I'm running mine on a Celeron 366 with 128 mb ram. It took about a full day to compile everything. (Would take far less on a modern machine). Ok, its not for everyone, but its perfect if space is at a premium.
  • Re:Why not Debian? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @10:24PM (#23565789)
    Qt is licensed under the GPL, and it and KDE are available from the standard Debian repositories. It took me all of 15 seconds to find this information.
  • Re:Why not Debian? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Workaphobia ( 931620 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @02:10AM (#23567247) Journal
    Dude, no offense, but what year are you living in? Qt has been free software for a very long time now, even though it wasn't free originally. Gnome is less restrictive since it's licensed under the LGPL, but reciprocal GPL fans can't object to KDE anymore.

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