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Linux Fatware: Distros That Need To Slim Down 299

snydeq writes "We need bare-bones Linux distros tailored for virtual machines or at least the option for installs, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'As I prepped a new virtual server template the other day, it occurred to me that we need more virtualization-specific Linux distributions or at least specific VM-only options when performing an install. A few distros take steps in this direction, such as Ubuntu and OEL jeOS (just enough OS), but they're not necessarily tuned for virtual servers. For large installations, the distributions in use are typically highly customized on one side or the other — either built as templates and deployed to VMs, or deployed through the use of silent installers or scripts that install only the bits and pieces required for the job. However, these are all handled as one-offs. They're generally not available or suitable for general use.'"
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Linux Fatware: Distros That Need To Slim Down

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  • TinyCore? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hsien-Ko ( 1090623 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @03:59PM (#43394441)
    No interface, but you wanted tiny didn't you?

    SliTaz is also another tiny one but has an interface and a cute spider.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:01PM (#43394461)

    RHEL/CENTOS minimal does this just fine.

    Why bother about a solved problem?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:12PM (#43394607) Homepage
    the author in TFA are irrelevant outside the proprietary sphere of vmware. what i suspect is really being cited is the piss-poor nature of error reporting and handling with respect to what images it can and wont handle.

    every linux distro ive seen has a 'bare minimal install' option; puppet chef and to a lesser extent cfengine and spacewalk exist solely to chisel the initial image into "your server." PXE boot can ensure "your server" just gets decompressed into the guest space as well. dont understand any of those? just save and copy a version of "your server" as a blueprint to use whenever a new one is necessary

    speaking as someone whos contributed to open source projects like Fedora, i can agree bluetooth isnt necessarily appropriate everywhere. thats a bottle of mr potterings special sauce that had you cared to research might make more sense. however, it is rather shocking to hear a vmware user whos software uses a minimum of a gigabyte of disk storage (that doesnt include the generous 20 gigabytes free for your host OS) bitch about the default load of something like, say, centos which stands around 4 gigabytes. That includes KVM/QEMU. indeed this is not as you put it "rocket surgery."
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:14PM (#43394625) Homepage Journal

    even slimmer: debootstrap --variant minbase on another partition

    more info on debian installation manual.

  • Re:Ubuntu Core (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:18PM (#43394667)

    Than its fairly safe to say you (and other Linux users) have a fairly different meaning of 'standard' than ... well, everyone else in the world.

    You don't eat CPU time at idle, thats exactly the opposite of idle. I realize you mean that the daemons sit around eating CPU doing nothing you care about, but I suspect, even on a desktop install of Ubuntu you'll find the CPU sitting at 99.9% idle in top since those daemons are in sleep/wait states and not using any CPU.

    Raspian has no CPU in use when even when X is running if you're not doing anything. Daemons swap out and don't waste CPU if they aren't in use and aren't shitty daemons. They do waste swap space though.

    No Linux distro on the planet uses the stock kernel. All of them have different locations for many different files. All of them have major patchs to all sorts of 'standard' apps.

    You seem to not understand what makes a distro different. If they were all 'standard' you wouldn't have xteen million variations of Linux.

    Linux's lack of standardization is repeatedly brought up as one of its largest problems in becoming a more common desktop since software vendors don't want to target a bunch of slightly different distro's to pick up a statistically insignificant portion of the population.

    Have you even used more than one Linux distro?

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:38PM (#43394853)

    why would serious business use shaky unstable things like btrfs? The "well tested" is relatively old, yes.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AndroSyn ( 89960 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:42PM (#43394901) Homepage

    I second this..debootstrap is your friend. We don't need no stinking installers! :D

  • Re:Really? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:57PM (#43395025)

    For those of us that install a Linux image expecting to get work done with it instead of jacking off and building every piece of software ourselves, Ubuntu sucks - most specifically, because of Unity.

  • by zachary.grafton ( 1820370 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:59PM (#43395035)
    Don't be a pansy. Use Gentoo. Quit bitching about not having the features you want, or having features you don't need. Need to deploy a bunch of VMs? Just create your own portage mirror, remove the packages you don't want to be available, create an overlay for things that aren't in portage and to deploy your own meta package, for shits and giggles, since you seen to be so fascinated with binary packages, build all the packages you want, create binary packages for everything, then deploy to a VM. Once that's done, just copy the base VM image every time you need to deploy a new VM, then log in, run a portage update and quit whining. Hell, I'm sure you could even create your own packages for deploying binary kernels. I'm so sick of this, "My linux doesn't do what I want because I'm a (insert your distro here) fanboi."
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @05:33PM (#43395299) Journal

    Haven't used Oracle much have you.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nickittynickname ( 2753061 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @05:55PM (#43395563)
    Really? I enjoy Ubuntu. I would recommend it in a hot second. There is so much community support out there you can google any problem and find a walk through. It's popular enough that most new application target it to make sure it works.
  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kernelpanicked ( 882802 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @06:26PM (#43395857)

    > There is so much community support out there you can google any problem and find a walk through

    Sure. NOW there is. Give it a couple years. You know all those geeks that Shuttleworth decided to kick in the nuts and send packing? Those are the same guys who made the walk throughs for his pet retards to follow. It'll be interesting to see what happens as Ubuntu evolves all on it's lonesome now, without that support.

  • Re: Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenfruitsalad ( 2008354 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @06:42PM (#43396023)

    it seems you've yet to discover the beauty of

    apt-get --no-install-recommends install $something

    as to why anybody would use ubuntu server, the answer is simple - predictable release cycle

  • Re: Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deekin_Scalesinger ( 755062 ) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:04PM (#43396983)
    And I meant this comment to the story submitter. Maybe yes, more VM specific distros are needed, but without knowing what you are looking for, how can we help? You state you have a specific environment yet want more off the shelf options. Er, which is it? For what? Come on /. admins, please edit or revise before posting story nonsense.

Air is water with holes in it.