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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mini Linux (or Mini Linux Distribution) is any Linux distribution that fits on memory cards or a small number of floppy disks, usually one or two. Such distributions may be tailored to system rescue (recovering from a crash), setting up a firewall or router, or other specialized tasks.



The term appears to be derived from the first distribution to work in this way. The MINI LINUX distribution arrived in 1995, and ran off several floppy disks.[1]

Linux floppydistro

A Linux floppydistro is a mini-Linux distribution that only uses 1 or 2 floppy diskettes to contain a Linux kernel and useful utilities. To save space, standard GNU utilities are often replaced with those in Busybox or asmutils.

There is a distinction between a bootfloppy and a floppydistro. A bootfloppy usually doesn't contain any useful utilities, and is used mostly when installing a Linux distro. A floppy distro contains both the Linux kernel and important utilities. An example of simple bootfloppy is syslinux and an example of a Linux floppydistro is BasicLinux.

List of Mini Linux distributions

Desktop or CD-distributions with installation option

  • Puppy Linux is a small distribution with a size of 94 MB and requires 128 MB RAM
  • Damn Small Linux (DSL): a versatile 50 MB mini desktop oriented Linux distribution
  • TinyMe based on PCLinuxOS, can run from RAM
  • Tiny Core Linux: an extremely small (10MB) desktop Linux distribution
  • Feather Linux is a Knoppix-based Linux distribution which currently fits in under 128 MB
  • DeLi Linux: "Desktop Light" Linux
  • SLAX Popcorn Edition: A small Slackware-based distro that fits on an 128 MB flash drive.
  • Embedded Debian
  • BasicLinux is two floppy (requires 12 MB RAM) or loopfs FAT hard disk (requires 3 MB RAM and 20 MB disk space) based distribution, with busybox, editor, presentation program and X GUI with jwm designed for old computers.
  • Slitaz Linux is a 25MB distribution with sound support and a GUI.
  • xPUD is a 50MB distribution with fast boot

Terminal-only distros

  • Finnix is a Debian based system for system administrators, with no GUI.
  • Slax Frodo Edition: a command line only version of Slax that weighs in at about 50 MB.
  • ttylinux is a command line only Linux with an 8 MB file system.

Floppy disk distributions

  • Coyote Linux: a one-floppy distro for use as a firewall/router.
  • LEAF Project: (Linux Embedded Appliance Firewall) is a fork from the now obsolete Linux Router Project (LRP) with router and firewall functionality. CD-ROM and other media is also supported.
  • fli4l: one floppy linux-based router software for ISDN, DSL and ethernet
  • tomsrtbt: a one floppy distro for rescue and other purposes
  • FREESCO: is a floppy disk based router.
  • MuLinux: uses 1-12 floppies as modules, for different purposes: server, TeX, GUI, GCC.
  • ARLinux: Two floppy disk based on 2.4 and 2.6 kernels for rescue and firewall/routing purposes
  • Sisela:[1] Firewall, routing and networking distro. Uses 1 floppy disk.

Distributions for special applications

  • μClinux: a fork of the Linux kernel for microcontrollers and embedded devices.
  • DSLinux: Linux (μClinux) distribution for the Nintendo DS.
  • iPodLinux: Linux distribution for Apple's iPod
  • Stresslinux is a live-CD-project designed to test a computer's hardware
  • Recovery Is Possible (RIP): a small, specialized Linux distribution that includes a large number of system maintenance and recovery applications.
  • Thinstation is a distribution that makes a PC a full-featured thin client supporting all major connectivity protocols.

See also


External links

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