Re: [dev] Minimal distributions

From: Ciprian Dorin Craciun <>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 21:45:37 +0200

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 9:23 PM, Jens Nyberg <> wrote:
> 2012/11/26 Ciprian Dorin Craciun <>:
>> On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 8:53 PM, Hugues Moretto-Viry
>> <> wrote:
>>> Just because I'm really curious, I'm searching minimal GNU/Linux
>>> distributions with the following options:
>>> - x86_64 architecture
>>> - minimal installation
>>> - no default Desktop Environment
>>> - rolling release
>> I don't know which are rolling release and which aren't, also I
>> think most of them are 32 bit only, but below you can find some Linux
>> distributions I found closing to these requirements. (Of course I
>> didn't try any of them myself, but I've read about them).
>> Boot from RO media, doesn't require a RW disk:
>> * -- would give it a closer look, I think
>> it's the most "mature";
>> * -- nice idea, don't
>> know how "stable" it is;
>> Could be made to work with RO media, but suitable for RW disk:
>> * -- tons of packages (old and new), but
>> the package manager is kind of buggy...;
>> * Ubuntu Core -- comes as a `tar.gz`, containing only the minimum
>> necessary tools to run Ubuntu;
>> For embedded, but usable on x86:
>> * OpenWRT;
>> But now about the feasibility of such an idea:
>> * I tend to agree with Hadrian Węgrzynowski, when he says it's
>> better to have a very stable "core" (kernel + basic tools), and then
>> maintain customized version of a few packages;
>> * I currently would just take the packages from a "mainstream"
>> stable distribution (like Debian), and replace their package manager
>> with something which extracts just some paths (like `/bin`, `/lib` and
>> ignores docs, man pages, etc.)
>> Ciprian.
>> P.S.: As someone remarked earlier it's unclear what you want such
>> a distribution for: (a) desktop usage, (b) rescue usage, (c) appliance
>> usage, (d) something else?
> I haven't followed this discussion so I'm sorry if have misunderstood
> what you are after. When I want to have a small distro for some
> specialized task I usually just combine the kernel with busybox to get
> something very simple and then I just compile and add whatever program
> I might need. If this is an option I could give you the url to the git
> repository I use that you can easily just checkout and run make in and
> it will give you a compiled kernel with a absolutly minimal cpio
> ramdisk containing only busybox and some scripts needed in order to
> boot.

    :) Yes... Forgot about that option, which I've applied myself a
couple of times.

    Thus below you'll find a link to a repository, for a minimal Linux
which automates desktop disk deployment and auto-update system, which
has the following variants:
    * `cpio` for initrd usage;
    * ISO image for disk burning;
    * disk image for USB stick;
    * PXE for network booting;

    Although it's quite domain specific, just by replacing some
configuration files, see the `*.cpiodl`, you could make it build
something else.

    Could you also provide the link to your repository? (I'm curios of
your solution.) :)

Received on Mon Nov 26 2012 - 20:45:37 CET

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Mon Nov 26 2012 - 20:48:05 CET