Tiny Core Linux 13.0 - full Linux desktop in 22 MB.
... and it only needs 48 MB of RAM. Seriously. It's... beautiful.
Most Linux-based operating systems, nowadays, are pretty stinkin’ huge — many clocking in well over a full gigabyte in size for the base install image.
Tired of systems being that monstrously bloated? You’re in luck.
Tiny Core Linux, which clocks in at a svelte 22 MB download, just released version 13.
Beyond simply not requiring much drive space, Tiny Core has some pretty amazing features. It’s fast. Blindingly fast. And stable as all heck.
But what really makes me smile… is this:
“Unlike most operating systems, the Tiny Core can run completely from RAM. Individuals with RAM to spare can even use Tiny Core to load and run their programs from RAM (you didn't know your computer could run Open Office and Firefox so quick). Experienced users can still install Tiny Core to disk, but Tiny Core can run in 48 megabytes of RAM ... or less.”
Yeah. That’s right. You can run your entire operating system… from RAM.
Speaking of which… let’s talk about that whole “Tiny Core can run in 48 megabytes” thing for a second.
48 MB OF RAM!
And, even with only 48 MB… it still runs fast.
Think about it like this: Ubuntu can barely run with 2 GB of RAM. Emphasis on the barely. With only 2 GB, Ubuntu runs about as fast as a frozen ball of boogers. And 2 GB is 42 times more than 48 MB. FOURTY TWO TIMES.
If you have never tried Tiny Core… I highly recommend it. The speed… oh, baby, the speed!
You can grab the 13.0 release from the Tiny Core download page. Even if you have a slow Internet connection, it’ll download quickly.
I then recommend reading the Installation guide. Installing Tiny Core is not difficult — especially for anyone who has been around Linux for more than a couple years. But it’s also not brain-dead-simple.
I’d wager to say that the graphical installer of most Linux distributions are larger than the entirety of Tiny Core Linux. So it doesn’t do a lot of hand-holding. Luckily the online documentation has lots of details and screenshots for those new to installing a more “old-school” Linux.
The core download doesn’t include a bunch of software. There’s no office suite or even web browser out of the box. But installing them is easy enough. Though it is a bit different than your run-of-the-mill package repository system.
You can also install what is called “Tiny Core Plus” which has Wireless drivers and some extra software pre-installed for newer users. It clocks in much larger at 163 MB and is on the Download page (along with ports to the Raspberry Pi and other architectures).
Tiny Core may not be for everyone. But it is something that is highly worth at least trying. You’ll thank me for it.
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