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Author Topic: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?  (Read 49514 times)

Offline tclfan

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 06:22:12 AM »
Summary: Taking constructive posts of Danielibarnes, Guy and Bmarkus it looks to me some steps need to be done in that direction.

Offline robc

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 10:43:48 AM »
I have used puppy for a couple of years now, and not having to sudo 10+ times a day isn't really that bad, just got to be careful not to rm -Rf something to your system.
This is really bad when security is a priority. sudo itself is a security risk.

I agree with lucky13 on the idea of a showcase TC, if its not updated and supported then it is not that useful, it will also further confuse newcomers and aggravate developers.

I also agree with Guy. Having an installation script can be the single best tool for those who are new to TC (and reviewers) for them to evaluate its usefulness. After all, if you can't figure out how to install/use TC then its not going to be very useful to you.

The concepts behind TC are not in line with a traditional installation and the TC team has done a good job in explaining this, but many people don't RTFM, to be blunt. The average user (my definition of average user is some who can push the power button on the comp to turn it on) won't read the core concepts, won't try TC because it doesn't wipeout your harddrive to create a 'fresh' installation, and more then likely won't move from windows (because its already there and/or they think its too hard). So what am I saying? I'm saying users are lazy and they want everything done for them...which is where the installation script comes in...moving along...

I think it would be beneficial to have a help text in the base (I know roberts just removed it a little while ago). But I believe one of the best things DSL had was that initial help screen that came up upon startup. This will put the concepts of TC more or less right in the faces of the users (there should be a boot option to disable for those who already read it). Also a simple explanation of the use of the appbrowser should be in it also. This would prevent users from giving up or going here to post/search for a question on how to install applications.

Just some thoughts/rants...
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Offline Guy

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 02:21:43 PM »
Quote
I think it would be beneficial to have a help text in the base

I think, in the future, it would be a good idea to have a help extension.

Those who want it, can install this extension. Those who don't want it, don't need to install it.

The same information can also be available from the website.

However, if you look at the wiki, there is some useful information, but much room for improvement.

The help extension needs to be of a professional standard. If it is done poorly, this will also make Tiny Core look bad.

The help extension should include information helpful for new users, but not everything in the wiki.


The Tiny Core team are doing a great job developing Tiny Core. We shouldn't expect them to do more.

If anyone else can make a contribution in any of the areas mentioned, it would be a positive contribution. That is:

Making an installation script.

Making a cd with extensions. Being committed to update this with each new version.

Improving the wiki. When the information is at a professional standard, making a help extension.


A number of users are already making good contributions.

More and more people are using Tiny Core.

Expect more users to make contributions in the future.

Expect things to get better and better.


Keep in mind, Tiny Core is very new compared to the mainstream Linux distros.

The primary focus, has been, and needs to be, developing a high quality operating system. This is being done. The other things will follow.
Many people see what is. Some people see what can be, and make a difference.

Offline thane

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 02:43:40 PM »
As I said, I wouldn't have any problem if TCL offered a demo ISO (in addition to the true TC and MC ones) with a "basic" set of apps. I probably just wouldn't use that ISO. And of course additional help features (if done right) are fine.

In a more general sense though, I'm puzzled as to why anyone would use a Linux distro if they don't agree with its basic design concepts (in TCL's case, a minimum core which enables the user to choose whichever apps he/she wants, and careful separation between static and dynamic code). If these concepts aren't of interest (or you don't think they're good ideas) then why use TCL? There are numerous other distros which have a different emphasis (e.g. lots of apps out of the box, more traditional ways of installing). As far as Linux, if a distro doesn't do what it claims to do (or does them badly) then you have grounds for complaint. But if you just don't like its overall approach, it seems like the best thing to do is find another distro.

Offline danielibarnes

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 03:15:28 PM »
Quote
As far as Linux, if a distro doesn't do what it claims to do (or does them badly) then you have grounds for complaint. But if you just don't like its overall approach, it seems like the best thing to do is find another distro.

Respectfully, this is why you need "207 distros." With Windows, you are stuck with what Microsoft implemented. Linux distributions can pick a target audience and customize for its needs. There are heavily localized distributions for various countries, distributions for easy use by children, distributions for clustering, or distributions for firewalls (try that with XP) for example. Windows is "one OS to rule them all, one OS to find them / one OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them / in the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie." :)

Offline thane

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 06:17:51 PM »
Well, the "207 distros" bit was from tclfan, not me. But actually that's my point. If you've got 207 distros to choose from, why do they all have be alike? And who cares if some have more users than others? As long as each one meets the needs of enough people to sustain it where's the problem?

Offline roberts

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2010, 06:55:26 PM »
Conventional Wisdom is that a Linux Distribution = A turnkey desktop.
Tiny Core, as I have stated many times, and on our website, is not a turnkey desktop.
Comparing turnkey desktop systems with one that is not will always result with Tiny Core scoring low.

But a turnkey system is not what Tiny Core is all about...

I would not have started this project, if I was to make a "me too" turnkey desktop.
I have had these concepts for a tiny modular system for a long time. It is interesting and challenging to make and improve Core with a great team and  based on feedback from the community.

I am happy to see that those who get it; get it! And those who only go by conventional wisdom sadly will not.
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Offline lucky13

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2010, 07:10:23 PM »
This is devolving off-topic... why does a comparison about Linux distros invariably turn into a hate-fest against Windows?

Respectfully, this is why you need "207 distros." With Windows, you are stuck with what Microsoft implemented.

Riiiiiight, that's why there aren't any proprietary applications people can buy to run on Windows -- because consumers are stuck and Microsoft wouldn't dare let third parties create applications. And as far as choices, I guess we should overlook the fact that Microsoft released too many distinct versions of Vista for the market to bear (more even than the official Canonical releases of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu...). You know Microsoft wouldn't dare release Windows in any language but American English, so I guess you have the localization thing to hang onto. And thank goodness none of the open source projects cater to Windows, either, because that would mean people could run Windows AND open source applications and you know Microsoft wouldn't let that happen.

Oops, snap... even that one's fail:
http://www.opensourcelist.org/oss/suggestedapplications.html

Let's recap (counting GNU-style so as not to offend anyone):
0. Linux can be customized. Windows can be customized.
1. Settings in Linux can be tweaked. Settings in Windows can be tweaked.
2. Linux can be localized. Windows is localized.
3. Linux has access to open source applications. Windows has access to open source applications.
4. Linux requires learning things to get the most out of it. Windows requires learning things to get the most out of it. 

What was your point again? Oh yeah, that you need hundreds of variations of Linux to get less than 2% of desktop marketshare compared to the "handful" of Windows versions (not XP versus Vista, but Home Premium versus Business Premium) that still make up >90% of consumer and enterprise workstations. Because <2% needs to be liquidated into tiny fractions of per-distro marketshare.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

I concur with tclfan that fragmentation hasn't served Linux adoption well. Neither have all these misguided attacks on Microsoft, which more often than not are total BS. (I don't consider myself a big fan of Microsoft but I'm also not a reflexive hater of Microsoft, either. OpenOffice.org, texlive, emacs, vim, gimp, firefox, thunderbird, etc., all run the same on Windows as they do on Linux -- they're OS-agnostic. Back on-topic for a moment: Most people are OS-agnostic, too, but want to stick with what's already familiar to them. That comfort zone thing also applies here since TinyCore is quite unique compared to what people expect when installing and using a Linux distro. They've come to expect -- and now demand -- Windows-like installation and operation. They freak out when it requires learning something new or different from what they already know, and thus they want "pre-configured TinyCore" -- which is no longer TinyCore since it moves the entire discussion from building to suit personal tastes to trying to achieve some kind of "standard" or ideal about what a Linux distro should be or do -- images, etc. The question is whether they should be catered to and to what extent. I used to say this a lot somewhere else: if you want a Debian-like system, just install Debian. There's nothing wrong with that. But TinyCore isn't slitaz or Puppy or anything else. It is TinyCore and what makes it so unique also makes it not so universally acceptable. If a moderator wants to strike this post for being off topic, at least leave this part.)

Quote
Linux distributions can pick a target audience and customize for its needs. There are heavily localized distributions for various countries, distributions for easy use by children, distributions for clustering, or distributions for firewalls (try that with XP) for example. Windows is "one OS to rule them all, one OS to find them / one OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them / in the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie." :)

Oy. Comparing Linux to XP? Well, if you do that then it's fair to compare Windows 7 (or Vista even) to kernel 2.2 and KDE 1. Sure ya wanna do that?

FWIW, Microsoft makes more than one flavor of each operating system and it separates its products with respect to workstation and server -- has since way back in the NT days. Some Linux distros don't even do that so you end up installing server software on a workstation and workstation software (like X, haha) on a server.

If you take the time to search for Windows Server Firewall... well, never mind. This is already way off topic and I think I've made my point.

Offline danielibarnes

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2010, 08:46:19 AM »
Quote
This is devolving off-topic... why does a comparison about Linux distros invariably turn into a hate-fest against Windows?

You are right. My apologies to you and the readers. My judgement suffers after a long day and little rest.

That said, I think it would be neat for a small group of users were to put together a remaster of Tiny Core with an assortment of bundled apps. SliTaz seems to fit quite a bit into 30MB. If I had the time, it would be fun to see what extensions could fit into the 20MB remaining after the TC base.

Quote
Tiny Core ... is not a turnkey desktop.

I for one am thankful for that. Tiny Core is a great foundation, and Micro Core even more so. It allows me to do things that would be more difficult otherwise. Just yesterday, I created a 9MB bootable CD with gpsd/ntpd. I can boot it on anything with a GPS plugged in and get an instant time server. To me, that's pretty cool.

Offline bmarkus

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2010, 08:56:02 AM »
It allows me to do things that would be more difficult otherwise. Just yesterday, I created a 9MB bootable CD with gpsd/ntpd. I can boot it on anything with a GPS plugged in and get an instant time server. To me, that's pretty cool.

This is the key. TC is not a distribution, it is a tool set.
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Offline tclfan

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2010, 12:35:29 PM »
The way I see it:

TinyCore is (Linux based) system and application infrastructure (in the form of extensions) designed on modular architecture and separating static state infrastructure from dynamic data to preserve pristine infrastructure state.

Various target systems (Distros?), both desktop, server and special purpose -  can be built by assembling various modules (application and system infrastructure modules) called extensions.


Offline ^thehatsrule^

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2010, 04:14:11 PM »
@bmarkus: I believe it still qualifies as an distribution :)

Offline bmarkus

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2010, 11:31:59 PM »
@bmarkus: I believe it still qualifies as an distribution :)

Of course it does. I wast just a bit sharp as for many a distribution means not only a base but a set or sets of applications resultin a nearly out of box ready to go system.
Béla
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Offline roberts

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2010, 05:18:11 AM »
Based on the review and this discussion look for a change in the promotion of Tiny/Micro Core.
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Offline roberts

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Re: What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2010, 08:59:04 PM »
The new promotion of Tiny Core and Micro core will kick off with the roll out of 3.0 alpha.  ;D
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