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dan2 05-28-2012 06:49 PM

looking for a distribution without a gui (or, by default, has no gui)
 
I'm looking for a linux distribution that has no gui (i.e., is pure command line).

If there is no such thing, then i would like one that, by default, does not install a gui.

Any recommendations?

TobiSGD 05-28-2012 06:56 PM

You can install any distribution without GUI. By default from the bigger ones only Arch comes without GUI, but as stated, you can do that for any distro, so just use the one you are most comfortable with.

pixellany 05-28-2012 07:17 PM

The differences between distros are mostly with the package management scheme, the stucture of the init scripts, and the way the GUI is set up. From the user viewpoint, it may be the last one that has the most impact---and also involves the most work.

I use Arch---I'm not sure I would say that it "no GUI by default"---it's really more like "nothing by default". In that regard, it's maybe like Linux from scratch.

to get up and running and doing useful things quickly, CLI-only, I cannot think of a better choice that Arch. The only downside might be that the configuration files don't really relate much to how other distros do it.

jefro 05-28-2012 07:21 PM

I'd say that if you ask then you may have a tough time using it.
Unlike the OS BeOS the underlying part of linux is some set of commands that could run in a shell of some kind. It is the most basic part of any linux distro and can't be removed that I know of.

One of the smallest if you can find it was a special floppy called tomsrtbt. Have to peek for mirrors or old links to get the image.

As noted, any disto can be installed without a gui or set to boot to a shell instead of a gui. Even that isn't really needed. It is easy to use a shell in gui's by some terminal.


What is going to be the use of this typically bash command environment?

dan2 05-28-2012 10:29 PM

Thanks TobiSGD, pixellany, and jefro for your replies.

To answer your question, jefro, about what i'm going to use it for, my purpose is to test my hardware. (Or more exactly, to test my drivers.)

My computer has this problem that it freezes after several hours of operation (and does so under different versions of ubuntu, under blag, and under debian 6.0.4).

However i recently heard that bad drivers can cause this kind of problem (one person claimed in fact that in every computer he ever had which froze, it was a consequence of either a bad video card or bad drivers).

And in fact, i've discovered that i can leave my computer in grub for days without freezing.

But that doesn't really prove that it's a graphics driver problem, because maybe it can stay up for days in grub because it is not doing anything whatsoever except waiting for characters to be typed.

So i would like a quickie way to bring the machine up without any x windows, but also make sure that there's some activity on it. (So i could use it for a few days in a purely command line mode without it visiting any graphics driver code. Or i could write some code to just loop around and do something every once in a while.)

If it freezes while there's no graphics driver in play, then that exonerates the driver.

But if it doesn't freeze, then i can start researching how to get a better driver for my hardware.

So it's not that i'm so in love with the command line so much as trying to figure out what's going on with my setup.

And if i set aside a partition for an OS that has no graphics component at all, then i don't have to fiddle around very much.

dan

TobiSGD 05-28-2012 10:41 PM

On modern systems the graphics driver will kick in, at least a part of it, regardless if you have a GUI or not. For your purpose you need a system that doesn't support KMS (kernel mode setting). I would recommend to go for Microcore Linux, it hasn't KMS enabled by default, AFAIK.

fileunderwater 06-14-2012 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4689881)
On modern systems the graphics driver will kick in, at least a part of it, regardless if you have a GUI or not. For your purpose you need a system that doesn't support KMS (kernel mode setting). I would recommend to go for Microcore Linux, it hasn't KMS enabled by default, AFAIK.

It's easy to disable KMS for any(?) distro though by adding 'nomodeset' to the arguments on the kernel line.

cortman 06-14-2012 09:59 AM

You can use the Ubuntu Minimal CD as well, for a CLI Ubuntu system.
Then there's always Slitaz or Arch too.

KeithE 06-14-2012 11:08 AM

Slackware boots to a text screen by default. A base Debian system also defaults to a text screen if no GUI packages are installed.

cynwulf 06-15-2012 08:34 AM

If it's freezing after a few hours of operation on a few different distros, it's likely to be a hardware problem - I'd guess it's temperature related - could be the CPU, the HDD, motherboard chipset, memory, GPU, etc. By not running xorg you'll prove that the system doesn't crash when not under load - as you've already proven by leaving it at the grub screen.


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