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I need a version of Linux that consists of only the following programs and resources:
1. The kernel itself
2. A browser
3. Only the most essential hardware drivers
4. A firewall
5. A GUI
6. A software manager that would allow me to download programs as I need them.
In the research I've done, it seems that I can either try TinyCore or strip down a "fuller" version to achieve what I've described. Does a version of Linux like the one I've described actually exist, and if it doesn't, what's the best way to achieve this very minimal design? Thanks!
It looks like Tiny Core is your best bet, as the Core Plus version also includes a remastering tool, so you could theoretically set it up with only the drivers, codecs, browser you want to use. By the way, what will you do with such a stripped down solution? Thin-client? Internet kiosk? Fool-proof system for computer illiterate family members?
Well any linux you install has to have a few components along with those but just picking a distro that allows you to do minimal install will work. Debian, CentOS, Possible ubuntu alternitive installers, Slackware (advanced user only due to knowing what needs to be installed and resolve dependicies).
Basically what your asking I've achieved with debian. I download the first disk witch is enough to setup a working system then start add the repos,
log in a root
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
Install xorg, your preferred desktop, install iceweasel. If you wish you can download debian source kernel and rebuild it with only drivers your system needs.
Anyways thats how I achieved that. Personally I'm stuck using ubuntu at the moment because I to lazy to backup all my data on externel Harddrives and reformat my whole system. But oneday....