[SOLVED] Smallest linux which can play video(xine || mplayer || vlc)
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Choice of distro will be an important factor. SUSE and Fedora are basically bloatware, they attempt to automatically install everything that a user might desire, which sucks even on a really fast machine with tons of disk space.
A distro with a minimalistic MO such as Debian will be much smaller and will for the most part contian only what you actually need, because you have installed it yourself. The debian package management tools make it a snap.
a lot of the CPU overhead and bloat for that matter is due to the windowing system. KDE and GNOME are massive. If you're running on minimal hardware you need something lighter like XFCE http://www.xfce.org/.
Mplayer, at least, can be used even on systems that don't have X installed, by using a framebuffer device for output.
But another consideration is what you mean by "video". Many of the newer codecs, especially mpeg4, are very processor-intensive. For some formats your hardware may simply not be up to the task, no matter what software you use.
You need a hardware upgrade, there is no way to sugarcoat it.
Please check the Adobe Flash system requirements to get a good idea what kind of hardware is recommended for a multimedia PC (800mhz processor and 512mb ram is Adobe's recommendation for low-def playback; for 1080p hi-def you'll want at least Intel Core Duo 1.8ghz):
I used a distro based on puppy that is basically a browser and a media player, very small and it played video well on a machine that always gave me fits, granted that machine had 12 times the clock speed and 15 times the memory give or take. It was called browser linux.