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Old 09-08-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
ottavio
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Which stable Linux distro has the smallest installed base?


Hello,

I don't really consider myself new to Linux, having used it since 2001 but I have used only Slackware and Chrome OS in the last 6 years, I've lost touch with other distros.

I want to move away from Slackware. I am looking to experiment with a distro that supports fully both x86-64 and ARM and can have a fully functional desktop with a minimal installed base.

I would like to exclude live distros and unmaintained ones.

Thanks
 
Old 09-08-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
netnix99
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Which one has the smallest installed base is a loaded question, based on the options that you choose to have installed. If you are looking for a desktop solution with a small install base, I would suggest CentOS. You can do a minimal install without X, or a minimal Desktop install that will have X. CentOS is well maintained if you are looking for a free version; however, if you want to pay, you can get basically the same thing from Red Hat - with SUPPORT. Obviously, I recommend this one because it is the version that I use and am most familiar with.

I am sure you are about to be flogged with opinions on this subject... both in agreement to and contrary to my opinion on this one....

Good Luck!!

Last edited by netnix99; 09-08-2013 at 06:48 PM.
 
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
TroN-0074
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You can go with Arch, Arch would give you the core function from where you build up your system, I believe Arch is also available for ARM because there is a version for the Raspberry Pi.
Desktop version https://www.archlinux.org/download/
ARM version http://archlinuxarm.org/developers/downloads

Debian is also another one although devian offers a full Gnome desktop when install it but you can go with the minimal installation and build up your system, Debian is also available for the Raspberry Pi.
Debian desktop versions http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
RaspberryPi version http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

The other OS I would probably suggest is FreeBSD, FreeBSD also gives you the core base system from where you develop your OS based on what you like. Now I think there is also a version available for the RaspberryPi but I dont think is an official release.

FreeBSD desktop version http://www.freebsd.org/where.html
FreeBSD RaspberryPi version http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3094

you can check it out anyway

Good luck to you
 
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
k3lt01
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Take your pick from any distro that supports both architectures and also offers a minimal or netinst style installer. Debian would be my pick and if you use the --no-install-recommends option and also only use the packages marked as "important" you can start with a very small base and build from there.
 
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
JWJones
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Having come from Slackware, I'd say the only things worth mentioning would be Gentoo, FreeBSD/openBSD, or CentOS. Not sure about the size of the installed base, or why that matters.
 
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:24 AM   #6
kooru
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Hi Ottavio,

you can try Arch.
 
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:51 AM   #7
ottavio
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Thanks to all of you for the suggestions. If I wanted to break away from Linux altogether (the temptation is there) I would try Freebsd or Netbsd. I used Netbsd 4-5 years ago and I really liked the minimalistic approach, but I am worried that, especially for the x86-64 architecture, there could be a lack of driver support.

Arch is one I will take in consideration. I am curious about you would suggest CentOs. I installed a minimal base a few years ago on a virtual machine, I ended up with more that 1G installed base, and that was without X. Have things changed?
 
Old 09-09-2013, 02:58 AM   #8
PrinceCruise
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A lot depends on your hardware. What kind of hardware do you have?

Regards.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 03:02 AM   #9
ottavio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceCruise View Post
A lot depends on your hardware. What kind of hardware do you have?

Regards.
At the moment none. I just returned my Windows 8 laptop because the chipset had limited kernel support and I swear I won't buy any device with any proprietary OS installed, inlcuding ChromeOS and Android. That means most likely I won't buy anything soon, but I want to keep my eyes open.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 06:30 AM   #10
PrinceCruise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottavio View Post
That means most likely I won't buy anything soon, but I want to keep my eyes open.
In that case there are endless possibilities.
NetBSD possibly won't have that much of devices supported as Linux does, so unless you'll get an ancient hardware just to play with NetBSD, any Linux distro's minimal base will do the job.

I'd say go for Slackware minimal install (personal choice) and only add the stuff which you want later.


Regards.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
TobiSGD
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Would be helpful if you tell us why you move away from Slackware. If you don't have a problem with having something quite similar to Slackware I would recommend to give Salix a try, the Salix flavors always have three options:
- Core, base system without GUI
- Basic, minimal GUI system with the DE/WM of the flavor but few additional applications (browser and GUI package manager, IIRC)
- Full, fully fledged desktop system.

If it has to be something totally different then I would recommend Debian, just do a minimal install and add the packages you need/want.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #12
snowpine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottavio View Post
Arch is one I will take in consideration. I am curious about you would suggest CentOs. I installed a minimal base a few years ago on a virtual machine, I ended up with more that 1G installed base, and that was without X. Have things changed?
Why is 1gb bad?? If you have a typical 1TB hard drive then 1gb is 0.1%.

Anyway if you have a teeny-tiny drive or whatever and can't afford to upgrade, I don't think you can get much smaller than SliTaz or TinyCore. I don't have personal experience with TinyCore (I hear good things) but I can tell you SliTaz is excellent.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
ottavio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Would be helpful if you tell us why you move away from Slackware.
Technically speaking, not much to object. The philosophy behind it is still sound and solid.

I am not comfortable with a certain backwards attitude towards new devices. The Slackware crowd still thinks that the world is PC-centred. I don't really want to repeat myself because I don't want personal aggravations with senior members of the team, but if you look at my previous posts here on LQ I think I made myself clear.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #14
jefro
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Maybe slitaz can be made quite small. A port to arm exists out there.
 
Old 09-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #15
TobiSGD
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Ah, I remember that discussion. The problem for me seems to be that you won't find a distro that runs on x86(-64) with the normal system layout and on ARM with a different one. In fact, I don't know any distribution with an Android style layout on x86(_64). May be you should give up the idea to have the same system on x86(_64) and ARM, just use different systems. If you really want Android style filesystem layout on all machines I am afraid you will have to do it yourself, so in that case LFS will be the obvious choice.
 
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