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"I am pleased to announce the release of Core 4.7. Change log: updated ondemand to support scm extensions and icons from both tcz and scm; updated wbar - to support scm ondemand icons; updated scmapps GUI for new ondemand maintenance and download option; updated scm-load - new option -wo ondemand download; updated tc-functions - added new support functions; updated scm to interface to updated scmaps GUI; new scm-run to support scriptable load and launch scm style extensions; updated filetool - new GUI access to filetool.lst, .xfiletool.lst, and backup options; updated filetool.sh to interface to updated filetool GUI; updated apps GUI - New Check Onboot Unneeded and changes required by ondemand scm support...."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Good at what does
but make sure it does what you need
Tiny Core is a basic Linux which comes with Busybox (replacing the GNU tools), Xvesa, the FLWM window manager (using FLTK), wired internet access, terminal emulator, and a package installer. There is also MicroCore (just Linux and Busybox) and CorePlus (adding Wifi support, non-US keyboards, and a choice of window managers). They can run from CD/USB or a directory in an existing Linux partition, but in both cases, they load into RAM. Tiny Core runs as a user tc, with full root privileges, but since itís loaded anew every time you boot this isnít be a security risk. A conventional set-up with users and passwords could be created manually. There is a good wiki and forum for help.
Using the system to start with is tricky, as you have no documentation and no internet access to read the wiki. Nevertheless, I installed some light-weight software without difficulty: PCManFM, Siag office, and Midori. Unfortunately, Midori had a missing library and I couldnít find which package it came in. You can also install some programs in scm (self-contained mountable) format, using a different installer; these packages can be unmounted. Midori was available and it worked.
There are distros which are geared to small computers (AntiX and Swift) and those for running from RAM (Puppy). TC attempts to meet both of these objectives, but they are incompatible: adding programs to a system resident in RAM obviously uses up memory. Tiny Core runs in 48MB, but with programs added memory usage increases greatly. Installing three programs took Tiny Core up to 117MB without actually running anything! Using Midori took it to 182MB, while AntiX would run it in less than 128MB. One thing that is economised on is hard-drive space if you install: less than 1GB.
If you want a minimal or portable Linux for everyday purposes, you should probably look elsewhere. But for certain specific needs (e.g. creating a server, kiosk, or enbedded system) TC may be just the thing.