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Old 04-14-2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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Question Seeking Lightweight -toram Distribution for SSH/RDESKTOP/X11

Relatively new to the Linux scene, I've found myself carrying a copy of SLAX in my pocket on a bootable thumb-drive, which I use whenever I sit down on a public computer on my university campus.

I don't do any local work on the machine, and primarily only use it either to 'ssh' or 'rdesktop' to other, remote, machines. I boot Linux over the existing Windoze on the machines only in order to juke keyloggers and keep my machines secure.

I picked SLAX because, when I boot to the thumb-drive, it offers me the "Copy to RAM" option, which allows me to immediately put the thumb-drive back in my pocket. If I had to leave it in the machine, I would almost certainly forget it when I stood up to leave.

Considering how little actual work the distro itself does (even Firefox is negotiable, I could do without), I'm starting to get the feeling that SLAX is relatively overkill.

I feel that there's something out there that could satisfy my needs and provide me with a boot time that is orders of magnitude faster.

To reiterate, all I use my bootable Linux thumb-drive for is to 'ssh' to a command-line session on a remote machine, or to 'rdesktop' to a remote Windows machine. I'm looking for something with the fastest possible boot time.

I wouldn't even need a GUI at all, except it has to be able to render my 'rdesktop' session, and I occasionally launch graphical applications across my 'ssh' session via X11 forwarding. (If that makes any sense. I really am a noob.)
Old 04-14-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
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Damn Small Linux ?
Old 04-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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All of these can run in RAM. Not sure if rdesktop comes by default in them, but ssh should be in the default package list for all.
Old 04-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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and if you dont need GUI as you said, see GRML small/medium
which boots to ram and has persistency

slack-mini-server boots toram
and you can add the kde desktop as module

debian live "standard" noX off cd/usb/hdd with persistency and toram

smallest may be tinycore or microcore(noX) with toram and persistency
Old 04-14-2010, 06:08 PM   #5
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While I certainly appreciate the responses, there seems to be a bit of confusion on size versus speed.

I don't really care about size. Hell, when it comes to thumb drives, I'm not sure why anybody does. won't even sell you a flash drive smaller than 4GB anymore.

I tried a few of these, and, case in point, Damn Small Linux was one of the slowest booting distributions I've tried so far. Even Ubuntu booted faster.

(Our lab machines are not inferior hardware. They are 2.8 GHz quad-cores with 8GB of ram. They are only slow because of all the crap they installed on top of Wind0ze)

That being said, the recommendations here ultimately led me in the right direction, and I am grateful for that.

I have temporarily settled on xPUD. It goes from Power-On to CPU-Idle in about six seconds. I am extremely impressed with it's performance.
Old 04-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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You may like Sidux too, boots very fast and has a huge repo available


fastboot, lightweight, linux, minimal, rdesktop, ssh, x11

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