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Old 08-08-2005, 05:57 AM   #1
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Question I want to trim Linux distribution


I want to trim Linux distribution (fedora/mandriva). Trim, I mean removing modules that I don't need. For example I want to setup web server powered by Apache, now it requires only glibc (c-runtime), file system modules, basic core kernel layer module, Ethernet driver, and other necessary modules for admin commands. Physical constraints are disk space not more than 100MB and 20 MB memory size.

Suggest me; is this achievable? If yes then how? Reference

Is this, somehow related to making my own distribution e.g. FC 3 distribution Compact Linux version.


Old 08-08-2005, 06:14 AM   #2
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this will be really hard, because you will likely install bare-bones Fedora, then remove all the packages that you don't want. Then install the extra ones you want. Then re-compile the kernel to optimize for size. This will be the hard-bit, because kernel-sources is about 100 meg (at least in suse).

You may want to try another distro, look at for suggestions.
Old 08-08-2005, 06:17 AM   #3
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you can recompile the kernel and remove the things that you dont need

you should also stop any services that you dont need , make sure you use DMA for the harddisk , and remove also packages that you dont want

but i think you should better install Damn Small Linux as its only 50 mb in size and very fast

Last edited by heema; 08-08-2005 at 07:32 AM.
Old 08-08-2005, 06:38 AM   #4
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Re: I want to trim Linux distribution

Originally posted by qadria
I want to trim Linux distribution (fedora/mandriva)... Physical constraints are disk space not more than 100MB and 20 MB memory size.

Suggest me; is this achievable?
I once tried to install RH 7.2 (???) on a 32 Meg system with 2 Gig hard disk. Never got through the initial build.
With so much bloat-ware (in the way of non-essential services) in those distros, I don't believe you have any chance.

Maybe LFS.
Old 08-08-2005, 07:26 AM   #5
Gay R0b0t
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not lsf on 20 meg memory, just something like SME which is designed for a similar use.
Old 08-08-2005, 07:40 AM   #6
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I used to run Fedora Core 3 on my server with 128 MB memory. It worked reasonably well when I removed all services not associated with the particular servers I needed (there were about 5-6 still running including samba and apache). Memory usage got down to ~64 MB on idle (much higher when complex PHP scripts were served). I don't think its possible to trim it down further unless you recompile, and then it's no point using Fedora. I agree with heema, try DSL instead. And anyway, 20 MB RAM is just not enough to run a web server with any kind of efficiency, at least not with scripting. If you really need to, try a simpler web server. I know of Hypercube ( and Xerver ( Maybe they are sufficient for your needs?
Old 08-08-2005, 07:42 AM   #7
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This would be a trivial matter with Slackware. Do an 'expert' install and only choose what is needed for a basic webserver and choose the lowmem kernel.

Seeing as how you won't need KDE or Gnome, you'd only need to download the first installation cd.

Old 08-08-2005, 07:45 AM   #8
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I think it will be hard to achieve. Even Damn Small Linux suggests that you have 250MB hard disk space available. As for memory, I can run Mandrake9.1 with Apache, IceWM, vim, and Firefox, having only 32MB RAM, on my Linux laptop. So for Apache only, 20MB RAM should be enough.

Anyway, I suggest you rather start from a tiny Linux distribution, such as Damn Small Linux (can be made to use Debian packages), or one of those distributions tailored for handhelds (see

Yet if you decide to actually trim a bigger distribution, I suggest you try that with Mandrake/Mandriva. It has a tool named "urpmi-find_leaves" or something like that, that enables you to easily find packages that are not required by any other packages.



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