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Damnsmalllinux 1.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 52414 04-07-2017
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.3

Description: This is a very, very small linux distribution that is very workable as a rescue cd or a full blown desktop distro for your atticware.
Keywords: Tiny, cool, fun, small, debian, knoppix, linux, apt-get,

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Old 09-25-2005, 11:49 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Multiple. Depends on my mood.
Posts: 9

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: VERY small. Uses little memory
Cons: Not alot of software, other small pains.

DSL is very good for what it is. A small, portable barebones Linux.
Good Things:
-Found my network card without prompting and I was online as soon as I logged in.
-Not many questions during install, which is nice if you're just test driving the OS.
-Nice clean look to it. It's very pretty.
-Uses very little memory (I have 256M and it used less than half)
-Very small. Only 50M. Can run from ramdrive or HD.

Not So Good Things:
-Video doesn't work well in things like mplayer. To fix this, I'd have to download AND configure XFree86 with 3D support. Already having SuSE 9.3 set up to my liking, I didn't want the hassle.
-Firefox comes installed, but it's version .09 or something.
-Software installing with MyDSL is simple, but restricting. You get a list of what to install and that's that, unless you mess with apt. The software is Debian based, but not exactly. Only some software will work with DSL.
-Made my USB mouse flaky. Had to change mice. (No, it isn't a mouse problem)
-Damn Small Linux seems to have a Damn Small User Base. Not that this is horrible, but if you have a particular problem you aren't likely to find much in the way of help.

I'm sure that some folks here would say "Oh, doing so and so is easy!". Well, you need to be familiar with Debian, apt and a few other things for that to be true.

Having said that, if you have some Linux under your belt and free time to figure out/tweak things, this is a great little OS. If you're just web-surfing I highly recommend it. It installs fast and seems to work well for that.

However, and I can't stress this enough, this is NOT for Linux newbies (except to get a brief taste of Linux). Too much configuring and finding current packages hassles. If you're a Linux person who loves messing with OS stuff this is a fun OS. A newbie from Windows will get frustrated quickly when trying to add or change things, unless they want to spend the time to get to know this OS. You can't just go from Windows to DSL and say "Oh, this is great, I get it now".

It was fun to play with for a few days, but now I'm back with SuSE 9.3. So far SuSE is the standard OS for me. I'll keep testing others and looking for better, but this isn't it. I'll keep DSL on one of my partitions just for fun, though.

As I've said, it's great for what it is. Small and fast. It's not a full-blown Linux, and it's not a good first step over from Windows. However, if you have old/slow hardware and you aren't doing anything overly complicated (that requires the latest-greatest software) DSL will be amazing.
Old 10-28-2005, 10:14 PM   #2
Harry Disney
Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 18

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: live CD performance is fast, download is fast, great distro for dual boot on small memory laptop, community has low whiners per capita ratio
Cons: May have to hunt and hack for answers/support. If you feel selfconcious about being a Linux nerd, DSL seems a little further into geekdom.

I agree that DSL would not be the distro to install for a newbie, but it has some sort of addictive quality that causes me to always have the latest version installed on my old laptop!! Remember it is "thin" for a reason, and stripped versions of Linux can panic a newcomer. When one gets a little bored with their first, bloated linux, DSL is a little like your neighbor allowing you to test his Harley! It only has half the wheels, but it can get you places fast.

As a live distro, the small aspect means your CD rom is not slowly grinding away to function (like Knoppix). Downloading the *.iso doesn't take long!! If you boot the CD up and find that your hardware works, the harddrive install is well documented. Take a couple of CD's, your laptop, and 6-pack to a friend's house for a spin on DSL.

DSL will challenge you to develope some new habits. It works, so just be patient with yourself and the apps . I really only have mine loaded to the laptop to have access to some games, email, web-surf, etc. It handles the basics well...and quick!
Old 12-09-2005, 11:54 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: fast & easy
Cons: not enough software

I am fan of this distro, but it is just dose not have enough software installed that I like would like. It dose not even have kde or gnome. I like use it when i go someware and use the pc that has windows installed.
Old 02-21-2006, 03:10 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2006
Posts: 7

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: small, fast, reliable; workd as advertised
Cons: not fully Debian

i tried DSL linux as an option to full blown Debian on an older pc that couldnt handle udev very well. it workd great. it was snappier than any linux i had tried before but wasnt as pretty as full distros. i was impressed with its speed, i just wanted a different set of programs than it offered. my wishlist item would be add a script or something that lets me use packages from the debian repository.
Old 07-04-2006, 02:47 PM   #5
m0dul4rX 2
Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: Damn Small Linux
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: World's first anorexic OS, windows 3.11-esque FM
Cons: Horrible app support, kinda unstable

I gotta say, DSL is a perfect OS if you don't plan on installing it. It has everything you need - Media player, text editor, image editor that runs circles around MSPaint, and Firefox! Normally this would be heaven, right?

It doesn't have good (correction... ANY) midi support, not alot of apps, and if I want something, I have to compile it myself. So far I have found no C++ compiler that works with my distro... Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

I would definitely recommend it for people who just want a taste of the many flavors of Linux... It's good, just don't install it. That's a commitment and I'm too impatient for that.
Old 01-30-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Size, tools included
Cons: NOT a gui champion in the modern sense

This distribution offers a LOT of functionality without the bloat, all stored on a live MINI-CD (which discs hold 210 Megs total).

You can repair configuration files on your hard disk installation. Surf the internet for answers. Reply to that important email even though your hard disk crashed.

While some folks want to claim DSL is a weak excuse for a modern fully appointed desktop OS, I believe they totally missed the point.

Did you expect this to be a digital audio workstation? You missed the point.
Did you expect to edit an epic movie with DSL? You missed the point.
Is this distro intended to compare with Windows Vista? Get a clue.
Is DSL intended to replace Knoppix live-on-DVD? Nope.
Are you looking for a distro that supports EVERY device known to man? Even SuSe Pro doesn't do that, so be realistic.

Even in the Linux world, programs are getting bigger with each passing revision, FireFox 2.0 is much larger than FF 0.9, and if 2.0 had been included in DSL, you'd likely not have much else on the 210 meg Mini-CD. The key here is that the user CAN surf and has more programs on the CD than just a web browser. DSL found smaller, unbloated applications that can get the job done, albeit in a simpler fashion.

Harry Disney and I rate DSL for what it accomplished, not for what it failed to accomplish.
Old 04-07-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
Registered: May 2014
Distribution: DSL Ubuntu 16.04 openSUSE 42.2
Posts: 17

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0


I want to thank you guys (Dunbar and Harry Disney) for your open reviews of DSL. I have an old Dell (laptop and desktop) and have been searching (Knoppix 5.1.1, 6.2) for a distro to put on them. Also I have a newer Dell running WIN10 that I want to put Ubuntu 16.04 for on. My business project: is to host web sites. I plan to use openSUSE for that.
So, I'm excited this forum is here and hope I can draw upon your (linux) expertise in the near future.

ps,.. I plan on getting that mini-cd for DSL


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