Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

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Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby david_halliday » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:52 pm

I was wondering if anyone has tried one of the tiny Linux distributions like Damn Small Linux or Puppy.

DSL is about as small as they come and runs entirely from RAM so is super fast. (yes 256Meg is more than enough!)

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/index.html

Puppy is more traditional with and bigger.

http://www.puppylinux.org/

The DSL site also lists a bunch of DSL derivitives but I know nothing about them.

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/relatives.html

If not what is the smallest distro you have got to work?

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby quotaholic » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:11 pm

I had good luch wih puppy linux and of all that I have tried it ran the fastest. Although we all have the same units it seems there are different bios version out there that may vary your milage. Let us know if you have a problem with booting from usb so we can direct you to the right spot. I used an external cdrom sharing a usb hub with a keyboard/mouse combo on a rf dongle. An adesso. I used

Code:
[shadow=red,left]puppy prefix=toram[/shadow]

and after a while a desktop appeared. Need a mouse but it's snappy.

I had no luck getting a gui in dsl but others may report differently. My error dealt with not beingable to find a knoppix file system. Didnt spend too long on it. If your willing the ubuntu dev team is waiting to hear back from me on ubuntu breaking the graphics. I wanted to try ubuntu mini remix and fluxbuntu. My dt's are on their way so I am unable to provide.

Thats about all I know about working mini distro's at this time.

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby angrymeat » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:19 pm

at this very moment I am working on getting the touch driver working on a dsl frugal install on the onboard flash I have it booting fin now its a matter of putting xorg and the driver on.
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby quotaholic » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:55 pm

That is great angry meat.

Dave, I missed your last question. Apologies.

If angrymeat is successful his version of DSL would be the smallest.

If not it would be very sad.

However, consider NimbleX. Which is a desktop distribution that uses lzm compression as a plugin to the squash filesytem.

Many of us felt the sub100 version ran the cleanest on the DT. It also booted with working wifi and a couple of desktops. What's neat about it is the option to save data. Nimblex can maintain a partition of user data and configs. It also offers an installer however the best performance is found by keeping it on a usb boot for some reason.

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby Fleegman » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:24 am

DSL will boot up  into the "desktop" no problem on the WebDT ... but the hardware needs to be configured (wireless, bluetooth, desktop resolution, virtual keyboard and touchpoint).

Since I was working on NimbleX at the time, I didn't bother with DSL any further... but from angrymeats last post, it seems as if he's close to getting it done.

The other "mini" distro that looks promising is AntiX (http://antix.mepis.org/index.php/Main_Page).  This build is meant for really old systems, so I'm guessing this would really "fly" on the WebDT.

I created a USB Boot Disk of AntiX, but it wasn't able to boot on the WebDT .... it kept on saying "unable to find Mephis filesystem" ... which was really weird because everything is on the USB stick.

Personally I think the ideal linux build for the WebDT is a very slim core system that boots into a desktop with just the hardware configured, extremely minimal ... then individuals can add software as they want to.
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby david_halliday » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:08 pm

Fleegman,

I think we are thinking along similar lines here. Ideally I am thinking that I would like to have a base system that boots of the internal flash (probably just /boot) and then puts everything else on a CF card. This way wear on the internal CF card can be limited and this would also allow for bigger systems if required.

At the moment i'm just fishing around distributions to see what each offers.

I have a feeling that if we do with a  very simply base system it may be better to use a common one so extra packages can easily be added to the base from the main distribution repositories. For example Xubuntu could leverage Ubuntu and Debian repositories directly. Some of this has already been done by "Ubuntu Mini Remix"

http://ubuntu-mini-remix.crealabs.it/

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby Fleegman » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:12 pm

Some of us have already tried Ubuntu ( and it's counterparts ) only to see if fail during the GUI launch.  Having a base system in which packages can be added on later would be ideal, but it seesm as if many of the micro-distros are still quite bloated (from a tablets perspective).

Here's an excerpt from the Slax Blog (which Tomas runs):

"A stable version of Slax 6.1 will be published soon. This release will fix xorg module to work even without KDE (start FluxBox instead if KDE is not there), so one can just use 001-core and 002-xorg to have stripped down desktop."

I think that's we we are aiming for, a stripped down linux distro that boots to a desktop with just the bare bones necessary for the WebDT tablet ... then packages can be added as a per user liking.
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby quotaholic » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:32 pm

I have a bug in ubuntu's launchpad on the graphic problem and they are waiting to hear back from me (us). I am along the lines of thinking that ubuntu mini remix has an associated build studio freely available on sourceforge. Once past the base distribution one can add or customize to their needs. Besides that "xorg-xserver-input-penmount" is a package in their tree. That should make getting the touch screen up half as involved as with other distributions.

Sadly I am still awaiting my replacement DT. I donated  mine to the NimbleX project. If anyone wants to try to boot to ubuntu, forcing the breaking of the graphics, go in after on a live cd and collect all the logs you can out of /var it would help out the developers to help us realize whats causing the breakage.

Another plus on ubuntu is that I heard that they are porting over apples multi touch and gestures. For those who think that would be a nice feature.

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby angrymeat » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:50 pm

dsl is out it was too damn buggy on these. I am working on puppy at the moment .
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby Fleegman » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:47 am

I tried the following linux distro's with fail on the penmount:
- Vector Linux
- AntiX
- Mepis
- Knoppix Feather
- Ubuntu (all mixes; crash during GUI load)

Even though I was able to install the penmount drivers, they would just not work; which is really very odd as the Vector Linux is based upon the same building template as NimbleX and Slax.
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby KDH » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:21 pm

I was able to get DSL running with wireless using a pcmcia wireless card (compaq wl110)  Another very small distro that I'm going to experiment with is Slitaz.
http://www.slitaz.org/en/
It's about half the size of DSL and the entire filesystem expands to about 80MB in ram. It uses JWM for the window manager.  I'm going to see about getting it installed in the coming day's and I'll report back
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby quotaholic » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:41 pm

I tried that one too but could not get booted to a desktop. looked like a neat distro.

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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby cadgear » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:13 am

Not to bring up a dead thread, but thought I would toss in my two cents.

DSL is simply amazing on the WebDT366 I have. With the exception of power management and touchscreen support, I've used it since mid-2008 with very few problems. The only gripe I have is I'm not quite experienced enough to fenagle the Penmount drivers; I think the version I have requires xorg, something I could never get right on my setup.

Though it seems not everything is created equal; I've never had any issues booting into DSL on my setup, and it seems some are having issues.

What works in DSL 4.1:
Wifi (configuration is needed every boot) - works with the Cisco 350 card
and all of its glories, such as the httpd server.
Accessing usb drives, internal flash drives, and CF slot drives.
Sleep
..short list.

What doesn't work for me:
Bluetooth
Touchscreen
Nav buttons
Power management, such as screen dimming and battery monitoring
Printing

MyDSL works, along with apt, however everything is lost on reboot. Couldn't seem to get it to save a configuration nor install to the internal flash drive. I'm a huge fan of DSL, though. I just wish I had the time to decipher the deeper aspects of Linux to get things working.
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby quotaholic » Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:16 am

I looked in to it. By what I can see penmount does not have a driver package that lines up with this kernel. If one can work around that the impossible hurdle to clear is the calibration utility needed to make the screen usable.

Possibly this should be a feature request made to the DSL developers?
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Re: Anyone tried a tiny linux distro like DSL?

Postby david_halliday » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:08 pm

I was playing with getting Puppy linux to work but had a similar problem with Penmount drivers. There are open source drivers available also and I managed to get them loaded but the cursor is way off as if it needs calibration.

I have been out of the loop for a few weeks (father in law passed away) and will be for some more but I will try and take a look at this again when I get time.

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