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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tiny Core Linux -- New arrival on small Linux Distributions.

As per the Welcome page on Tiny Core Linux:
Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux Desktop. It is based on Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Jwm. The core runs entirely in ram and boots very quickly.

It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware completely supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired internet access.

The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, a nettop, an appliance, or server, selectable from our online repository.

I came to know about it on Ubuntuforums and downloaded it immediately. Generally I don't burn a CD for trying Linux distributions but mount the iso on a directory on /tmp and copy the contents to a spare partition. This time I did not copy even to the spare partition since it is 10 MB only and copied it to /tinycore on Ubuntu. I added following entry to /boot/grub/menu.lst:

title Tinycore

root (hd0,X)

kernel /tinycore/boot/bzImage

initrd /tinycore/boot/tinycore.gz

It booted within seconds to JWM Desktop using Xvesa. Since my BIOS is quirky the desktop was showing funny colours on Xvesa with 1024x768 resolution. I changed the resolution in .xsession file to 640x480x16 and the colours were normal.

Since the resolution was not acceptable I installed Xorg but it failed with fatal xserver errors. I posted on TinyCoreLinuxForums and got prompt replies. There is a bug in xserver 1.5.1 for intel driver and I had to manually add the modules agpgart, intel-agp and drm before startx command. I was also advised to add the modules to /opt/bootlocal.sh so that they are loaded before start of X server.

I installed Opera and posting this from Opera running on TinyCoreLinux, Xorg 7.4.

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