Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Damn Small Linux is tiny Linux distribution that John Andrews originally created in 2002 to see just how many applications could fit into a 50MB system. The project has grown over the years to include many other contributors working on hundreds of packages and applications. Last month's release of DSL 4.0 brought many updates and changes, yet it remains a special-purpose distribution for older hardware because it lacks support for many modern features.
Damn Small Linux offers an amazing array of options for running the distribution. You can boot it as a live CD, from a USB stick, or on a hard drive. You can install it traditionally or run it within a Windows OS. It can run on CPUs as old as a 486DX with 16MB RAM. If you install it on your hard drive, you can upgrade it to a full-blown Debian system.
The distro provides a full desktop experience. Fluxbox is the default window environment. Its menu provides a nice selection of applications and system configuration tools. Also included are a hard drive installer, USB flash drive installer, and Frugal installer, which adds only a bootloader entry to boot the DSL ISO file from a hard drive.