Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mini Review of a Tiny PCLOS

Filed under
PCLOS
Reviews
-s

TinyMe is a scaled down version of PCLinuxOS 2007. The latest version is delivered as a 177 MB liveCD and features the Lightweight X11 Desktop Enviroment, Synaptic, and the PCLinuxOS Control Center. It comes with a few applications, so it could be a really light version of PCLOS for older computers or a foundation on which to build your own system as you choose.

The boot screen and silent boot splash are straight from PCLOS, but the window manager login screen is quite different. TinyMe 4.1 comes with LXDE and Openbox and so the LXSession is the graphical login manager. It works well and looks fairly good, but has some extraneous entries listed. The LXdesktop is a standard setup: a panel at the bottom with a start button and some quick launchers, pager, clock and network applet. TinyMe developers have included a nice wallpaper of rain drops on glass with a blue sky background. The TinyMe acorn logo sits in the middle. It didn't scale for my 1280x800 screen resolution, but no biggie. Version 4.1 comes with a Home icon and gkrellm.

The menus are quite sparce, but most applications installed end up with link. As delivered, GQView is included as for image viewing and medit for text editing or simple document creation. The Settings heading contains About Me, Password, Redo MBR, and Openbox Configuration Manager. System tools include Configure Your Computer (PCLOS Control Center), Disk Management, PCMan File Manager, Root Terminal, Run as Different User, Searchmonkey, and Synaptic Package Manager. Under Network is Opera and TightVNC. Under the hood we find Linux 2.6.18.8, Xorg 7.1.1, and GCC 4.1.1.


Some Stuff

There is no entry in the menu for the hard drive installer, but it can be found at /usr/sbin/draklive-install. It is the same PCLOS customized Mandriva Live installer found in PCLinuxOS and works just as well. With such a small system to install, it finished in just a few minutes. I setup the bootloader to be installed onto the root partition and that worked out really well. I had no problems with any of it.

The installed system boots on my laptop in 19 seconds and takes up about 700 MB of space. I opened Synaptic to install a few things and found PCLOS software repositories already set up. The Gimp I installed while running the liveCD was transferred to the harddrive install and I followed it up with Gnome. I wasn't able to locate a Gnome meta package so I checked most of the important Gnome packages. It downloaded about 150 MB of software and installed without issue. Gnome didn't show up in the LXSession menu, so I had to choose Text.Console and start it manually. One could probably install the Gnome login manager if they seriously wanted to use Gnome. I just speculated that this TinyMe might be the perfect start for the user wishing to run PCLOS under the Gnome desktop without any of the KDE baggage that's so hard to remove completely. And my results were such that I believe it would work out well for that very purpose. Even with Gnome installed the system still weighed in at less than one gig. Apps opened immediately and the system as a whole was very stable.


Gnome

TinyME might make a good start for a server as all the important LAMP packages are in the PCLOS repositories as well. One doesn't need all the extra goodies that come with the big desktops these days for a server and LXDE would be good for those that like graphical server tools such as webmin.

I didn't have an older computer handy on which to test it, but I imagine it would be great for it. PCLOS developers build support for about everything into their kernels and LXDE only requires a Pentium II and 128 MB ram if one wishes to use like Firefox or OpenOffice.org. It is said that LXDE alone can run in as little as 64 MB ram.

TinyME might be useful to those folks that commonly use ftp or net installs because they prefer to only download what they use. This way, they can still test hardware support before installing without downloading 700 MB.

As it was on my modern HP laptop, hardware support was great. My sound, graphics, and wired ethernet chip were auto-configured. For my wireless chip I easily used Ndiswrapper to load the drivers and had no issue with WPA or WEP. Battery monitoring and cpufreq were accomplished at the commandline as well with the default system. Removeable media is seen, but there are issues with the file manager. Directories show up in PCMan, but clicking on them shot an error. Other media, such as ondisk partitions mounted and opened without issue just by clicking on them.

All in all, it's a fairly neato little image. It's fun to play with as it is or could be a great start to your very own system. See some more screenshots in the gallery. Visit the TinyMe Homepage for downloads.




Thanks for the review/a few comments

Hello,

I'm KDulcimer, head developer and release manager for TinyMe.

Thanks for the review. To this point, TinyMe has been an effort to take PCLinuxOS 2007 Final and hack it down to something really, really small. We take a look at Puppy Linux (an excellent small distribution) and a few other small distros for comparison (and to steal applications from them Big Grin).

However, we're taking a hard look at starting over for the next Test. We've had some input from the Ripper Gang on building PCLOS from scratch. So look for a smaller ISO and more bugs next time. Wink

The grub and bootup splash screen have been fixed by RPMs from Gettinther (and it's quite impressive if I do say so myself). The installer icon has been marked to be included in next release. We're looking at including the latest Abiword in the next test as well.

A default TinyMe installation should be just over 500MB.

Installing a different login manager takes manually editing a configuration file as well as enabling the manager in the PCLOS CC.

You are not able to mount the device because you do not have a line in /etc/fstab for that drive/partition. I'm sure there's a way to have PCManFM mount the removable drives in /media like PCLOS official, but I don't know what it is.

My laptop as well runs at 1280x800 and the background not scaling is a bit of an annoyance to me as well. I'll mark it up in the bugs list.

I'll bet GIMP pulled in a ton of dependencies. Smile

I have as a test machine a PII @ 266MHz w/ 128MB of RAM. So far TinyMe fits pretty well, but I have to say, it's got a little ways to go to get the speed I want. Try running TinyMe in Virtualbox @ 800x600. It's quite usable and you don't feel crammed at all. I think LXDE actually works better at that resolution than 1280x800.

Please note that TinyMe has its own repository in addition to the PCLOS repos. TinyMe users should keep that repo enabled along with a PCLOS repo.

I have it in my own personal notes to try to upgrade TinyMe to a full PCLOS and write down the process.

Thank you again for your review and your input. You can bet I'll be looking at this article when I'm working on the next test release to see how I can make it better.

~KDulcimer
http://tinyme.mypclinuxos.com

Interesting. I haven't seen

Interesting. I haven't seen this data on LXDE. Can you provide a link? I got LXDE to run in VirtualBox with as little as 48MB of RAM + swap space. I'm working on giving it a real-life whirl on a 266Mhz PII. I'm starting with 128MB of RAM and cutting back until it doesn't boot anymore. Big Grin

As far as a browser, we're pretty set on Opera. We can only do so much to it to slim it down and stay within their liscense.

~KDulcimer
http://tinyme.mypclinuxos.com

What page were you

What page were you specifically looking at?

Try going to Tools--> Quick Preferences--> Edit Site Preferences--> Network tab--> change browser ID to "Mask as Firefox".

I didn't see a problem with msn.com in Opera on WinXP. Often, a page not loading correctly in Opera is due to the page containing invalid code. I'll be sure to make sure the Flash plugins work for our Opera.

LXDE does not come with a window manager. We are using Openbox for our WM. However, you may theorhetically use any WM with LXDE: xfwm4, kwin, even Emerald with Beryl/Compiz-fusion! Wink Big Grin

~KDulcimer
http://tinyme.mypclinuxos.com

Very good review. I will

Very good review. I will certainly love to try TinyMe when the stable version is released. Thanks for this one.

I was also impressed by the look of tinyme. However, compared to the speed of zenwalk with xfce, tinyme (on the same machine, amd athlon 1600+) isn't that responsive.

______________________
Caballos

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Desktop GNU/Linux/Chromebook

  • A Minimal Chrome OS Theme for Tint2
    I used to (and sort-of-still-do, I guess) run a sister site focused on Google Chrome, Chromecast and Chromebooks, i.e. the Chrome ecosystem. As such I am a fan of Chromebooks and Chrome OS, a Linux-based distribution based on Gentoo. The appearance of Chrome OS has waxed and waned in sync with Google’s ambitions and positioning for the OS, going form hyper-minimal to a full desktop clone (with the desktop-y Chrome Apps platform) through to a Material Design inspired Android + Chrome hybrid today.
  • Off-The-Shelf Hacker: Linux for Cheap Hardware, Then and Now
    Most people, don’t realize how prolific Linux has become. With the Embedded Linux Conference just a week away, I’ve been reflecting on how Linux has provided a sort of computing “circle of life” experience for me. It’s powered my computational hardware 20 years ago and continues to do so today.
  • [Video] XPS 13 Review | Linux Action Show 457
  • GParted 0.28.1
    This release of GParted restores the ability to move/resize primary partitions when an extended partition exists. The move/resize regression was introduced in version 0.28.0. This release also includes some minor bug fixes.
  • Antergos Linux : The beauty built on Arch
    Hi guys, welcome to the 16th segment of "Introduction with Linux Distro". Most of us know or heard about Arch Linux, which is one of the most widely used Linux distribution. For some reason, few users find it hard to install and use Arch. But in Linux world, there is almost always some alternative to your desired distribution. In today's segment, we will be introducing an Arch-based distribution which turned it completely on user-friendly side. So, let's get to know about Antergos Linux.

Kernel Space/Linux

Leftovers: Software

  • Picard 1.4 released
    The last time we put out a stable release was more than 2 years ago, so a lot of changes have made it into this new release. If you’re in a hurry and just want to try it out, the downloads are available from the Picard website.
  • Linux Digital Audio Workstations: Open Source Music Production
    Linux Digital Audio Workstations When most people think of music programs, they’ll usually think Mac OS or Windows. However, there are also a few Linux digital audio workstations. The support and features of these programs can vary, but they’re a good choice to setup a cheap recording studio. Some of them are even good competitors for paid programs, offering features such as multitrack recording, MIDI, and virtual instruments. Keep in mind that many audio editing programs for Linux rely on the Jack backend. You’ll need a dedicated system to install these programs on, since it doesn’t work properly in a virtual machine. In the following article, we’ll cover audio editing programs that are available for Linux. We’ll talk about the available features, as well as help you decide which program to use for your needs.
  • i2pd 2.12 released
    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client. I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses.
  • 4 Command-Line Graphics Tools for Linux
    For the most part, they’re wrong. Command-line image tools do much of what their GUI counterparts can, and they can do it just as well. Sometimes, especially when dealing with multiple image files or working on an older computer, command-line tools can do a better job. Let’s take a look at four command-line tools that can ably handle many of your basic (and not-so-basic) image manipulation tasks.
  • CloudStats - Best Server Monitoring Tool for Linux Servers
    CloudStats is an effective tool for Linux server monitoring and network monitoring. With CloudStats you get whole visibility into key performance criteria of your Linux Server. You can proactively track different server metrics like CPU, disk and memory usage, services, apps, processes and more. The best thing is that you don’t need to have any special technical skills – this tool for server monitoring is very easy to install and run from any device.
  • New Inkscape 0.92.1 fixes your previous works done with Inkscape
    This blog-post is about a happy-end after a previously published blog-post named New Inkscape 0.92 breaks your previous works done with Inkscape published on 20 January. A lot of reactions did happen about this previous blog-post and the news get quickly viral. That's why I thought it was nice to make another blog post to "close this case".
  • Qt 5.10 To Have Built-In Vulkan Support
    With Qt 5.8 there was experimental Direct3D 12 support that left some disappointed the toolkit didn't opt for supporting Vulkan first as a cross-platform, high-performance graphics API. Fortunately, with Qt 5.10, there will be built-in Vulkan support. Going back nearly one year there has been Vulkan work around Qt while with Qt 5.10 it's becoming a reality. However, with Qt 5.9 not even being released until the end of May, Qt 5.10 isn't going to officially debut until either the very end of 2017 or early 2018.
  • Rusty Builder
    Thanks to Georg Vienna, Builder can now manage your Rust installations using RustUp!
  • GNOME MPlayer knows how to grow your playlist size

today's howtos