Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

My desktop OS: Damn Small Linux plus pendrive equals portable paradise

Filed under
Linux

I'm a student who does freelance PHP coding and pixel art. I've always wanted a dedicated computer for my work, but that would take a considerable investment on a student's income. I found the perfect solution in the pairing of an older Compaq Deskpro and Damn Small Linux (DSL).

Damn Small Linux is a great match for older hardware because it's loaded with lightweight software. My machine has a 166MHz Pentium CPU with 32MB of RAM and a 1.2GB hard drive, and it runs extremely well with DSL. I've always favored simple applications that do one job and do it well, so the stripped down nature of the programs included with DSL doesn't bother me. However, if I need the extra power of more complex programs, they're a breeze to install.

The best thing about Damn Small Linux is that it flat out flies. I use Joe's Window Manager instead of the default Fluxbox, but they both give a great amount of functionality in a small footprint. The only application I use that lags at all is the memory-hungry Firefox. The rest are more responsive than most of the programs I use on Windows on my much more modern other computer.

My desktop OS: Damn Small Linux

And:

I recently acquired a 256MB USB pendrive that I use for storing personal documents and work-related stuff. As a Linux fan who wanted to make the most of his new toy, I went looking for the simplest, smallest distro I could find that could boot from a pendrive. I found Debian-based Damn Small Linux, whose long list of bundled applications fits into a meager 50MB. The more I use it, the more I like it.

You can test DSL in a variety of ways: you can boot it from a business card CD, install it on the hard drive, run it from a USB pendrive, or even run it from within Windows (using Qemu). After a quick search on the project's wiki, I found the section related to booting from USB. The simplest way to create a bootable pendrive is to burn DSL to a CD, run a live CD session with it, and choose the desired install option from the desktop menu. I decided to download the .iso and instead try to install it directly on the pendrive. For guidance, I used the excellent guide on the Debian wiki.

The installation finished without problems. I had to play around with the various USB boot devices in the BIOS until I found one that worked.

DSL offers a variety of boot parameters, and some of them are quite handy.

Damn Small Linux plus pendrive equals portable paradise.


More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

KaOS 2016.06 Moves the Distro to Linux Kernel 4.6, Adds Full-Disk Encryption

The developers of the KaOS Linux operating system have had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability for download of the KaOS 2016.06 ISO image with some very exciting goodies. First and foremost, the devs have decided to move the distribution from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series to Linux kernel 4.6, which makes it possible to fully automate the early microcode update. Furthermore, the default desktop environment has been migrated to the Beta of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7. Read more

Tiny Core Linux 7.2 Enters Development, First Release Candidate Is Out Now

The developers of one of the smallest GNU/Linux operating systems, Tiny Core, have announced that the next point release in the Tiny Core Linux 7 series, version 7.2, is now open for development. Tiny Core Linux 7.2 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) has been released today, June 25, 2016, and it lets early adopters and public testers get an early taste of what's coming to the final Tiny Core Linux 7.2 operating system in the coming weeks. Read more

Huawei CEO: Will keep using Android as long as it's open

He made the said comment in a Weibo post, where-in he also noted that Google's mobile OS has promoted the development of smartphones, which in turn has benefited consumers. Interestingly, he didn't say anything about whether or not Huawei is developing an in-house mobile OS - said to be called Kirin OS. His silence on the matter, though, can be taken as a confirmation of sorts, especially when his comment reflects the possibility of Google restricting the companies’ freedom with Android in future. Read more Also: Huawei CEO Comments On Rumors about its Independent OS