[nycbug-talk] BSD on the <$100 laptop?

Jonathan Vanasco nycbug-list at 2xlp.com
Mon Apr 10 18:51:04 EDT 2006

On Apr 10, 2006, at 11:52 AM, Pete Wright wrote:

> ok, i'm gonna play devils advocate here.  what exactly does he mean by
> "linux has gotten too fat"?  if he is refering to the kernel (which is
> all that linux really is) you can strip out anything you want...sorta
> easilly, to create a lean image.  is he refering to a specific  
> linux distro?
> debian is actually quite small IMO, and can be stripped easilly as  
> well.
> ...as can slackware.  i'll have to dig around and find exactly what he
> is talking about here.

Thats not being devils advocate, thats being completely reasonable -  
and the original comment that linux is 'too fat' sounds pointed and ,  
well, ignorant.

The common linux distros are 'fat' - but they're fat for 2 reasons:
	a- they take a kitchen sink mentality -- they come with virtually  
everything under the sun available as a package/port
	b- they ship with every damn driver near imaginable

That refers to the disk and the kernel - Pete is dead on, you can  
pretty much strip out anything under the sun

Knoppix , the debian distro, is tailored down to 700mb and has just  
about everything someone would need - and then some.  last i checked,  
there were some 100-200mb versions of it that still had all the  
basics.  the bulk of it is hardware detection stuff too - given that  
OLPC is going to be pretty standardized, thats a ton of drivers that  
aren't needed. ( knoppix.net )
FeatherLinux is the knoppix remaster thats ~128mb ( http:// 
featherlinux.berlios.de )

and Damn Small linux is ~50mb and has , surprisingly, a ton of stuff  
( damnsmalllinux.org )

I don't know if there are any FreeBSD things that are compatible.   
I've used some pen-drive ones to do a router-on-a-usb-key in an  
emergency, but I haven't seen a stripped down live-cd or equivalent  
that included a GUI - most seem console oriented, but  I'm sure there  
exist somewhere.

My point is that  Linux/FreeBSD is as small or as large as you want  
your installation to be.  It can be 120mb or 12gb , depending on what  
you want - and given that the hardware specs can be pretty much  
controlled - it should make things way easier.

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