Unsure what a Linux distribution is? Read the Linux Distribution Guide
Damn Small Linux
DSL was originally developed as an experiment to see how many usable desktop applications can fit inside a 50MB live CD. It was at first just a personal tool/toy. But over time Damn Small Linux grew into a community project with hundreds of development hours put into refinements including a fully automated remote and local application installation system and a very versatile backup and restore system which may be used with any writable media including a hard drive, a floppy drive, or a USB device. hot
Puppy Linux boots into a 48 - 54M ramdisk, from a USB keychain disk drive, Compact Flash, Hard Drive, Zip Drive, Floppy, Network/Thin Client, CD-ROM or Mini-CD. No more distributions that only support a single boot media, puppy boots from 'em all. Read more hot
0sys is an effort to create the most functional UNIX environment in the smallest amount of code, in the most optimal manner. Written primarily from scratch (with concepts and
entire chunks of code taken from Busybox, util-linux, and others), it aims for portability and POSIX compliance. The sources include some GTK-based GUI utilities (including
a login client), as well as a stable, consistent, and flexible build system.
1diskxwin is a source dist to create a bootable floppy linux X window system. It has lots of stuff removed from the standard xfree dist to ease network bandwidth. it also lacks many packages from the full 2diskxwin source tree.
2-Disk Xwindow System
The distribution is intended to be a demonstration of Mungkie associates embedded appliance development environment, showing the sort of environment that can be created for small appliance GUI systems using less than 4Mb flash and 4Mb RAM.
4MLinux is a mini Linux distro. The live CD includes a set of system maintenance and recovery applications: cfdisk and GNU parted to manage partitions, testdisk to recover partitions, photorec to recover files, and ntfs3g to enable read-write support for NTFS partitions.
Alcolix is a minimal linux distribution built on a custom linux 2.4-kernel and sporting a hybrid of the most minimalistic yet usable versions of common unix-environment commandline tools. The goal is to make it easily usable for people able to use linux yet have it boot off only a minimal number of floppies.
Antlinux will be a mini-distribution of Linux, with an eye on small footprint applications such as run-from-CD versions of Linux.
ariane is a bootable CD-ROM linux. It's the successor of giotto. While giotto booted a libc5 system with a linux kernel 2.0.37 from floppy disks, ariane comes with linux kernel 2.4.26 and libc6, version 2.2.4. It boots (just as giotto) into your computer's RAM.
BasicLinux is designed specifically for old PCs. It uses a small kernel and busybox to provide a low-RAM Linux, capable of browsing the web, doing email, and functioning as an X terminal. The current release of BasicLinux is particularly suitable for old laptops -- it has PCMCIA capability and includes MagicPoint (a presentation tool similar to PowerPoint).
the LEAF "Bering" distribution is derived from Charles Steinkuehler's Dachstein (rc2). It differs from it on two key elements: It is based on a 2.4.x linux kernel and it relies on Shorewall for extended firewalling facilities
Bonzai Linux has been build to offer a Debian based Desktop-OS that fits on a 180MB CD-R(W).
Brazilfw is a mini-distribution designed for setting up network utility services such as Internet connection sharing, firewalling, or wireless access points. The goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible to set up a Linux system with only a minimal amount of Linux knowledge.
BrlSpeak is a Braille and Speech Mini-Distribution of Linux
that can be installed by a visually impaired person without any external assistance. BrlSpeak comes with a built-in preconfiger for the braille driver, + automated compilation of the braille driver during boot.
BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable. It provides replacements for most of the utilities you usually find in GNU fileutils, shellutils, etc. The utilities in BusyBox generally have fewer options than their full-featured GNU cousins; however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality and behave very much like their GNU counterparts. BusyBox provides a fairly complete environment for any small or embedded system.
ByzantineOS is a software Internet Appliance with a home entertainment bias. It is based on a networked Linux distribution/bootable system with Mozilla providing access to a range of services and applications. ByzantineOS fits in 32MB (or 48MB) of media and should work on any PC.
CDlinux is a compact distribution. The name is a synonymous of ?Compact Distro Linux?. It is small in size, yet rich in features.
ChainSaw Linux is a GNU/Linux based on the latest stable kernels and is all about video production.
ClearOS is a powerful network and gateway server designed for small organizations and distributed environments. Though ClearOS comes with an extensive list of features and integrated services, the solution is easy to configure thanks to the intuitive web-based interface. Read more
Damn Small Linux Not
Damn Small Linux Not is a desktop oriented Linux distribution based on Damn Small Linux. It uses a modern 2.6 Kernel and GTK 2 applications, but like Damn Small Linux, it strives to be compact yet user friendly. It will run well on systems of 300MHz with 64 MB of RAM or greater.
Debian-Med is a "Custom Debian Distribution" with the aim to develop Debian into an operating system that is particularly well fit for the requirements for medical practice and research. The goal of Debian-Med is a complete system for all tasks in medical care which is build completely on free software.
Demudi aims to provide for the musician and artist a GNU/Linux distribution dedicated to music and multimedia that would ease installing and customizing GNU/Linux for their needs.
Devil Linux's goal is to have a small, customizable and secure Linux distribition. It runs with 32MB RAM, with no need for a harddisk. The traditional application for Devil-Linux is to use it as a Router/Firewall. Read more
Domainix a tiny linux+samba+ACL distribution with the
intention to replace a Windows-domain-controller by a
Linux samba server. The acl-patches are enabled. It is based on Core-Linux.
DragonLinux is a distribution of Linux that has the ability to be installed on a loopback file on an existing FAT16 or FAT32 partition.
eMoviX is a micro Linux distro meant to be embedded in a CD together with all video/audio files you want, so that the CD will be able to boot and automagically play all of its own files.
GENDIST creates a makefile-based build-system for your distribution. It helps you to automate the following three tasks: maintain your root-filesystem, maintain your "cd-filesystem", and package everything on a media. GENDIST is similar to BYLD, but it is makefile-based and modular, therefore it is much easier to create your distribution from source.
Gibraltar is a firewall and router package, based on Debian/GNU Linux, which perfectly meets all individual requirements for a state-of-the-art firewall. Independent of the kind of Internet connection (dedicated line, ADSL, dial-up connection), Gibraltar provides for secure connections.
giotto is a micro Linux, a "complete" Linux system on a bootable floppy disk. It's something like tomrtbt.
Grey Cat Linux
Grey Cat Linux is a small UMSDOS Linux distro with Xfree, Icewm, Netscape, XV, and more. Download is only 12 megs.
Hacao Linux is a Vietnamese Linux distro (based on Puppy), Iso file 70-75M only.
It boots into a 128M ramdisk,
from a USB disk drive, Compact Flash, Hard Drive, Zip Drive, Floppy, Network/Thin Client,
CD-ROM or Mini-CD.
JAILBAIT's Another Interesting Linux But Also Intimidating Too: A fully-functional Linux distribution that fits into 16 MB. Many modern net-appliance-type products such as the Netpliance iOpener have an internal SanDisk device that is 16 MB in size.
Linux Mobile System
Linux Mobile System (LMS) is a full Linux system whose support is the new USB Flash Memory Drives. The intention is to boot any PC with USB support with our system and therefore we will have every administration and analysis applications that we have selected, so we will not need install it.
Linux on a Stick
Linux on a Stick (LoaS) is a very small and simple Linux server distribution that boots from a USB flash drive and runs from RAM. It is targeted towards server administrators who are familiar with Linux, as its only configuration method is the command line.
Linux on the Linksys wrt54g
This is a mini Linux distribution for the Linksys wrt54g. In about 20 seconds, you can install a small set of Linux tools to your access point's ramdisk. The distribution is geared towards those who are curious about casually exploring the internal workings of this device.
Linux4Geeks is a slim and fast source-based distribution. It offers different versions compiled for each architecture and has all the packages required for a slim base system including firewall and network administration tools, amongst others. Linux4Geeks does not have main setup tools like it is common in mainstream distributions.
Linuxcare Bootable Toolbox
The LBT is a fully usable miniature Linux distribution which can be placed on a credit-card sized CD media. The distribution should work in almost any PC with almost any operating system. We offer over 101mb of software including a 2.4 kernel, Xfree86 4.1, full network services for both pci and pcmcia cards, wireless connectivity, perl, and a lot more.
LinuxTimon is a single-disk, miniature Linux distribution that just includes a client for Windows Terminal Server 2000, VNCview, and a telnet client.
livarp is a lightweight Debian-based distro.
Lxpup is a lightweight distribution with versions based on Slacko by 01micko, and Precise from Barry Kauler. The desktop environment LXDE seems to be a good compromise between lightness, ease and more aesthetically pleasing.
Macpup is a minimalist desktop Linux distribution based on Puppy Linux. It uses Enlightenment as the default window manager and provides a user interface resembling that of Apple's Mac OS X.
Midge is a linux mini-distribution for ADM5120 based routers, such as Edimax BR-6104K. It includes basic tools such as sh, ssh, inetd, syslogd, telnet, netcat, tftp, wget, udhcpd, vi, etc. Also midge uses ipkg package manager, which can be used for installing new software
Midge divided to 3 versions: jffs2, tmpfs and usb - difference on which root filesystem is used.
Mindi builds boot/root disk images using your existing kernel, modules, tools and libraries. So long as your kernel is smaller than about 1.2MB, Mindi should be able to build a boot/root disk set from almost any Linux distribution you might be running.
This version is 208 Mb fat and fits on mini-cd and 256 MB usb pen-drive. It features the bare minimum tools for pentesting and support modules addition ala slax, allowing you to add some more stuff as you see fit.
MiniCD is (as the name suggests) a live MiniCD Linux distribution designed to run off 185MB CDs. It features automatic hardware detection, a full desktop (KDE) and is based on Mandrake Linux.
MiniLINUX for radio hams. It is installed on a Dos partition and comprises of a reduced software bundle - with no development packages.
Monkey Linux a complete small ELF distribution with latest kernel on 5 diskettes. Monkey can run on this minimal HW: 386SX, 4MB RAM, 30MB on IDE HDD. Contain X Window for any SVGA videocard, support for network, support for 3C5x9, 3c59x, 3c900, NE2000/NE1000, WD80x3 ethernet cards, ATAPI/MITSUMI CD.
MoviX is a tiny Linux CD distribution containing all the software to boot from a CD and play automatically every .avi file localized in the CD root. If you put a subtitles file in the same position with the same name then the subtitles will be automatically displayed.
MoviX2 is a tiny Linux CD distribution containing all the software to boot from a CD and play automatically every multimedia file localized in the CD root. Supported formats are all formats supported by mplayer, most noticeably DivX but more in general any avi, mpeg, mp3, ogg/vorbis and a few others
Mulimidix is a mini Linux distribution for building a PC-based set-top box and multimedia player system with digital TV, MP3, DivX, etc. support, using VDR, Freevo and other tools. It is currently optimized for i686.