linux distro with a very small footprint with GUI and WINE

hathehariken
hathehariken used Ask the Experts™
on
hello all,

my computer is running Vista Ultimate x64 - but will be running 7 Ultimate x64 in a few weeks.
i am using Sun VirtualBox to manage my virtual machines.

what i am looking for is a Linux with very small foorprint.
basically, i need to run a single internet app (for the sake of the discussion, lets assume it is utorrent - as my app is very similar to it.)
so i should be able to chuck out all frivolous things.

i need:
a small clean GUI
good memory management
modules and libraries for IP/LAN/internet (if a browser can operate, so can my program)
ability to install to a single virtual disk
WINE

i had a look at Damn Small Linux (DSL) but i i can find no comparable distributions...

can you help me make a choice and shed some of your wisdom on this matter?


thanx,
hathehariken
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2009

Author

Commented:
no one??
Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

Commented:
Define 'small footprint'. Damn Small Linux (DSL) is about as small as they get.

How much space and memory are you willing to allocate to the Linux environment?
Software Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Your best chance is with embedded distributions... (very small)
   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embedded_Linux

Now you do mention wine, so might want to restrict your effort to moblin mentioned there.
Many embedded systems are ARM based. So first take a peek if it is what you're lokking for.

Or the slightly bigger mini distro's here's a list:
   http://www.linuxlinks.com/Distributions/Mini_Distributions/
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

Top Expert 2009

Author

Commented:
--->Define 'small footprint'
a max of 150 mb installed size with a memory requirement of no more than 40 mb for the OS at peak load.

noci, thank you for the links. i will have a look, and get back on this.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Also, you could take for example DSL or other distro and strip it of everything you don't need...
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer

Commented:
I have got Slackware down to below that, but it doesn't have wine. You have to install wine from source (probably the best thing to do anyway)
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer
Commented:
To save bloat, install fvwm as the window manager (aka desktop)
Top Expert 2009

Author

Commented:
sorry for the delay.

>>>Also, you could take for example DSL or other distro and strip it of everything you don't need...
DSL looks very good in my opinion.

i am an absolute novice in linux. so can you list what modules/add-ons i dont need?
or is there a module manager, where i can do add/remove operations??

thanx!
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer

Commented:
Whittling down even a Slackware http://www.slackware.com install is quite a lengthy process. You say in your Q "(if a browser can operate, so can my program)" so presumably you need X, which my systems didn't.
The Slackware installer does have a "novice" mode whereby it prompts you to install each and every package, showing disk space used and giving a short description. If you have the time and the patience, it can be a very worthwhile exercise - set aside half a day for it though.
There will be whole categories of software you don't want: no compilers or editors, glibc_solibs only (glibc would give you a development environment), no debuggers, HOWTOs, X applications and as I mentioned before only FVWM as desktop.
After installation, there is a whole second round of trimming to do on your running system. This includes deleting the man pages, /usr/doc, much from /usr/share (keep the timezone file for your zone and the terminfo files for xterm and linux).
The Slackware package manager is your friend. If you find you've installed packages you don't need, remove them with removepkg. If you find you missed installing a package you need, install it with installpkg. An finally, if you find you deleted a file that is essential to a wanted package, reinstall that package using upgradepkg --reinstall. (that will often re-creat /usr/man and /usr/doc, so you might want to leave removing these until you're done trimming - files in these directories are never required).
Post any further questions you may have.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
If it looks good then it's ready.
It still has some servers (ssh, ftp, http) , XMMS spreadsheet sylpheed, spellchecker, Ghost script, various games, some graphics tools etc. are probably not really needed ==> they can be stripped off.

Top Expert 2009

Author

Commented:
duncan, slackware is 6 cds or a single DVD (as mentioned in http://www.slackware.com/getslack/) i dont think i am knowledgeable enough to enter its innards and do editing to the installation base.



i am downloading DSL at the moment.
once i get it installed and running at its default config, i will post back.

question (on DSL):
cant i remove misc programs and the HTTP FTP, etc servers post-installation??


thanx for your continued support!
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer

Commented:
Yes you can remove programs, but take care to stop init from trying to run them at boot time. Best to make sure they are not being started before you remove them.
3 of the Slackware CDs are source, so only 3 install CDs ;)
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Also there is the Linux from scratch, which start out really minimalistic...

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

You will end with your own distro...
And another blast from the past (ow years ago) when i still had a windows system

http://www.colinux.org/

You don't need a VM, it runs a linux partition from a Windows Task.
There are some small setups delivered with it (zipped files of about 18-20Mib)
Checkout their download & website for more details.
Top Expert 2009

Author

Commented:
i am sorry for the delay - other work prevented me from working on this.

i installed DSL, didnt work so nice.
planning to look into LFS.

i should close this question now, its been running for a long time.
thanx for all your help!

hathehariken.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial