"Tiny Core offers four basic modes of operation with varying
degrees of persistence. The default mode is to boot into RAM and
download applications over the Internet when you need to run them.
Everything runs from RAM so nothing is left behind, including any
settings or configuration information. Minimal hardware
requirements include an i486DX processor (486 with math processor)
and 32MB of RAM. A Pentium 2 or better processor with 128 MB of RAM
"Modes two and three consist of using a Persistent Personal
Repository (PPR) with either compressed or uncompressed extensions.
The difference comes from loading applications from RAM (TCE) or
from a compressed file stored in the PPR (TCZ). TCZ extensions use
either cramfs or ziofs to minimize the storage requirements in the
PPR. Another advantage of using the TCZ option is the ability to
run applications when you don't have a network connection."