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Exploring Lilliput: Is the Cloud Replacing Tiny Linuxes?

May 26, 2010, 19:47 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Emery Fletcher)

"In case anyone wondered why I haven't been offering any of my highly-opinionated pieces on Linux Planet lately, it's because I've been exploring Lilliput: sampling for myself a few of the better known small-footprint distros that offer an astonishing amount of computing power packed into a mere handful of megabytes. And though I haven't been at this long enough to try out more than a small fraction of the available ones, some overall characteristics of the breed are beginning to appear. The most interesting feature to me is that there seem to be two main branches of small distros: the Tools and the Products.

"I don't mean tools in the sense of Parted Magic or System Rescue. True, those formally deserve the name of Linux distros, but they are really tools only – they make no claims to the kind of versatility a daily-driver desktop needs. The Tools I mean are those that, at a minimum, offer a window manager, a terminal, and a collection of links which, cleverly applied, can help you configure your very own version of Linux that includes everything you want and nothing you don't."

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